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Scrounging Rules

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Bootlegger, Sep 18, 2009.

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  1. Bootlegger

    Bootlegger New Member

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    I have 15 acres of oak/hickory forest but so far I haven't harvested any live trees, just stuff that has fallen or died. I see a lot of talk of "scrounging" on here and I wonder if there are informal rules (or even formal laws) for scrounging firewood? The reason I'm asking is because I see down wood all around me especially after last year's ice storms. One of my colleagues at work lost all his maple trees and had someone cut them up so he could get around his property. He said I could have it all but told me to "hurry before someone else gets 'em". He didn't give anyone else permission but the wood was gone before I could pick up a cord. It was taken right off his property, probably 4 cords, without his permission. I asked about it and he just shrugged his shoulders and said "that's how people do it around here." Is this true? Is anything on the ground fair game? Shouldn't I ask the landowner? Any scrounging advice for a wood-burner going into his third winter is appreciated.

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Thats stealing! I have people call me to get the wood. Are joke when pulling up to a big trunk is we hope someone didnt steal it! and laugh because its always there ever piece
  3. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    Oregon
    Anyone setting foot on my property without my permission and taking my wood would find themselves picking out chunks of rock salt from their behind!!!

    There's no such thing as "finders-keepers" on private property IMHO. State or Federal land may be a different story (laws vary by state) but private property is private property!

    Just ask permission, it's the right thing to do! Sometimes those down trees are like money in the bank if the people burn wood themselves...........


    NP
  4. Bootlegger

    Bootlegger New Member

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    I figured that common courtesy and property rules applied, but my colleague is old-Kentucky and he seemed completely non-plussed by the whole thing. It's sometimes hard around here to figure out who owns the land by the road where a tree is down but if I can identify a house I'll be sure to ask.
  5. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

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    Just something I found, slightly relevant:

    www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot33.htm
  6. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    In WA if a tree is in the road, the ditch, or in the right of way it's fish on.

    Everything else is stealing.
  7. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    As soon as one guy gets permission to cut wood, hunt, snowmobile, 4 wheel, etc on a piece of hard to monitor property, word gets around quick. Around here, wood on the curb or anything else for that matter is considered fair game. One of my tree guys does a lot of work in the city. If I don't go right when they call, it is gone especially if it is on the curb.
  8. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    we had one across are road went to clear it and wouldnt you know the civil defence CD stop me from cutting it out of the way this was aroud 7pm. The next day at around 3:30pm the road was opened again!
  9. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Was he standing there the whole time? I'da had my saw into that tree the second he drove away.
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    yes sir he had the car with lights going til it was done!
  11. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    Very interesting link!

    For me, scrounging is looking at craigslist for free wood. I would never just stop and take wood. Always ask first!
  12. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    A lot of people are unfazed by stealing or being stolen from. My scrounging law is... There is no wood worth going to jail over when you're driving down the road. I find that by knocking and leaving notes I get a great response. If the wood is at the curb then it's free game. Shoot if anything is at the curb it's free game. Lots of kid's toys are found that way for me. Always ask. It only takes a few seconds and you never know... they may have a big tree out back that they want to get rid of too.
  13. Bootlegger

    Bootlegger New Member

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    As I expected, great advice folks. I sure am glad I stumbled onto this site.

    BTW, my new Summers/Englander 2200 sf stove is in at Lowes. They had it for $999 on their website and the local store honored it even though the manager told me the cost is now $1341. Sure enough, they've now changed it on their website. Time to schedule the sweep to come install it. Probably won't need it until late November but I'll need to break it in.
  14. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    yes sir! better to do the break in early so you can open the windows
  15. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Around here, if it's not on your property, any downed trees you take without permission is stealing and trespassing, even if it's on highway right-of-way. The right-of-ways here, including the land under the road surface, are owned by the private landowner, except for some of the bigger highways where the state or federal has purchased the land for the highway (and even then the state and federal clear all trees from their right-of-way so the ones that fall into the right-of-way are falling from private property). When a tree falls on the road, the county or town attempts to contact the landowner and asks them if they want to keep the wood. If not, they haul it to the landfill or wherever.

    On a similar note, I see many people cutting dead trees along the town roads that run through the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. I do not know from firsthand experience, but have been told that all they have to do is ask and the refuge gives them a permit to cut firewood. So, if the dead trees you see are along a road that runs through federal or state properties, the rules might be different. But, if in doubt, don't touch it unless you get written permission from the landowner.
  16. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

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    All my scrounging consists of wood already bucked, and usually stacked by the curb. If it is at or VERY near the curb, I consider in fair game and in all likelyhood, the property owners method of disposal. Put it to the curb and someone will take it away. I've done that with a number of things and away they go. I usally put a "FREE" sign up, but not always.

    If the wood is not at the curb, I ask. If there is no one to ask, I leave it alone; don't want any "bad karma" let alone legal complications.

    Peace,
    - Sequoia
  17. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    All I can add is that last year I caught two people taking logs from our property where the power co had down some line clearing. One had a nearly full trailer and the other was filling his pickup truck. Needless to say, I had both of them empty out and leave my property, and I wasn't overly kind in my request.
  18. Lazy Flame

    Lazy Flame New Member

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    We've had 2 incidents of men brawling over roadside deadfalls.

    Ppl constantly come into the preserve I live next to and fell hardwoods. Considering its a nature preserve that obviously makes it illegal as hell. But if no-one catches them its a good haul for a tree poacher.

    The lineman up the road takes all the wood him and the guys trim from easements. no questions asked. There just electric company employees that do it all.

    When they got to me (I had just bought the place) he acted insulted when I told them to leave it for me. Not sure what the law is but I keep all wood trimmed back from power lines that cross my boundaries. Everyone now knows I do alot of erradic target shooting and its not safe near my place, so far all have come to a standstill.

    Tis a rural poor county here

    If we waited for the county to clear roads blocked by falls we wouldn't ever get to town. Most ppl have 4x4s and a chainsaw available, even some of the little old farm ladies clear blocks and take it home.
  19. freeburn

    freeburn Feeling the Heat

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    Scrounging to me, is if it's curbside, roadside whatever, look for a "free" sign, or for the love of crap, just get out of the car and ask someone. Craigslist too of course.
  20. Dara21

    Dara21 New Member

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    Stealing of wood.The government can't stop this?Abusing the forest is not a good anymore.


    Regards

    Albert

    ____
    Pret immobilier
  21. Lazy Flame

    Lazy Flame New Member

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    That rock salt link is Myth Buster worthy, very interesting. I learned some things from that one. Good call.

    Near here is the Charles Dean National Forest. It's 13,000 acres of NF and there's only ONE ranger for the entire area. He can't keep ppl from tearing up the sites near the road much less the hundred some ppl who thive wood from the property lines. In fact he said that was not one of his major concerns compared to illegal hunting, trapping, pot fields and meth labs
  22. sullystull

    sullystull Feeling the Heat

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    WV Mountains
    If it's National Forest, they can apply for a $20 permit and take it legally.
  23. habsfan70

    habsfan70 New Member

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    I always ask the property owner. I don't want to get shot!
  24. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    Great link karri0n. My grandfather used to do that to keep the neighbor's hogs out of his farm. Hard enough to hurt them, but not hard enough to kill them. I think the neighbor got some once too for acting the fool about his hogs. ha ha haha
  25. JeffRey30747

    JeffRey30747 Member

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    NW GA USA
    We have wood that can be cut but always try to get the dead and down stuff first and let a living tree live another year. I know the property owners where we "scrounge" and always ask permission before cutting or moving something. Our area has an informal agreement on reciprocal access as most of us are all part of the same extended family but taking something that isn't yours without asking is still stealing.
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