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No trespassing: Is posted land affecting recreation?

Are you seeing more land posted when you go hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, hiking or snowmobiling? If you own land, why do you post or not post your land? A new study is looking for answersand your input is needed. The tradition of easy access to private land for recreation is eroding. Large tracts of land are changing ownership, and land is being subdivided and developed. Landowners are in a tight spot. Property taxes are high and many landowners say they cannot afford to keep their property intact and open for recreation. Liability insurance costs are high, too. While many landowners may disagree, these changes are seen as a threat to those who recreate on private land in the northeast, an area stretching from northern Maine into New Hampshire, Vermont, and the Adirondack and Tug Hill regions of New York. The University of Vermont Extension is working with the University of New Hampshire, University of Maine, and Cornell University to conduct a study to understand changes in land ownership and access to private lands throughout the northern forest. The goal is to develop action plans that strengthen existing efforts in landowner education/outreach, landowner-recreationist relations, current use regulations, limited liability recreation statutes, and other issues related to recreation on private lands. The roundtable takes place at the Wildflower Inn, Granary Building, in Lyndonville Thursday, May 8. The day long meeting begins at 10 a.m. To register, send your name, e-mail address, mailing address, and phone number to Shawn Geoffroy at privatelandsresearch@uvm.edu or call 802-656-0623 by Friday, April 25. More information on the project is available online at www.privatelandaccess.org.

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