A place to talk about using GPS and Google Earth technology to map the location and features waterfalls, parks and other interesting local features.
It's amazing what information one can get with one simple click on the internet, isn't it.
I rely on the responsibility of my site visitors to make decisions regarding private property on their own. I take no responsibility for what people do with the information provided here.
As the site continues to grow, more and more information about private property will be posted.
A map to a waterfall can be just as useful in preventing trespassing as it is harmful to it.
IE. Buttermilk falls is on private property. Which one? There are quite a few around the state. Well, the goal of the site is to list the falls with a map and a notice of private property, so one does not have to guess or just visit without the proper information.
You respect landowner's rights, we get it, but perhaps it's time you stopped policing people continually about it and try approaching the issue from a different perspective.
The maps will stay. Private Property notices will continue to be posted whenever I am notified of updates.
Perhaps it's time you talked with a few lamdowners to see how they feel.
This weekend at waterfall owners cabin Ontario County I met with 9 owners. I have been asked by most of them not to give out their names and address.
A while ago a landowner emailed me and asked if I knew of his waterfall. I replied that I did not. He replied “With an understanding towards privacy concerns, I'd be happy to give you a tour.” I took him up on the offer. Turns out he had two falls on his land a 25 and a 50 footer.
In the course of building the site, yeah, I will probably communicate more with landowners, but my time is limited and right now I can't drop everything and start knocking on random doors and bothering people.
I'm not really interested in seeking people out to bother them about getting their falls into my survey. If they see my site as it grows and like what they see. Perhaps they would like a virtual tour created of their falls, then sure... I will do it if convenient. - they would have to contact me.
I don't plan on intentionally building a profile page for any private property sites (other than those that can be seen from public property), and if and when I do it will be different from the Public ones (as it will not be structured like a visitors guide) Containing only description and photos.
I am considering however changing the maps to private locations to topographic versions and not Google maps, since it is fairly easy to get driving directions through Google. But it's down a few spots in my list.
Right now I'm working on the "Lakes" section and profiles for Taughannock and Enchanted Hollow Falls. I also have on the "to-do" and article about private property. I could write this myself (perhaps in the winter), but if you can afford the time, perhaps copywriting one for the site? I will post it on the articles section and link to it when referring to private falls and perhaps at the footer of each page. Of course on that page we can include a plug for your site or whatever books/items you would also like to plug. I feel the best way to keep people from trespassing is to state the case as to why. Education is a pillar for why this site exists. Instread of just telling people a site is private why not we back that up with more info and some scenarios?
Last edited by Matt on Fri Jun 27, 2008 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fix spelling mistake
I asked this waterfall owner if I could give you information on his waterfall. He has always been quite willing to let me and a few friensd see the falls. I've known him for 5 years.
Thanks for asking. I prefer you didn't give him our site. We've been having a lot of problems with trespassing, litter, and the like and are a bit off of having visitors. Give me a call or email if you're going to be in the area...
I have been wanting to do a page for my site on private property issues for a while. Just can't seem to find the time. I'll see what I can do.
At one waterfall where I was denied access the owner asked me "What gives people the idea that they have the right to see my waterfall?" He has had a lot of trouble with people damaging his crops as they take a short cut across his fields. I told him I had no right to see his waterfall and that was why I was asking his permission. I thanked him for his time and left. Last time I drove by he had a posted sign every 25 feet or so and also signs from the county sheriffs office warning of arrest for trespassing.
"What gives people the idea that they have the right to see my waterfall?"
I agree with this sentiment, which is why I don't really have the intention of seeking out people's waterfalls.
Unfortunaltey people do have the right to know of a waterfall and to know its location.
It is not uncommon for landowners to sign conservation easements in order to perseeve the land, have it managed, and resposibility lifted for accidents, while allowing themselves and others to continue to enjoy it.
Sometimes that is an option for both frustrated and more genersous landowners.
Grimes Glen being a more recent example.
Devil's Advocate mode on:
Is DeLorme's NYS Atlas & Gazetteer in the wrong for printing the word "falls" on a stream at the point in which a falls exists? What about a driveway? Both are privately owned cartographic features yet are in printed form for the world to see. I'm sure we all agree that this "public" information is not a "free pass" to trespass. It just just that, information. I know of at least four New York State waterfall websites which list falls that happen to be on private property. They just merely explain, "here be a falls."
I know of no New York State waterfall websites that do not list at least one falls which happens to be on private property.
I have thought over the issue thoroughly.
I think I will continue to post maps, but I will alter they way it is done.
I think this will be beneficial to both landowners and us visitors.
My philosophy is that “There is no sense in collecting information if nothing will be done with it.”
All sites learned about will be listed if deemed worthy.
If it is known to us that a site is private, it will remain listed.
It will be listed with a BOLD “Private Property” in the description which will be linked to a pop-up disclaimer about trespassing.
In addition, a new column will be added to the waterfall table. It will be labeled “Access”
It will have an icon or letter indicating its access status. It will be located to the right of the map link. It will be a “?” for those unknown, “X” for private. “U” for inaccessible, “R” for roadside and “P” for public… or something along those lines. Each one will link to a pop up, further explaining. No “Posted, ASK” contact info will be ever provided on the site. Landowners can consider these online “POSTED” signs. People are going to search for a site they hear about and find a site they want to see, the landowner now has a place on the web saying this particular site is POSTED. Rather than the many other websites that just give location information. It’s 100x better for everyone.
Google Maps for known private sites will not be listed. People can get driving directions from these, which could encourage them to visit. Unless they are roadside or visible from public property, they will be replaced.
USGS topo maps will be substituted for educational reasons in the meantime. These topo maps may or may not be limited to the general area, I haven’t decided if they will contain pinpoints to falls. I feel seeing topo maps has educational value. You can learn a lot about watershed and geology from topo maps and knowing waterfall locations. Also the USGS indexes many of these locations on the web anyways. Like I said, it’d be better people found my info than the other resources on the web.
A “fair” article will be authored describing private property issues. Giving warnings and guidelines. This will be always linked on the home page and in the footer of each page on the entire site.
A new page will be created for landowners to read about the site policies, how they can benefit from it, and more importantly how to contact us if they would like a virtual tour made of their waterfall/gully. A profile page template will be created for private land, which does not provide location information and overtly disclaims there is no access and that a virtual tour is all they can see of the falls.
I probably should create a real page as an example, but I don’t have contact with landowners yet. If you can help me out there it would be great.
These changes will take place throughout 06. I will be working on public profiles in the meantime.
I also feel Falzguy is guiding asset in this area and hope he sticks around as we grow to help answer our questions and offer guidance. But sometimes multiple warnings come off as a little tired and condescending. We are adults here, making decisions for ourselves, and only with the right “guidance” and “information” can we learn about the issues and make sure the decisions we make are respectful to others.
Since your first email on May 12 I have talked with 28 private landowners. I asked how they would feel about putting location information and access maps of their waterfall on a web site. The results are below.
2 OK, as long as there are not too many people.
1 OK, just as long as it doesn’t turn onto a circus.
1 I’ll have to talk to a lawyer about it.
1 I'll have to see what my wife thinks.
23 others told me no and gave me various reasons as to why.
One of the most interesting comments was “No. This is private private property. I don’t want a lot of strangers here.” Others mentioned vandalism, littering and liability concerns. Another owner put it to me this way. “If you had a pool in your backyard and came home and found several people you did not know swimming in it would you be upset? Well that’s how I feel when I see uninvited people swimming at my falls.” One landowner said "No one takes the time to ask permission." Several owners I talked with feel like your site is saying "Look, there's a waterfall hear. Go visit it. Hears an access map and GPS data. I have no idea who the landowner is or what the access policy is."
I am more that willing to contribute information to your project on publicly accessible waterfalls. A credit line and link to my site is all I ask for in return. I have spent a lot of effort and time over the years collecting data on waterfalls. If my data is going to be used by someone I would like credit for it. I have been ripped off several times and I may be somewhat overprotective of the data. For me to contribute info (correct name and access info) to your Waterfalls page I would need the following link posted near the top of the page at least equal to the size of your advertisers.
Scott A. Ensminger of the Western New York Waterfall Survey has contributed information to this page.
The blue text would be the link. ( http://geocities.com/falzguy.geo/ )
Please let me know your thoughts on this matter.