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Water System permit renewal - Delays even by USFS standards! 3 D. Vangsness DaveThe Mount Laguna Improvement Association water system which serves 175 cabins in the Descanso District on the Cleveland NF expired in 2011. We did ask for it renewal but have seen little progress. A SOPA was initiated by the FS that encompasses 3 other water systems in the district and its decision was signed in 2018. Fortunately we have not been billed for the expired permit since 2016. Who knows where the process is hung up at. I get tired of asking.Frank KalinoskiPresident MLIA
by F. Kalinoski
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Preventing Forest Fires in Our Summer Home Group 3 K. Mathews Thank you for your quick response and the resource recommendations for our Colorado forests, Desiree. I appreciate the information and will pass it along to our Colorado tracts.
by K. Mathews
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Road Maintenance Agreements with the FS 4 T. Kish We finally have an answer. The Forest Service won't require anyone to contribute to road maintenance, because 6 years ago we 12 cabin-owners decided NOT to form a legal association. It seemed too threatening a project. As a result, the road agreement contract was signed by one representative cabin-owner only, not the legal representative of an association. The association would have given the FS the teeth to compel permittees to cooperate financially, the FS road engineer tells us.Next step: the FS says funding for road crews is dwindling and we should anticipate paying for materials and for labor to apply materials in the near future. We're going to revisit whether we want to form an association. And if we stay informal, at least we'll adopt a policy of the treasurer notifying all 12 owners of who has paid and who has failed to pay into annual assessments.
by C. Breed
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Propane Fridge Recommendations 5 A. Froker About five years ago our vintage propane fridge gave up the ghost. Couldn't find anyone willing to work on it. I attempted to clean out the heat exchangers and thought I was vacuuming a mouse nest when I realized it was asbestos. Sigh... That's when we purchased a new Crystal Cold unit from Gas Fridge Depot. We added a high altitude orifice as we are at 9,500ft and have been very happy with it's performance. The one nit I have is the inside light, powered by two D cell batteries, is not sufficient. I found a light socket converter and put in a small watt LED bulb. The D cell batteries did not have enough voltage to power the LED light, so I replaced the D batteries with two 9V batteries in series. The new setup is much brighter inside. Happy hunting!Edit: Looking at the website it appears they now come with an LED interior light, so it appears this is fixed on the newer units.
by M. Norder
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Trust Transfer of Permit Upon Death of Trustees 4 B. Potter Because cabin trusts are typically part of an overall estate planning process by a cabin owner, reasons for placing a cabin in a trust will vary by personal circumstances.  That said, a common reason for placing a cabin in a trust is to bypass the probate process when a cabin owner passes away.  Because probate varies by state law, owners from some states (where probate is more complex or expensive) are more motivated than those in other states to bypass probate. Another common reason for using a trust as an ownership entity is when a cabin is owned by multiple parties to define the rights and responsibilities of the parties. I'll also mention the USFS is not entirely consistent regarding their review and acceptance of cabin trust terms, thus the need to discuss your specific cabin trust terms with the attorney who created it. For more information, please reference the Cabin Trusts / Multi-Ownership page under the Resources menu.
by D. Gann
Sunday, January 19, 2020
Cabin Appearance, etc. 1 R. Maycock Anyone involved in owning a cabin in the Recreation Residence program may be a member of National Forest Homeowners (NFH). While we don't require you to do anything in particular to your cabin, we encourage good citizenship and compliance with the Forest Service rules for owning a cabin. Membership can help permit holders understand their permits and the Forest Service, which inevitably leads to members being stronger permit-holders, as well as more educated in their rights.Thanks!Sharon Leach, NFH Executive Director
by S. Leach
Monday, December 30, 2019
NFH Support with Ranger Disagreements 1 R. Maycock Dear Richard,You can count on NFH to assist with information, contacts and other guidance when you run into problems. Typically, we want to empower our members with factual information to use in cases where a local ranger interprets the rules inconsistently and not in alignment with the special use permit and other forest rules. If the situation affects cabin owners more generally, we may step in and discuss with forest-level, regional or Washington Office contacts in the Forest Service.At times, a local dispute may be so challenging that NFH would make a call to the ranger or forest supervisor, but we really feel strongly that empowering each permit holder and local tract association builds strength and relationship locally, which helps the entire program and permit-holders. If you are currently having trouble, let us know and maybe we can assist.All the Best,Sharon Leach, NFH Executive Director
by S. Leach
Monday, December 30, 2019
Invasive aquatic Eurasian milfoil 2 M. Chinn P.S. I will add only that in my limited research, the best approach appears to be lots of volunteer hours and lots of manual pulling. It has the greatest impact. Then, there are some species that will eat it, and as long as they are not able to reproduce, these other fish or whathaveyou that may eat the plant can be contained. Thanks for your question -Sharon Leach, NFH Executive Director
by S. Leach
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Are maps of tracts available? 3 J. Mcloskey I'll echo Dave's suggestion above that you should obtain your tract map from the Forest Service and keep with your cabin records. Every tract was surveyed by the USFS and the lots authorized for the recreation residence program, even though permits may not have been issued for every lot to build on. It's important to understand where the undeveloped lots are in case there's ever a need to invoke the "in-lieu" lot provision of your permit. My experience is some counties have incorporated these maps into the county's GIS system for property tax or emergency service purposes, but many have not.  The USFS is the official source of the tract maps.  The example above is very typical of what a USFS tract map looks like.  Many have not been updated since the original survey.....80+ years ago!
by D. Gann
Sunday, November 24, 2019
no trespassing sign 4 R. Paradies To add to the dialog above, the Forest Service frowns upon any signage which attempts to restrict general public access to National Forest lands, including our lots.  Since the cabin is your private property, you can post a sign identifying your cabin as "private property" and you may also be allowed to say something like "no public access allowed" or "keep off" or "no trespassing" if the sign is clear that it applies to your private improvements, but not the lot.
by D. Gann
Sunday, November 24, 2019
Camping by the public on our lots 7 J. Primrose Responding to a couple of posts above.  Regarding Ian's question above, to my knowledge there is no national or regional policy regarding the specific distance disperse camping is allowed from a developed site. Each Forest has a certain amount of leeway to establish guidelines or rules for such things. I've seen documents or flyers generated by different Forests similar to the one posted by Desiree above to inform the general public regarding acceptable practices for dispersed camping.  Responding to D. Giebelhausen's post, if the bridge is private property of the cabin owners, I believe you could place a "private property" sign on the bridge, but not so sure you could place a "no trespassing" sign.  As a general rule, the Forest Service frowns upon signs which appear to restrict access to forest lands by the general public. Lockable gates are generally authorized to reduce automoble traffic for security purposes, which is probably the best way to prevent or reduce traffic on your bridge, but doesn't prevent the general public from walking across the bridge.
by D. Gann
Sunday, November 24, 2019
Library 2 W. Schrader The USFS also has an online library with thousands of digital archives. Not sure if you will find what you’re looking for, but here’s the link -
by D. Condit
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Cabin Incidental Rental 2 M. Norder Yes it does, thanks for the information.
by M. Norder
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Why form a local tract association? 6 K. Shea Thanks so much for sending examples. This will help us immensely!
by M. Norder
Monday, September 16, 2019
Tax on Sale of cabin 2 T. Blaesing Thanks so much. This is very helpful
by T. Blaesing
Sunday, September 15, 2019
How to get a Sign identifying our Tract 3 L. Eckman By all means, we encourage sharing information from this website with other cabin owners.
by D. Gann
Saturday, August 10, 2019
Security Gate - maintenance and access 6 C. Randall My cabin is in Oregon. We also have security gates and have been told that the roads are our responsibility for the same reason noted above. We have not had major issues with the roads but keep a gravel pile within the tract and ask cabin owners to fill pot holes as they occur. Our winters are relatively mild, with snow blocking access to all but high-clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicles, only a few times since I've owned my cabin. I find it hard enough to get the Forest Service to maintain the main access road (fill pot holes/paint lines), which serves our cabin tract, three Forest Service campgrounds, and another special-uses facility, never mind the roads within the tract.
by R. Dwyer
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Shared Water Systems with Forest Service - Need Info 1 D. La Maggiore On the Cleveland NF we have asked the FS if we could connect the small 7-cabin Shrine Tract to the USFS water system in the adjacent Laguna Campground . Despite given an example of a shared water system in the Inyo NF, the proposal was rejected by the District Ranger because the Laguna water system was designed for sharing and the administrative burden to administer the water service.To the DR's credit, he is entertaining an alternative proposal to allow the MLIA cabin tract water system organization to share a new waterline trench in the upcoming campground renovation project and allow the MLIA to run a pipeline from the nearby Laguna Tract to the Shrine Tract.
by F. Kalinoski
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Cabin Tract Self Inspections - Has FS asked anyone else to do this? 3 D. La Maggiore Apart from Roy's great example and the questionnaire mentioned by Doug, I don't currently know of other tracts or cabin groups that perform self-inspections. But the topic has been raised at NFH. Particularly with regard to historic cabins. Where the USFS has not been able to complete historic assessments in some forests, local tract associations have banded as a community and hired an approved outside historic consultant. That's a step toward self-management. When Mike Kaczor, former lead in the Heritage Department of the USFS Washington Office, was on our NFH Board, we talked about whether some historic districts might be able to self-manage through the local tract association. While having this authority/responsibility might put pressure on your association and thus suggest a bit more in the way of incorporation and insurance coverage, there are advantages to developing this kind of public-private partnership in the right circumstances. If and when we speak with further leaders of cabin associations who have been given this opportunity, we'll ask them more about their self-management experiences. Glad to hear it was enjoyable and informative for Roy's tract.  - Sharon Leach, NFH Executive Director
by S. Leach
Thursday, July 11, 2019
Permit Limitations on Cabin Square Footage 4 S. Karr The square footage limits and how they are to be measured is set in the Special Uses Handbook Supplement for those regions that have adopted Supplements -- presently that includes Regions 4, 5 and 6, which are the Intermountain, Pacific Southwest and Pacific Northwest Regions, respectively. These Supplements provide important detail regarding the building, maintenance and use of Recreation Residence Cabins. The R5 Supplement [Supplement No. 2709.11-2016-2] establishes a maximum floor space of 1,400 square foot, which includes ""...both floors of a two story residence (excluding loft which is defined as an unpartitioned open space under a roof) and, where they already exist, authorized guest cabins and garages with living space."  The R6 Supplement [2709.11-2012-1] establishes a maximum size for the dwelling of 1,200 square feet measured on the outside of the foundation, plus a loft. The loft size shall not be included in the total square footage and should be two-thirds or less of the ground floor square footage. As has been noted by other respondents, Forests can set smaller square footage limits, but not larger than their regional regulations.
by R. Glauthier
Monday, July 1, 2019