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View Full Version : Absentee landowner and noxious weeds: ??



Calvincrowe
Aug. 7, 2011, 05:03 PM
I live surrounded by large acreage (a rarity, frankly, in our area). One is a very well maintained Xmas tree farm, one is across the county road, mowed for hay, but otherwise unoccupied. The one I'm having issues with is on our western boundary. No one lives on it. 110 acres of blackberries, thistles, tansy and daisies grazed by a herd of beef cattle. I hear people occasionally (like 3-5 times a year) over there...way off.

Now, I have a small farmette stuck between all these places. I manage my pastures with mowing and judicious use of herbicide. I am deeply frustrated by the Weed Farm next door.

Can I hop the fence and at least whack the crap closest to me? I can go thru a gate, so no need to actually hop anything. I can even drive my tractor thru to brush hog...if I were brave enough. I wonder if I could call it "fire suppression management" and get away with it. Honestly, NO ONE has ever come to our shared property line in 4 years. (and that was to check the fence, by someone who worked for the cow owners, who lease the property from some one else!) We had to put a loose cow back once, but we just shooed her thru the gate and fixed the fence, as they (whoever they are) are not around.

I guess I'm asking if you think I'd be within my "rights" to whack me some tansy? Or should I act first and ask for forgiveness should it come up?

I am only going to remove what they should be doing already. Hell, they should be grateful, right?!

Tamara in TN
Aug. 7, 2011, 06:35 PM
Can I hop the fence and at least whack the crap closest to me? I can go thru a gate, so no need to actually hop anything. I can even drive my tractor thru to brush hog...if I were brave enough.
I guess I'm asking if you think I'd be within my "rights" to whack me some tansy? Or should I act first and ask for forgiveness should it come up?

I am only going to remove what they should be doing already. Hell, they should be grateful, right?!


um no you are trespassing...

and if they fall in love with those weeds (I have seen it done before) you have just killed their "Precious" and damaged them...

I would try to find the owners and tell them of the super poisonous nature of this stuff and how it spreads and ask them if they have objections to <whatever you plan> or <have a plan>

they may tell you to piss off...;) be warned.

secondly spray the boundaries religiously to keep it back....your rights stop where theirs begin.

Tamara

oldpony66
Aug. 7, 2011, 06:36 PM
I would discuss it with the owners first, stating my reasoning. They may give you permission, or they may give you a perfectly reasonable explanation for keeping it as is. If they are grazing cattle on it, you could suggest that the mowing will encourage GRASS to grow instead of weeds that even cows won't eat.


I am only going to remove what they should be doing already. Hell, they should be grateful, right?!

Ummm... "what they should be doing"? Is there a zoning ordinance that prohibits the weeds? If so, that's a whole other angle. I have a neighbor with weeds galore but I think they have some kind of conservation thing going so that it's habitable to certain wildlife (not your situation as far as I can tell! Cows aren't very endangered.) but who determines what they "should be doing"? If you keep your property mowed, the spread of weeds to your area will be controlled quite well.

clanter
Aug. 7, 2011, 06:38 PM
IF the property in a U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) program they may not be very happy to have had a bush hog run through the place

Contact the cattle owners, if they say sure then bush hog until you run out of fuel

ReSomething
Aug. 7, 2011, 07:19 PM
There's a poster on here in BC with an organic farm, and her neighbor "helped her out" by spraying herbicide over the property line and on to her property to tidy it up.

I remember how p*ssed off she was about it, since it affected her organic status.
Don't touch a weed seed on that place without permission.

Calvincrowe
Aug. 7, 2011, 07:20 PM
The land is not in any kind of conservation district, and tansy is considered a noxious weed and its removal is required by the state and county (I read our county's regs). In fact, before our economic downturn, the county used to have a noxious weed control dept. who would send out letters demanding landowners remove these weeds or face a fine.

I will try to figure out who the owner is. I'm guessing not before the tansy and thistles blow seeds all over my land.

We do spray the boundary, but we are talking blackberry thickets 15 feet high, beginning to arch over our fences. And, in the patches of grass between those blackberry mountains, a sea of yellow and purple (tansy and thistle) the daisies are nearly done seeding out.

I can see that I'm trespassing, obviously. I seriously doubt that anyone would care that I pulled up their weeds in the 10 acres or so that I can access along my boundary fence, but I suppose I'll grit my teeth and hope the piss poor "cattleman" who puts his sad creatures out on this (tansy kills cows, sheep and horses if ingested) will come to his or her senses and mows...or bulldozes, as that is all that will control the bberries now.

Vent over...

Nes
Aug. 7, 2011, 08:07 PM
Goats are always the solution.

Calvincrowe
Aug. 7, 2011, 08:14 PM
Nes- somehow, putting MY goats ( if I had any!) on THEIR land would be worse than me opening the gate, walking over and pulling/cutting weeds on a tiny portion of their land, right? :lol:

I'm just really frustrated with them, is all. The land is for sale (has been for literally YEARS) and I suppose I could call the agency on the faded old sign and see if they know how to contact the owner. I don't think the owner is the cattleman, based on the contact 4 years ago during the Cow Escape/Fence Check Episode.

We are in the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Monument--severe restrictions on land use/zoning and building. We're fine with them. The land in question must remain "as is", but that does not preclude normal maintenance--mowing, haying, weed and brush control (we have the same restrictions).

Robin@DHH
Aug. 7, 2011, 09:12 PM
You can easily determine who owns a piece of land by
going to your county offices and looking at the public
land records. The people who work in the Deeds office
will usually show you how to consult the land records.
Another even easier approach would be to go to the
office where property tax records are kept and ask
who the tax bill goes to. This should also be public record
and whoever pays the taxes knows who owns the land.

By the way, even USDA conservation reserve land
has to be mowed or otherwise maintained periodically;
it just can't be mowed when desirable animals are nesting
and the mowed vegetation cannot be used for forage.
You might find your ag extension folks would help you
contact the owner or leasee to get permission to do
weed control.

fourmares
Aug. 8, 2011, 02:08 AM
I say mow it and ask for forgiveness later... If it's been for sale forever it might even be foreclosed, bank owned property (you can check with the county).

2DogsFarm
Aug. 8, 2011, 06:53 AM
IIWM, I'd try to find out who owned the land before mowing it.

Call the ph# on the For Sale sign - quicker than a trip to the County Deeds office - and ask.

Realtor could be thrilled someone is going to manicure at least part of it.
House across the road from me was for sale nearly a year before someone thought to have the lawns mowed regularly.
Sold in 3 months after that.
Different, I know but still...

Nes
Aug. 8, 2011, 10:00 AM
CC if the goats "get out" like their cow did, well that is just an accident ;).

But I would definitely try to track down the owners, they may have no idea that they are causing a problem, or they may be trigger-happy nut jobs.

If nothing else, call the # on the sign & maybe the purchase price is withing your reach!

Calvincrowe
Aug. 8, 2011, 10:11 AM
We'd love to purchase it, but since we haven't yet won that darn lottery, that ain't happening.

I let my fingers do the walking on the internet: owned by a lawyer, for sale for $1.5 million for 110 acres. Divided into 3 parcels (26, 45, 40 roughly). Zoned Ag Reserve, so no building on the two larger pieces, only on the smallest, must prove ag income per acre. The zoning explains the lack of interest, and the price is ridiculous for our area/economic situation. I'm guessing he doesn't really need to sell.
The Realtor said he won't give me the owner's number, as he is leasing the "grazing rights" to the "cattleman". So, I have his name and number. I know of him, and somehow, I don't think he's going to be out to mow any time soon (based on previous encounters in our town and info from friends regarding his land management practices:no:).

Ah, well. I'll give it a whirl, see what happens. My gut tells me he wouldn't care if I danced naked among the brambles, let alone cut his problem for him!

Alpha Mare
Aug. 8, 2011, 04:58 PM
A friend of mine was approached by her neighbor who asked if neighbor could mow down noxious weeds on the land - neighbor said she would maintain it if allowed. Friend said 'fine' for areas that had real weeds.

If property is for sale you could position it as a win win, in that you benefit from reduced weeds, property owner benefits from better vegetation (grass instead of noxious weeds) that can only enhance his property.

Whatever the outcome you should get it in writing if you can reach an agreement.

Guilherme
Aug. 8, 2011, 05:14 PM
I say mow it and ask for forgiveness later... If it's been for sale forever it might even be foreclosed, bank owned property (you can check with the county).

This is idiotic advice. It's a good way to spend a bunch of money on lawyers defending criminal claims of treaspass and vandalism and civil claims of the same.

Talk to the owners. As Tamara noted your rights end where theirs begin. If they are unreasonable then you might have alternatives but that will depend upon your state law. Talk to your extension agent or FSA office or just hire an hour of a lawyer's time.

G.

oldpony66
Aug. 8, 2011, 06:48 PM
tansy is considered a noxious weed and its removal is required by the state and county (I read our county's regs). In fact, before our economic downturn, the county used to have a noxious weed control dept. who would send out letters demanding landowners remove these weeds or face a fine.

That's a key bit of information right there... are you no longer required to remove tansy? If you are, you can approach it from that anglem and maybe YOU won't even have to be the one doing it.

CatOnLap
Aug. 8, 2011, 07:00 PM
There's a poster on here in BC with an organic farm, and her neighbor "helped her out" by spraying herbicide over the property line and on to her property to tidy it up.

I remember how p*ssed off she was about it, since it affected her organic status.
Don't touch a weed seed on that place without permission.


That would be me and I was plenty pissed off, since now we have to start a 7 year cycle over again to gain organic status, and we actually harvest the blackberries. But most importantly, they killed off a bunch of the wildlife in our pond due to the runoff from spraying their poisons AND they were spraying land that my horses were actively grazing on at the time they were spraying, not 20 feet away! it was extremely lucky I happened to be out in the backyard when the guy in the HazMat suit turned up spraying.

However, please do talk to the neighbour. If mine had talked to me first, I would have been much nicer. As it is, they have recieved an official cease and desist notice and the next time they so much as drop a grain of salt over the property line they will face a formal charge of trespassing.

Equibrit
Aug. 8, 2011, 07:08 PM
You can find out who owns the property here; http://www.co.clark.wa.us/Property-Information.html

Weed control regs here; http://www.co.clark.wa.us/weed/index.html
If you or your neighbor have a problem with noxious weeds:
(360) 397-6140

"During 2010, a total of 2,062 reports and follow-up actions were taken on noxious weed infestations. This is a 12% increase above the ten year average.
Reports are generated from staff inspections and public complaints.
“Actions” include a variety of activities ranging from educational information and letters mailed to land owners to code enforcement activities. In 2010, Vegetation Management sent 1,336 warning letters, a 48% increase over 2009.
Violation actions also showed an increase with 101 recorded for the year. These increases reflect the success of field inspections and compliance activities. Compliance is usually achieved through education and direct contact with property owners."