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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Access to Private Land

in: Orienteering; Gear & Toys

Jun 29, 2020 8:03 AM # 
Access to desirable orienteering venues is increasingly denied by either expanding waves of invasive plants, or local authorities flexing their muscles. As a result, many of the fine O areas we've mapped and enjoyed in the past are now either unusable or prohibited.

Meanwhile a substantial movement is developing to fund and set aside private 'Land Trust' property for future generations. And for many years, part of my annual giving includes land trusts from Maine to California. Each time I send in a small check, I mark it 'In honor of' the local O club, if any. After all, I can remember attending several very pleasant O events on 'land trust' properties in New England and the midwest and I'd like to express my support for O to them.

Does anyone else donate to land trusts that provide O access? While donating to OUSA is always a good idea, could we develop and target donation streams to certain worthy land trusts with the idea of gaining access for an occasional O event? If so, what land trusts contain particularly attractive O venues that we could target?
Jun 29, 2020 11:50 AM # 
I live in Wolfeboro, NH. and 10 years ago I got permission to make an orienteering map on Lakes Region Conservation Trust land. The map in Sewall Woods has a permanent course on it that is used by school kids as well as other what seem like random people. Some are orienteers who are within an hour or so distant and others are UNO members who live in other parts of the state. Events have been run there as well.
Presently, the Wentworth Watershed Association has a piece of land that has now been mapped although it hasn't yet been used because of the virus. A number of O maps in NH are on land trust land. You have to keep good relations with them but it can be done.
Jun 29, 2020 1:05 PM # 
On a side note, if you shop Amazon, use AmazonSmile. With OUSA as the beneficiary.
Jun 29, 2020 3:37 PM # 
....have to keep good relations with them....

That's interesting information Peter...wish I lived closer to New Hampshire. The Lakes Region trust seems to have control of some very nice property (over 27,000 acres in more than 150 properties) is it for 'white woods' and interesting O terrain? Is close to UNO or other club? If not, do you think there might be enough interest that we could develop a couple of O maps and put on a successful A-meet there some day? If so, I would think Lakes Region Trust could be a good target for those of us looking for annual giving recipients!

And from my experience, nothing maintains 'good relations' with land trust managers better than a reliable stream of cash donations.
Jun 29, 2020 3:46 PM # 
Doing orienteering on a terrain with lots of invasive plants is way more fun than running thru a boring open forest. The real issue here is local mappers are absolutely clueless about vegetation mapping (OCIN is a notable exception).

Local authorities flexing their muscles is a serious issue. Typically these are the green nazis types, prevailing in places like CA, WA, OR, MA, CT, etc.

The way to deal with these types, if they refuse to cooperate, is giving them the taste of their own medicine: use social media to spread negative info taken out of context, dox compromising private info, write countless "customer complaints" to their supervisors and funding agencies.

PS: nothing maintains 'good relations' with land trust managers better than a reliable stream of cash donations

Yes of course good ol' bribe in a form of a donation would be the first option, as these are typically corrupt to the core. Yet these days their appetites are well beyond the means of a small club
Jun 29, 2020 11:59 PM # 
I think chitown has highlighted a crux issue, and makes good points on this topic.
It certainly relates to some current DVOA circumstances.
Jun 30, 2020 1:08 AM # 
There are a lot of areas that are nice woods. Most of the problem with them is that they tend to be steep and not O friendly. The Sewall Woods map is an exception to the steepness but it is bland in the contour department. The woods are open and generally good running. I have looked at some of the other properties and they are either too steep or too thick. There is one I might be able to work with but I haven't gotten there. Mapping green is always an issue but can be done with care.
Jun 30, 2020 3:41 AM # 
Sometimes the issue with private land is simply that no one is asking.
Sometimes the issue with asking is that no one bothers to explain orienteering.
This issue goes back to the first years of Orienteering Ontario in the 1960s. The late Jack Lee wrote an article in their five year anniversary booklet. He had a good and successful adventure talking with landowners about putting on an orienteering event in their neck of the woods. The advice still applies today.
I'll add two bits of advice 1) talking with landowners prepare by making a draft orienteering map of their lands. Make your pitch as visible as possible. Know the details of how your insurance will cover them.
2) With public parks find out if they have a Friends of the Park association and get orienteers signed up and at least one on the Board. Encourage orienteers to join in their park improvement and clean up projects.
Jun 30, 2020 1:30 PM # 
In general, their biggest concerns are liability and environmental impact. If you can effectively explain both, you've got a decent shot. Many land trusts (and other private venues) are actually looking for ways to increase their exposure to the public, and to demonstrate that they are reaching and serving people - they like having a low impact activity that brings in new people. Adding a link on your website and a promo in your newsletter are great benefits to them.

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