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Thread: School Forest and School Property Questions

  1. #1
    Regular Member ArcticF7SnoPro's Avatar
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    School Forest and School Property Questions

    I live near a known school forest that holds class functions there on a normal basis which I am well aware that I can not carry within the 1000 foot zone when I get near there. I have researched it on google maps and it shows the property as being owned by the school district. Just today there was a patch of woods on the south side of one of the roads up from my house that had a school forest sign tucked back into the trees a little ways with a fair amount of folliage blocking the sign. I have lived in this area for 8 years and I have never known it to be there and just happened to notice it driving by and I had to turn around agian to verify it. The sign must have been there for a while because it has age to it. I looked it up on google maps and noting comes up for it being school district property. Also to note that it is only a patch of woods with no buildings of any sort on it and I have drove around other areas of this property and there are no other signs displaying that it is a school forest.

    Could this have been school property at one time that has been sold with the sign still standing? Could this be privatly owned property that has been donated? Also if it is school property can I still carry because there are no buildings to hold class functions? Even if this isn't school property, though it still has the sign on it stating it is a school forest, could that be a problem also because as a normal passer by I would have to presume that it is school prperty? With these questions being asked how would this affect a persons right to carry near this property? I figure I would ask before I go on assuming it is right or wrong.
    Last edited by ArcticF7SnoPro; 07-07-2010 at 10:37 PM.

  2. #2
    McX
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    local register of deeds might be able to help clarify who the current owner is.

  3. #3
    Founder's Club Member bnhcomputing's Avatar
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    I agree with Mcx. Portage County has there GIS stuff available online AND you can always call the zoning office to inquire.

  4. #4
    bhancock
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    Statute

    If it is only school premises the violation is a little different than if it is property on which a 1-12 grade or any combination of grades between them in a building is located. The violation is not a felony as far as I see. It still would be good to confirm ownership of property, unless the sign is in such poor repair that it could be not obvious to the average person, but that could also still be a risk depending on the attitude of local LEO.

    948.61(1)(b)
    (b) "School" means a public, parochial or private school which provides an educational program for one or more grades between grades 1 and 12 and which is commonly known as an elementary school, middle school, junior high school, senior high school or high school.

    948.61(1)(c)
    (c) "School premises" means any school building, grounds, recreation area or athletic field or any other property owned, used or operated for school administration.

    948.61(2)
    (2) Any person who knowingly possesses or goes armed with a dangerous weapon on school premises is guilty of:

    948.61(2)(a)
    (a) A Class A misdemeanor.

    948.61(2)(b)
    (b) A Class I felony, if the violation is the person's 2nd or subsequent violation of this section within a 5-year period, as measured from the dates the violations occurred.

  5. #5
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    oh wow! (hand smacking into forehead) I never even thought about that. We have a school district owned outdoor lab here in Janesville. I have always went there for mt biking. In my travels throughout it's trail system I have covered all of it's boundaries and such. I had noticed numerous times that there are deer hunting stands over privately owned fields on the edges of the property all over the place. I have also seen blinds set up in those same fields for turkey and such. I never even thought about how many private land owners (farmers mostly) that were possibly putting themselves in the realm of violating the GFSZ laws. This is def something that needs to be researched further and may be fodder for the pending letigation.

  6. #6
    bhancock
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    There is a provision in the statute for districts to allow hunting on school owned property. I do not if any have made any such allowances.
    948.61(3)(f)
    (f) Possesses or uses a bow and arrow or knife while legally hunting in a school forest if the school board has decided that hunting may be allowed in the school forest under s. 120.13 (38).

    948.605(2)(b)8.
    8. By a person who is legally hunting in a school forest if the school board has decided that hunting may be allowed in the school forest under s. 120.13 (38).
    Last edited by bhancock; 07-08-2010 at 12:29 AM. Reason: post statute

  7. #7
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    This is slighty off topic from the thread but it shows that at least one governor is sympathetic to the problem with the 1000 foot GFSZ. You have to scroll down a bit to get to the section concerning the GFSZ.


    http://www.nola.com/politics/index.s...bills_o_1.html

  8. #8
    Regular Member ArcticF7SnoPro's Avatar
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    I checked the property out on the Portage County GIS and it definatly is school property. I had even searched it on the school district web page without any info about this school forest, but the GIS confirms it. Definalty would be easy to find ones self in the wrong place without even knowing it. Guess I will have to avoid another area.

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