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Landowners should know land

7:43 PM, Feb 28, 2011   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Owning land can be a pleasure or a burden.  The Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine (SWOAM) encourages landowner to be active and engaged.  It will make owning land more pleasurable and profitable.

"It sounds sort of silly, but a lot of people don't know exactly where their land is," said Tom Doak of SWOAM.  His group tries to educate members, who generally own ten acres or more, of the ten biggest mistakes that property owners make.

They are, in general terms:

1. Not knowing what you own. Not knowing the specific boundaries or the best and greatest use of the property.

2. Being afraid to do anything for fear of violating a law, impacting the environment or hurting wildlife.

3. Misunderstanding Maine's liability law.  Maine has strong protections for land owners who are not liable unless they charge a fee or are malicious.  Landowners can still be sued, but the strong law also requires the losing plaintiff to pay the landowner's legal fees should should the landowner prevail.  This law means very few cases are ever brought against a landowner.

4. Not doing estate planning. 

5. Paying too much income tax.

6. Not understanding current use.

7. Failing to keep good records.

8. Not understanding how to work with foresters and loggers or the difference between the two.

9. Not understanding posting law.

10. Not staying informed.

For more information on the Small Woodlot Owners of Maine, click on the link.


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