Feb 10, 2024

Total Solar Eclipse Resources for Landowners


On April 8, people within a 124-mile-wide band in the state of Ohio will experience a total solar eclipse.
With this being such a unique experience, Ohio Farm Bureau has created resources for landowners to
help them prepare for an influx of people coming to rural parts of the state hoping to get a glimpse of
this rare phenomenon. Leah Curtis, policy counsel with Ohio Farm Bureau, talks about some of the
concerns this might bring up for landowners.

”From a legal perspective, I think we're seeing a lot of concerns and hearing a lot of concerns about

landowner liability. Maybe people are going to try to come on our property and watch the eclipse. They
might try to park on, you know, the side of the road. So from a legal perspective, a landowner's liability
to someone for an injury or some sort of harm that might happen is largely based on whether and to
what extent the landowner has what we call a ‘duty of care’ to that person.”
That “duty of care” depends heavily on if someone on your property is invited or not.
If a landowner is concerned about the possibility of trespassers, what can they do?

“Trespassing is always a big concern and it can be a little sticky to deal with, so one thing that you
can do is try to ensure your property is marked with signs. What a ‘no trespassing’ sign does is, it's
helpful to put people on notice that they're not welcome on your property. So well-meaning people,
people that may just have unintentionally stumbled upon your property. When they see those signs, they
are going to know, you know I'm not supposed to be here. It also just serves if there is a situation of a
lawsuit or a criminal charge that ‘no trespassing’ sign can help as evidence that that person should have
known they were trespassing.”
Physical barriers like temporary fences may be needed for additional safeguards and Curtis says make
sure all buildings on are properly locked and talk with local law enforcement if you have concerns about
people using your property as a front row seat for the eclipse.
Additional resources online at OhioFarmBureau.org include valuable information from Ohio Farm
Bureau, along with details about farm insurance, dealing with invited and uninvited guests, Ohio’s
Agritourism Law and the state’s Recreational User Statute from Ohio State’s Agricultural & Resource Law
Program, plus tips regarding risk and protecting your operation from an Ohio Farm Bureau Select
Partner.


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