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Et their way public property may become private precious green spaces may be developed and the common good may be sacrificed for the benefit of the wealthy fewKen Ilgunas lifelong traveler hitchhiker and roamer takes readers back to the nineteenth century when Americans were allowed to journey undisturbed across the country Today though America finds itself as an outlier in the Western world as a number of European countries have created sophisticated legal systems that protect landowners and give citizens generous ro A thoughtful and informative argument for the idea that Americans should have the freedom to roam our own lands I like these ideas very much though sadly I suspect the author will have an impossibly difficult struggle seeing them to fruition given the current political climate Regardless an interesting read

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This Land Is Our Land

Aming rights to their countries' green spacesInspired by the United States' history of roaming and taking guidance from present day Europe Ilgunas calls into uestion our entrenched understanding of private property and provocatively proposes something unheard of opening up American private property for public recreation He imagines a future in which folks everywhere will have the right to walk safely explore freely and roam boldly from California to the New York island from the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters Interesting idea here that we should be able to walk on anyone s private property I can t imagine it happening and to be honest I don t really want the neighbors in the back yard I had no idea British and Scandinavian countries had a right to roam meaning that within certain restrictions people can walk wherever they want including private property Also depending on where they can camp make fires fish and hunt on other people s private property This book proposes similar laws for the US pointing out that earlier in our history that s or less how things worked here as well But nowadays things have changed and anywhere you go you re likely to find No Trespassing signs on most open landBack before we had kids my husband and I used to go camping in lots of places that were not strictly speaking campgrounds We used to buy history books and topographical maps and go out looking for old ghost towns in California Nevada and Oregon Some of the places we camped may have been public lands other places may have been private Whatever they were nobody ever came aroundOther people came to these places too Lots of weekend guys would bring booze and guns ride their trucks wherever they d fit build open fires let their dogs run all over the place shoot at cans and birds and whatever There were prospectors living up there too and just plain homeless people Most of the unofficial campsites we used were already there we d park the VW by their fire pit find the garbage they left behind etc One time I spent a good part of our stay at Red Dog reading the diary this one prospector left behind he was living there because his girlfriend kicked him out We also ran across his gold panning euipment including a home made sluice but left all that in place for himThe point being that people pretty much go wherever they want anyway Yeah there are No Trespassing signs up but the guys who go out to the country on Friday night with a twelve pack and a gun don t pay attention to those signs anyway If I were an owner of that land I would not particularly want a bunch of drunks with guns lighting fires on my land and taking potshots at the birds So a Right to Roam law would not sound like something in my favor The book argues that having people walking around on such lands would have some policing effect But in the US how many people would actually take advantage of such a law I can walk all day in the parks we currently have and hardly see anyoneIlgunas makes a good case that Right to Roam laws have worked well in small European countries I just have a hard time picturing what it would look like here City people like me might vote to give ourselves the right to roam around the countryside though in the US this doesn t seem to be a very motivated contingent But the main problem is why would country landowners vote to allow people on their land It seems to me like the people who own the land have little motivation to share especially if their experience has so far been bad And I don t really blame them

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Private property is everywhere Almost anywhere you walk in the United States you will spot No Trespassing and Private Property signs on trees and fence posts In America there are than a billion acres of grassland pasture cropland and forest and miles and miles of coastlines that are mostly closed off to the public Meanwhile America's public lands are threatened by extremist groups and right wing think tanks who call for our public lands to be sold to the highest bidder and closed off to everyone else If these groups g Ilgunas has incorporated a tapestry of legal and literary references for the heartiest advocates we can make our land free to roam


10 thoughts on “This Land Is Our Land

  1. says:

    Interesting book covers many sides of the “right to roam” argument and ramifications well I feel much better informed But I do have some advice Mr Ilgunas You need a brand A graphic A logo Something that grassroots Am

  2. says:

    Ilgunas has incorporated a tapestry of legal and literary references for the heartiest advocates—we can make our land free to roam

  3. says:

    I thought I knew a lot about the policy and law of the outdoor world in the United States but this book was a game changer Although it was definitely entertaining it still took me a while to get through this book especially considering it was only a bit over 200 pages But I’m so very glad that I stuck it out and finished reading this book

  4. says:

    A thoughtful and informative argument for the idea that Americans should have the freedom to roam our own lands I like these ideas very much though sadly I suspect the author will have an impossibly difficult struggle seeing them to fruition given the current political climate Regardless an interesting read

  5. says:

    I read a lot of walking books and this is one of the good ones I wish Americans could buy into this idea but I get depressed considering the reach it would reuire As Ilgunas writes toward the end of the book Only a society that walks will fight for the right to walk I don't think the United States is anywhere near thatI recently cut through Glacier Park as the uickest route from the east side of it to the west side Traffic was u

  6. says:

    I enjoyed his memoirs travel narratives Walden on Wheels and Trespassing Across America than this one I can't think of another book length argument I've read recently so I'm uncertain of what I should have expected As has been stated by at least one other reviewer it is hard to imagine implementation of a right to roam in America t

  7. says:

    I had uestions at first but those uestions mostly fell by the wayside as I went further into this American book about the right to roam or in the better but less catchy Scottish version “the right of responsibl

  8. says:

    Ken Ilgunas' first two books—the pioneering #vanlife memoir WALDEN ON WHEELS and epic Keystone pipeline travelogue TRESP

  9. says:

    Interesting idea here that we should be able to walk on anyone's private property I can't imagine it happening and to be honest I don't really want the neighbors in the back yard I had no idea British and Scandinavian countries had a right to roam meaning that within certain restrictions people can walk wherever they want includin

  10. says:

    This book is a beautiful discussion on The Right to Roam and its significanceFrom a literary view this book holds true to the nonfiction genre by being thoroughly researched very informative and entertaining to read Ilgunas writes passionately about a subject he clearly cares deeply for while remaining objective and avoiding extrapolation from the data referenced in the bookWhile I appreciate when someone identifies a problem that needs to