[Cdt-l] harassment of hikers

Brett blisterfree at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 2 11:50:28 CST 2009

One answer is to carry the BLM 1:100,000 maps. All land sections (or partial sections) shown in yellow are public land; all white sections (or partial sections) are private or leased. I believe leasing in BLM parlance is distinct from simple use of a grazing allotment on public land. In the former case, the only public rights-of-way are on county, state, or federal roadways; in the latter, you can travel, and generally camp, at will, the main caveat being that the rancher often retains exclusive rights to the developed water, and that camping within a certain distance of that water is prohibited.

When in doubt, call the BLM to confirm the accuracy and timeliness of the maps beforehand. If questioned by a rancher during the hike, stop, break out the maps (it helps to look a little puzzled and apologetic here), and let the rancher prove his point or otherwise.


--- On Mon, 11/2/09, Trekker4 at aol.com <Trekker4 at aol.com> wrote:

From: Trekker4 at aol.com <Trekker4 at aol.com>
Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] harassment of hikers
To: KS1007 at aol.com, cdt-l at backcountry.net
Date: Monday, November 2, 2009, 12:10 PM


Legal question for all'a y'all:
    Is a BLM grazing lease similar to an apartment 
lease? If you lease an apartment, you have control and protections, 
against warrantless searches, trespass, etc. Is a BLM lease of public land only 
for grazing, but not control, against us hiker trash trespass, on the land 
not a public road? I understand that public roads are public; we have public 
roads through ranches here in Big Bend, but many ranchers gave up public 
maintenance to lock the gate at the highway. Keith, your email implies no 
trespass control. Do you or anyone have any legal input, just for the 
knowledge of it?  
Big Bend Desert Denizen, and...
Naturalized Citizen - Republic 
of Texas 

In a message dated 10/31/2009 1:40:24 A.M. Central Standard Time, 
ks1007 at aol.com writes:

  I'd like to add my 2 cents worth to jonathan's and 
  ron's entries
  this year we have had about 21 thru hikers north and 
  southbound come through on the columbus route - ron is the only one to have 
  any problems - he was on a county road in the middle of nowhere and a rancher 
  rolls up on him - he was not on the trail - of course, the rancher is going to 
  be curious as to what you are doing there - in southern new mexico many 
  ranchers lease BLM (federal) land - the ranchers think they own the land they 
  are leasing - they don't - don't let this isolated incident scare you away 
  from doing the columbus route - if you do run into a disgruntled rancher try 
  to find out what ranch he is from and let me know - I will go out there and 
  talk with them - like I said earlier this is one person out of 21- if you stay on the trail you are in the 
  middle of nowhere and most likely will not be seen - one of the ranchers this 
  past spring invited 2 nobo's to his house for dinner
  any questions? 
  trail angel

Cdt-l at backcountry.net

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