Those who recreate on someone else’s land should read this study.

Pam Wells photo

Pam Wells photo

In response to my series columns about landowner relations, published here earlier this year, I got quite a few inquiries about the specifics of Maine’s private land access laws and traditions.

I heard a fascinating presentation by University of Maine Professor James Acheson on this topic at the annual meeting of the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine in 2006, and subsequently wrote about Acheson’s study of public access to privately owned land, published in the Maine Policy Review in 2006.

Although the study is 7 years old, it is still pertinent and should be read by all who enjoy recreation on privately owned land.

You can access Acheson’s study here.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.