Squatting on public land


#1

So I was batting around the idea of moving into one of many national parks in my area, and I was wondering what the deal is. I have found a great spot, miles from any trails, and good land for a little homestead. All of the ingredients for cob are abundant, and I’m thinking of working on a home and very small scale sustainable subsistence farm.

can anyone point me in the right direction for information on squatting on public land, do’s and don’ts that sort of thing.

Thanks!


#2

I dont really have any advice other than BLM land and Forest Service land get much less visitors and much less patrols by government officials. In fact I believe you can legally camp for free for up to two weeks on most BLM/FS land, and if you are hidden enough I assume you could stay indefinitely.

Ive got a friend who practically lived on forest service land near in western Oregon but he didnt build any structures there, he just lived out of his tent and his truck, parked on an old unused logging road.

I know another person who is living in the side of a hill in a wildlife refuge and has been seen by workers there but they never threw him out. Again he hasn’t really built any structures either.

I am sure there are people who have gone further than them at making a home on “public” land but they are the only ones I know personally.

Good luck, be careful! If you decide to go for it, tell us about how it works out.

edit- Oh I also know of some anarchists/crusties who squatted an abandoned house on the edge of the NC side of the great dismal swamp (NC side is a state park, VA side is an NWR). As far as I know people lived there for years without being thrown out, they might be there still.

Runaway slaves lived in the swamp during the underground railroad years. They knew they could be killed if they got caught but they did it anyway, we wont be killed for squatting there so I guess in contrast we don’t have any excuse not to do it except that it wont be easy.


#3

I have lived for most of the last year and a half in a shack/cabin a friend and i built in a provincial park (im in Canada). Many random strangers have stumbled across it - it is close enough to trails that when the woodstove is burning and the wind blows in the right direction smoke is visible to someone walking on the trail. Nobody has kicked us out. It is awesome - but you sound like you want a full on homestead out there, i grow veggies at the community garden in town, and am pretty much still surrounded by civilization. But my experience may be somewhat helpful to you - i built in a pretty obvious place, people have found it, but i keep things tidy (most of the time). Friends say that it actually looks like its ‘supposed to be there’ as part of the park. Squatting is fun.


#4

14 days in one spot is the limit in national forests, which prevents exactly what you are looking for, a place to actually squat. The rainbow family lives on this rule, caravaning from forest to forest, with thousands of people who’s home is the forest.


#5

Yep. I’ve lived in National Forests for months. If your on a road you probably (practically speaking, not legally) have to move every three or four weeks, but if your not on a road you can often get away with staying in one place for months IF you’re in a spot where you aren’t easily seen from the air.


#6

Two weeks from when they first are aware of you. National Park would probably not be the best type of public land to choose. National forest or BLM. And if you pick a place that is really beautiful by a lake or something you wil attract a lot more attention than if you choose a more out of the way spot.

I’ve lived on Nat’l forest land for whole summers before.


#7

National Forest is definitely the way to go, and yeah, some place you can’t be seen from the air, very important, especially in the mountains.

In the Gila I think you could definitely camp for years here, but you’d have to cook with a very low fire profile, cuz they check every bit of smoke they see, since we have such a high fire risk here.


#8

Personally I have done this many a time here in the National Forest Areas
here in Northwest Wyoming. But unlike others where oe would just stay in
one spot, I moved from place to place from the spring to the fall. Here in the
West, there are lots of areas where there are huge chunks of unroaded
and wild country. Guess personally I would get bored some in just staying
in one spot. Being in one place for awhile, live with the land and the local
wildlife then move a few miles away to that other place for several weeks
then on to the next place. In most places, this would be within the local
regs to boot. Here in NW Wyoming, the NF Regulations specify that one
can only be in one spot for 16 days then move at least 5 miles away and
can’t come back to the current spot for 7 days. Now so much country and
such short lives, we could not see it all in our lifetimes. The one thing that
some places have as regulations is a time limit that one can be in that areas
backcountry that one would have to watch out for. I know of several areas
like this. But here in NW Wyoming’s Nat’l Forests, this is not the case on
this one. And also with many of the Hunter-Gatherers thru history, their
“Home” was just not one place but a huge chunk of area which they
roamed and wandered in thru the year and the season. This was the case
for the Sheepeaters or the Mountain Shoshones who lived in the mountain
valleys in the winter and the high mountain country in the summer. And
here in the west, still large enough ares where some individuals or some
small groups could do this very thing. Just my two cents worth.

Plus am new here, have been lurking but decide to go ahead and start
posting. Have been going back into the wilds for years. Creator Bless!


#9

Welcome, Kmatjhwy! Thanks for your coming out and additional posting support! Awesome first post! I enjoyed reading it and look farward to reading more by you. :slight_smile: Peace! Later!


#10

Yeah 14 days and if a po po does hasle you say you have just got there yesterday. if you say you’ve been there 12 days they say you got 2 to leave, you get the point. Say you found whatever your living in if you need to. If they ask “who’s stuff is in there”, say all of its yours or they’ll take what you don’t claim. Mostly cops suck and dont talk to them but whatever sometimes its hard not to.


#11

In my humble opinion, national parks would not be the best of places to escape to. I go into Yellowstone quite often, but hike in, and am so far removed from any form of travel into the area that, in theory, people would not find out for a long time. It has all been said already. Forest or BLM is the way to go, so long as you move every 2 or 3 weeks, dependant on the area and local rules. I have never been hassled, but that does not mean anything. One of my friends and I are trying to figure out a way to disappear into the woods, and it is very close to being our reality. Good luck.
Johnny


#12

Hello all, the voice of experience here. It doesn’t matter whether it is blm or nat. forest or whatever. What matters is how far off of regularly traveled roadways/trails you are, if you leave a well worn trail and how well your smoke and waste is seen/smelled. I am no anarchist but I do resent the so called “authorities” telling people that they have no bussiness living on Earth without paying someone for the “priveledge”. The fact is that people have the Right to live and even homestead on ANY property that is not privately owned as long as they take only enough to sustain their family with food, water, clothes, warmth, shelter and sanitation.

That is the deal and the truth so all you socialists must repent and the rest of us need to vote for Ron Paul then quickly go join the Lakota Freedom movement!

~Injunkayl


#13

well, obviously i can’t speak for everyone here, but i am definitely not a socialist (and most of the self-identified “anarchists” i’ve met are more strongly opposed to socialism than anyone!)

my father grew up in a marxist state and at times had to eat handfulls of grass from the yard just to stop the hunger pangs. i guess that’s why he moved to america became a right-wing conservative (which i can understand).

and good luck to the Lakota…i just hope they can survive some of ron paul’s (other) supporters


#14

I know this is an old, stale thread (sorry >.<) , but I have a question that needs to be asked, and this seems an ideal thread.

I want to move to the US and meet up with a few friends who are rewilding also (Washington state).

I’m from New Zealand where, as beautiful of a country that it is there really isn’t any “space” between “civilization”.

The US or Canada looks to be the ideal places to go very deep and disappear… but I’m worried about the whole us citizenship and such, that I’ll have to work for 5 years before i can get citizenship… any thoughts on possibly getting away with just arriving and then disappearing ?

arg, damn civilization and its paper trails >.<


#15

Most anarchists oppose communism, not socialism per se. In fact, most I’ve met and talked to are socialists of a sort. Traditional cultures are fairly socialist in their wealth distribution, but this is different from a communist state in that there is no central control of the resources.

If we decide to take this tangent further, it should probably be on another thread.


#16

I have met a few foreign people who are living in the US without the proper papers. I also grew up close to the US/Mexican border and I can tell you there are plenty of people living in this “melting pot” who are not registered or anything and they get jobs and live in the cities and have little trouble with authorities.


#17

[quote=“anti_, post:14, topic:274”]I know this is an old, stale thread (sorry >.<) , but I have a question that needs to be asked, and this seems an ideal thread.

I want to move to the US and meet up with a few friends who are rewilding also (Washington state).

I’m from New Zealand where, as beautiful of a country that it is there really isn’t any “space” between “civilization”.

The US or Canada looks to be the ideal places to go very deep and disappear… but I’m worried about the whole us citizenship and such, that I’ll have to work for 5 years before i can get citizenship… any thoughts on possibly getting away with just arriving and then disappearing ?

arg, damn civilization and its paper trails >.<[/quote]

anti_,

I would definitely worry about the citizenship thing. this week a factory was raided and 600 immigrants were arrested. these were people that were fully propping up the economy, and were still sent to a detention center. if you want to stay, i would recommend getting married. or, it might be easier for you to get canadian citizenship, what with the whole commonwealth thing and all.


#18

Thanks clickety, thats something I hadn’t thought of !

I’ll do some research ^.^


#19

[quote=“incendiary_dan, post:15, topic:274”][quote author=primal parent link=topic=283.msg7970#msg7970 date=1201869232]
well, obviously i can’t speak for everyone here, but i am definitely not a socialist (and most of the self-identified “anarchists” i’ve met are more strongly opposed to socialism than anyone!)
[/quote]

Most anarchists oppose communism, not socialism per se. In fact, most I’ve met and talked to are socialists of a sort. Traditional cultures are fairly socialist in their wealth distribution, but this is different from a communist state in that there is no central control of the resources.[/quote]

hmm… Dan, what do you think about an accord of anarchy and communism? (anarcho-communism), I find it heavily follows (and much better follows when applied towards) anarcho-primitivism ideals.

From wikipedia

Due to the egalitarian nature of most hunter gatherer societies anarchist-communists and some green anarchists (Especially Anarcho-primivists) argue that hunter gatherer tribes were the early forms of anarchist-communism.

and…

Examples of anarcho-communism

Some parts of the free software community, the GNU movement and parts of the copyleft movement are a type of information and software gift economy (a gift economy being the preferred economic system of anarcho-communists)


#20

I think those people misunderstand the differentiation between socialism and communism, namely the issue of central control.