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[RC] Permission from private land owners - Linda B. Merims

"DeAnn Schnepple" <ENDURANCEHOME@xxxxxxx> said:
>I ride in an area that does cross several privately
>owned areas.  What I found works best is trying to
>call them and identify yourself and then going
>by and introducing yourself.  I always like to
>offer to sign a "Hold Harmless" agreement too.
The good news is that most people's first
inclination is to say "Yes."
It has been my experience that it is harder for
people to say "No" to you if you are physically
present.  It's easier to say "No" over the
phone, and extremely easy to say "No" to
mail (mostly by just ignoring it).
If you do call to introduce yourself before
coming by, try not to let the conversation
get to the point where you are actually
asking The Question.  Even then, you've
given them time to cogitate before actually
seeing you, and they'll begin to fantasize
about the potential adverse consequences
of saying "Yes."
I'd also recommend against offering to sign
a release form, unless they bring it up.
If you bring up legal issues, that'll also get
them to thinking.  The wise person will
likely consult their attorney, and their
attorny will always advise them to
say "No" because it is safer and less
complicated for them.
And I like singing this verse from Woody Guthrie's
_This Land is Your Land_:
"As I was walkin'  -  I saw a sign there
 And that sign said - no tress passin'
 But on the other side  .... it didn't say nothin!
 Now that side was made for you and me!"
But not in front of the landowner, of course!
Linda B. Merims
Massachusetts, USA