Why would I want to allow the public on my land?
What is a trail easement?
What kind of trail easement does GMHA have?
•One that provides a quality riding experience: GMHA is local so it seeks to preserve traditional favorite trail riding routes. GMHA’s form of trail easement has some very light conservation covenants – namely that all uses within the 26-foot wide trail corridor (a 6-foot wide track with 10 feet of “buffer” on each side) will remain compatible with horse-riding through relatively natural lands.
•One that benefits its members: GMHA’s nonprofit mission is all about equestrian activities. While GMHA welcomes collaboration with others, it must focus its limited resources on its mission and members. For this reason GMHA’s easement only provides access to GMHA members and event riders, not the general public. That being said, landowners can voluntarily open the same trail to the general public or other groups for compatible trail uses if they choose. GMHA’s trail easement does not prohibit other compatible easements (more on this later).
•Strong but flexible: GMHA strives to be a good neighbor. GMHA understands trail problems may arise in the future: overuse, erosion, vandalism. So in consultation with the landowner, GMHA reserves the right to close a trail – only to its members and event riders – to help a trail recover, or for safety, or any number of reasons. If other groups use the same trail, they would decide for themselves whether this is appropriate for their own groups’ uses.
What is my liability?
Who will maintain the trails and repair damage to them?
Who is authorized to close a trail, and which trail users are impacted?
What happens if I, as a landowner, don’t agree with GMHA?
Can more than one trail user group “hold” a trail easement?
Can other trail user groups “layer” their own trail easements on top of an existing trail easement?
Can a parcel be conserved when a trail easement exists?
Can I get a federal tax deduction for donating a trail easement?
Is there a legal obligation to notify abutting landowners of a potential trail easement?
Will GMHA publish its trail maps or post them on the Internet?
Can you put me in touch with others who have already donated a trail easement to GMHA?
I am considering the donation of a trail easement; what is the process?
- Meet and discuss goals with landowner; review existing maps; walk trail(s)
- Customize a legal document that meets the needs of the landowner and GMHA
- Define the trail location and property boundary with GPS; create GIS map
- Agree on a maintenance plan between the landowner and GMHA GMHA works with a mapping professional who uses Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to produce data that becomes part of the legal easement document. GMHA absorbs this cost.
Costs to Landowner: The landowner is normally represented by his/her attorney for the easement donation. In addition to legal expense to review and approve the easement document, conduct title search, etc., the landowner may incur additional expense if a more detailed map, prepared by a licensed surveyor, is desired. (GMHA encourages the landowner to seek legal advice and review; however, this is entirely the landowner’s choice.)
To start the process contact Chelle Grald or call 802-457-1509 ext. 219.