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Author Topic: Crossing our land (not being harvested)  (Read 1780 times)

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Offline goosebay72

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Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« on: April 08, 2019, 10:17:34 AM »
Good Morning!

My husband and I have 20 acres in Northwest Arkansas, and are intent on just enjoying the trees on our property as they are.  Many of the landowners around us have agreed to sell, as is there right, but they seem to be having issues is retrieving the trees on the property behind us, since it has been raining a lot, and it is steep.

We are trying to be reasonable, and as we do not know the process well, I am reaching out to see if what they are doing is normal.  

They asked us to sell our trees and we have refused, but to help with them getting the trees from behind us, we said they can bring the trees across our property, just leave it clean so I can have a walking path. I gave them a copy of our parcel map with what I had in mind and we discussed that land features like rock, etc may make it veer, but it should, in general, work well for them and us.  

We spoke on Friday, and have been told they are almost done, that the path is on our property line, but when I went to walk it, it's not.  I am currently feeling frustrated, and that I am being taken advantage of, and am hoping you can tell me I am not.

Instead of around the edge of the property as we had discussed (for a walking path), they came down through the middle of our property, there are 3 main paths they came down, with at least 4 "side" shoots, where it looks like they started to see if they could go and found they couldn't(?), and none of the paths they took connect.  We also found that the leavings (tree tops, side branches, etc), are blocking the "trail" in places, and one of the main paths the way rain drains, and they now have it routed to flow directly into my front door.

We are wanting to ask them to put a drainage culvert to divert away from the house, and clean up the path at the very least, but I am angry about the side trails, and the fact that it is through our property not around, but cannot think of what I can or should do.  Any thoughts?

Offline Southside

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2019, 10:27:05 AM »
Personally I would put an immediate stop to any more activity, tell them to remove their equipment right now, not later or tomorrow as they have already demonstrated that they are not following your direction.

From there you can decide if you want to work with these folks or not. Honestly it sounds like a fly by night crew you are dealing with and I would expect it will only get worse. Any real logger would have created a written agreement so that all parties understood what the deal is, where it is and what is expected of each party. 

If you decide to continue to work with this crew then get a Forester or other professional involved so that your interests are protected.

Good luck.
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Offline mills

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2019, 02:01:51 PM »
My goodness. I really hate to hear this...for you, and for everyone that tries to make an honest forestry living. 
Southside is absolutely correct. First thing is to tell them to stop, fix everything back to what you agreed to, and then to leave. If this doesn't work to your satisfaction, it's time to get busy. Start by retrieving anything you may have in writing. Now you and your husband need to write down your version of how the conversations with the forester/logger went. Have everyone else who witnessed any part of the conversations do the same. (Be great if one of your neighbors would back you on this.) Now go take pictures... bunches of pictures. Not sure how your law enforcement is in that area, but it would be good to get them involved at this point. I've seen things like this get ugly, so having the incident on record could work to your benefit. Other people on this site from over your way, so they may have better insight as to getting your state forestry involved. Present them your information, and hopefully one of the two can work out a resolution. If not, and I hate to say it, but you may need to get a lawyer. 
A lot of good people on this site feel the same way I do, so I'll guarantee you will get several more good suggestions. Good luck.

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2019, 08:34:57 PM »
It seems to me that a responsible logger would walk the property before they start randomly cutting a path.  You don't mention but along the trails and side trails that they cut, is there any large stumps as evidence that they took some trees of value?  The side trails sound like they were going after something of value, if these guys are as shady as it sounds.  I would certainly want to document that as a very minimum of damages due to you.
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Offline goose63

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2019, 08:46:46 PM »
Sheriff and a lawyer put a stop it it now
goose
if you find your self in a deep hole stop digging
saw logs all day what do you get lots of lumber and a day older
thank you to all the vets

Offline timbco68

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2019, 09:37:52 PM »
Yeah, total lack of respect.

Offline Hooterspfld

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2019, 10:05:53 PM »
Put a stop to it immediately!!! I would contact law enforcement and make them aware of the situation as well as documenting via pictures the extent of damage to your property. I would tell the logging company that they have not followed the original agreement and because of that they are not to put another foot on your land until a practical plan of action can be decided upon in writing. The new contract should include the scope of work that is allowed to occur on your land as well as a plan of action to repair the damage they have caused. I would add a clause to the contract that the adjoining landowners whom these loggers are working must also sign off on said contract and should the loggers deviate from the plan they will be held liable for damages as if they had preformed the work themselves.  ( Theres no reason your neighbors should profit if your land is destroyed in process.) Theres being a good neighbor and then theres setting yourself up to being taken advantage of. Just my 2 centsJ

Offline Logger RK

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2019, 06:32:30 AM »
I would contact local DNR or law enforcement. It sounds like they were up to more then just getting access through your land with that many trails on a 20 acre piece. And why is there tops & branches on your property? 

Offline Riwaka

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2019, 07:17:11 AM »
This is also in part "what you might have done differently'. You might have asked for the preparation of a 'temporary right of way' or formal legal easement document (with your conditions) so you requests were written done so they could be recorded so they could be measured against if something went wrong.

If you can get a halt to the operations.

First step is to get out the video/ camera and taken photos/ video of what has happened. The next step might be to get an affidavits taken where your side of the story is legally recorded. Also write down a detailed sequence of events (dates/ times/ people involved, property locations etc)  so if things come to an adjudicator/ judge or other authority they have your side of the story to read with clarity and pictures. 
Probably also ask land/ forest manager (as an independent professional witness) to do their own photos and report etc and estimate of the dollar value of the muck up and correction of the state of the land if this case warrants this level of support to make a case. 

Offline goosebay72

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2019, 11:29:22 AM »
As an update / more information:

I am very obviously new at this and it seems I am too trusting.  I didn't get anything in writing, I spoke with the "owner / operator" when he came to my front door, in my own, and our closest neighbor is about 1/4 mile away and you can't see our place from theirs (part of what we love :) ).  

Lesson learned...and please use as a cautionary tail!  Newbies, ask for help from professionals!!!!

I went out yesterday to try to talk with them (and the entire crew) yesterday, and was told the boss man wasn't on site yet, but they would have him knock on the door when he arrived.  Silly me.  We don't have a window facing where they had the equipment, and by lunch time, they had removed all equipment, and left the opposite way they came in, it feels like they did so to avoid coming by my house.  I tried calling the number I had found on the side of one of their trucks...no longer in service.  I am going to try to get a hold of the guy who owns the land they harvested from to see what contact info he may have, but am not holding my breath.  Another neighbor told me that outfit tends to pay in cash, and gets their business by knocking on doors.  Shady, and while I will not be as trusting in the future, I do NOT believe this is the behavior of the true forestry professionals.

Thank you everyone for your advise, wish I had thought to ask sooner.

Offline btulloh

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2019, 11:52:24 AM »
You should check with your state department that is responsible for forestry. They can be very helpful.

Laws vary from state to state. Here in va the Department of Forestry requires every logging job to be registered. At the end, they inspect and enforce compliance. Here the landowner has ultimate responsibility and that flows through to the timber purchaser.

Your state laws prevail and may help you resolve this. You need to get in touch with the responsible agency and find out what help they may provide.

I hope you are able to achieve a resolution.
HM126

Offline Southside

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2019, 12:19:51 PM »
If there are any local saw mills around try stopping into the office and inquire about just who this crew is, someone will know who they are and any reputable mill will not cover for a crew that is stealing timber.

A phone call to the mill won't get the same results as a symphathetic landowner standing in front of them. 
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Online barbender

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2019, 01:04:57 PM »
Yeah this sounds like they perhaps went beyond taking advantage of your generous use of your access, to actual theft. I'd call the Scheriff.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Logger RK

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2019, 01:17:07 PM »
If you had some pictures of the tops & branches on your land we might be able to tell what kind of wood was cut? And some of the trails. It would be nice if you happen to get any pictures of any of there license plates. 

Offline LeeB

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2019, 02:37:09 PM »
I think a fellow last named Laughton owns most of the mills in the area. From what I know of him, which is only word of mouth, he is a decent fellow. He could likely tell you who it was. 
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2019, 05:25:59 PM »
Some good advice has been provided. You need to do what has been already stated. You have had a trespass to your property with possible timber theft and resource damage beyond your intent. (You certainly should have had things spelled out in writing with your neighboring landowner and the logger and witnessed.) An official easement on paper would have been in order.

If you do not get any action from your involved neighbor and the logger to correct the issues to your satisfaction, you need to contact a professional consulting forester to do an all resource damage assessment of the trespassed area and then possibly seek the services of an attorney if you need to sue all concerned for the damages.

Some pictures of the activity might allow for some more advice, such as the water issue at your front door. This certainly does not sound like a professional logging operation and one to be ignored.

Offline Lumberjohn

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2019, 07:09:02 PM »
Better maybe take a look at the tops they left on your trails, they may be hiding stumps of trees they took from you?

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2019, 08:14:45 PM »
Long time land owners are very careful about who gets on their land for profit or any other reason. A lifetime of using others land for hunting, fishing, trapping, cutting cedar, just cutting across and so on, I have met some who where not easy to get permission from if you even could. Their neighbors said they where nuts in some cases but by no allowing bums on their place they are also protecting those around them.   This is the way it should be and it works better than any laws.

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2019, 08:15:45 PM »
Better maybe take a look at the tops they left on your trails, they may be hiding stumps of trees they took from you?


Just what I was thinking. Get the law.
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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Crossing our land (not being harvested)
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2019, 07:36:33 AM »
The barn door is now shut, but the horse is already out.
Too bad you were so trusting of these crooks.
This sort of logger gives the good guys a bad name.
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