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Old 07-07-2011, 08:11 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Hampshire, England
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Is there anywhere you can still "stake a claim" to land?

This thread mentions squatting on unoccupied land in northern Canada but implies that even if you build a cabin out in the sticks, you don't legally have a claim to the land.

I know that in the past you could stake out your claim in the USA, and the Homestead Act was only abolished in the 1970s, but it seems those days are over. Are there any parts of the world where (assuming you're a citizen of the country in question) you can go out into the middle of nowhere, bang some stakes in the ground and become the legal owner of your 20 acres of wilderness?
Old 07-07-2011, 08:58 AM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 27,254
It isn't exactly the same thing but there are a number of places in the U.S. that will give you free land if you build on it and occupy it. I recently read an article on a number of them. They are generally places that are depopulating like very rural parts of the Dakotas. The land isn't worth very much but they have plenty and are happy to find someone who wants it with some string attached.
Old 07-07-2011, 09:05 AM
An Gadaí An Gadaí is offline
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:12 AM
DCnDC DCnDC is offline
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Location: The Dueling Grounds
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Here's news story from couple of years ago, and here's a link to Kansas' program. Small towns in "flyover country" are becoming ghost towns because the young people all move away the first chance they get and the population eventually just dies off. So they offer free land (provided you build on it and live in it for a certain amount of time, typically a year or so) and other incentives like money towards a down payment on a house if you have children.

If you can afford to move out into the country and earn a lot less income it can be a hell of a deal.
Old 07-07-2011, 11:03 AM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Location: Panama
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Here in Panama much of the land in more remote areas is national land, that is, owned by the government. You can still go out and stake a claim in such areas by clearing some land (although you are supposed to have a permit from the environmental agency for clearing). These rights are called derechos posesorios ("possessor's rights"; basically squatter's rights) and don't constitute full title to the land. They can be converted to title by payment of a fee. Many campesinos can't afford these, so a lot of land is still held under derechos posesorios. However, the government has a campaign for campesinos to title their land.

I think that other countries in Latin America may have similar systems.
Old 07-07-2011, 01:00 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CentralArkansas
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I think Alaska may still offer land claims.

I saw a documentary about modern pioneers that tried settling in the Alaska wilderness. Nearly all the families gave up after six or so years. The grind of living in such isolated and dangerous conditions wears them down. Their kids get older and they need an education in town. I can't recall if the land was claimed or if they paid for it.

Last edited by aceplace57; 07-07-2011 at 01:01 PM.


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