Tired of trespassing
October 1, 2002
I’ve written this letter several times in my mind. What prompted me to action this morning was watching a couple of ATV riders running rampant on a new home construction site in view of my back yard and adjacent to my property.
Previously, these two young ATV riders (and many others on dirt bikes and ATVs) have helped develop a track that cuts across the private property of several others, including mine.
That track is so deep that I’ll have to pay considerably more to have it repaired when the fencing company installs the field fence shortly. Fencing which, by the way, we had hoped not to have to put in this year because of the cost.
Where are good manners, common sense and respect for the property of others? It would seem that for the subjects of my letter (and their parents) they are non-existent when it conflicts with their desire to pursue happiness or to express their personal freedom to go where they want, when they want. They behave as if their desire to travel where they want (because they can) should not be inhibited by the property lines of their neighbors. It is important to mention here that a vast area of BLM land is just a block away and easily accessed on a public paved road.
To quote Mark Tokarski’s article in the Personal Appeal (section C) of the Nevada Appeal (Sept. 27, 2002), “… freedom is contradictory because along with freedom comes more need for restraint. If all of us are free to do as we wish, chaos is the result.”
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The rule of thumb should be: if you’re not riding on your land, a paved public street, or BLM land, then you are trespassing on someone else’s property. If I, like you, decided your rights and responsibilities took a back seat to mine, then I would be free to come onto your property and walk my dogs, drive my car, or ride my ATV around your yard.
One way to decide whether or not we should or should not do something is to imagine it being done to us … something like the Golden Rule. And just because you can do something does not mean you should.
In closing, I’d like to say that other than having my property trespassed and damaged, I absolutely love living in the Carson Valley. I’ve been here about three months and have found the people delightful (with the exceptions mentioned above.) I’m looking forward to many happy and productive years in this gorgeous Valley and to exploring the vast areas of BLM land on my ATV.