Trespassers & Threats

After seeing the hikers on Easter come up through my property, I posted this on the Ventana Wilderness Alliance Forum:

“Because Ventana Wilderness is closed, the Silver Peak Wilderness has increased numbers of hikers, campers, and other users, as it should. Some of these users are not respectful of private property. I had 4 hikers come up Home Ridge on Easter which lets out right by my spring road, who hiked through my property without my permission. They were greeted by my four guard dogs, who fortunately did not attack. Trespassers are fair game to my pack. I’m not implying that these trespassers are members of VWA by posting here, I do not know. But I do know that other hikers also read this forum, as well.
All I ask is that when you hike an area, please find out where the private property is located, and do NOT hike it without the owner’s permission. Do not assume that the owner, living on the edge of the Silver Peak Wilderness, will not mind. We do. Just stop by the PV station and ask. Many people do not seem to know (or care) that there is private property here. On Home Ridge alone, there are at least five parcels besides my own, which is at the top, two of whom also complained about the hikers. Hike the Prewitt Loop. Home Ridge is not a trail, but a dozer cut left from the Chalk Fire. Please. I won’t be as nice with the next trespassers.”

I got a very nice response from Boon, with a positive suggestion on how to prevent this. But I also received this threat from an anonymous poster:

Re: Private Property & Silver Peak Wilderness

Postby guest on Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:46 am

Oh.. An arms race.   

To protect myself, from being attacked if I wander off a trail and onto private property, I will naturally not want to be hurt by dogs. I will now need to carry my 9mm ruger, and have my protective pit-bulls with me. They and I are quite harmless unless an aggressive dog or gun-toting pot-grower happens my way. ( Not that all or even most protective land owners are pot-growers)”

I see this person as an aberation, and certainly not indicative of the vast majority of the VWA members. But he has certainly given me pause for thought about how I handle trespassers in the future. I’m not going to get into “an arms race” with this jerk, but if I am not nice to trespassers this year, you have this idiot to thank for it. I don’t know who he is, so any trespasser could be him — carrying a 9 mm Ruger. Nice, huh? 
You can see the entire thread here:
http://www.ventanawild.org/forum08/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=187

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