What are the membership options?
Supporting Membership, an optional step on the membership track, was created so people can support and feel connected to our Community and facilitate the mission and goals even if current circumstances prevent joining us full-time.
Supporting Members sign the Membership Covenant and Liability Waiver, and contribute dues of $200 for a year (also billable at $20/month). They can camp on Community Land with no charge for a week for each six months of supporting membership. They receive expanded access to the Community newsletter and online forums, are emailed any calendar of community events and Council and committee minutes, and can attend Council and committee meetings as an observer. (Under certain circumstances, a Supporting Member can also serve on committees.)
Exploring Membership, the first official step toward Full Membership usually comes before Provisional Membership. An Exploring Member usually lives on Community Land in order to get to know community members and practices, while exploring whether to make a long-term commitment. All non-member resident fees and community service obligations apply to Exploring Members, plus a non-refundable $200 monthly fee, of which up to $2,000 may be credited to the Joining Fee if Full Membership is pursued. Exploring Members give four hours per week of community service to approved projects. The Exploring Membership period can last from several months to a year. After a year, the Exploring Member would (1) apply for provisional membership, (2) seek a different status, (3) request an extension (for extenuating circumstances), or (4) leave.
An Exploring Membership may also be used to pay the Joining Fee in installments. In this scenario, participation in community activities or service would apply only when living on Community Land.
Provisional Membership is the last step on the way to full or associate membership. It’s a 6-month or longer period during which an aspiring member can better understand what Full Membership in the Community means, and community members can get to know and assess the Provisional Member better.
Full Membership is conferred when the Community approves a Provisional Member. Full Members (“members”) can live on any Community Land full-time, come and go as they please, and enjoy our beautiful biomes and social life. They take physical, cultural, and financial responsibility for developing our aspiring culture — a decades-long, maybe lifelong, ecological project. As a Full Member you can live on any Community Land (or can live elsewhere); _____. If you’re an active member, you have full decision-making rights in Council and committees.
What are a Full Member’s rights and privileges?
- Enjoy our beautiful mountain forest setting and the social life of our village.
- Help build a new culture over time with other like-minded people.
- Attend Council Meetings, participate in discussion, and if an active member, be counted for quorum, and approve, stand aside from, or stand in the way of Council decisions;
- Draft proposals for Council (usually through a committee); receive all Council and committee minutes, by email or posted, and all inter-community discussion on email; receive the community newsletter; participate in community Threshings, Heartshares, and other group processes.
- Live on Community Land. Options include living in a community earth lodge (or other community shelter); building a new earth lodge (or other node-appropriate community structure) or in a trailer in the Caravan Park (for up to five years); or camping temporarily. You may also live off-site.
- Have an indoor cat or dog, or one confined to your homesite (but not in the Hut Hamlet). You cannot have a free-ranging cat or dog unless you get explicit Council permission.
- If you wish, own and operate a business here, and/or an agricultural project.
- Co-own all Community property and common facilities.
- Obtain a full, common-wall, or compact homesite, individually or with other Community members. You can also lease a business or agricultural site.
- Build a home on a homesite (individually owned or shared with others); build on a business site.
What are a Full Member’s responsibilities?
- Abide by all Community agreements and policies, as outlined in documents, Council Decisions, and committee decisions.
- Contribute 1,500 hours (or their monetary equivalent) in the first ten years of membership, with fifty hours a year minimum.
- Pay a one-time Joining Fee, paid when first becoming a Provisional Member. The fee is subject to change. See What it Costs.
- Pay annual fees and assessments. These include (1) Dues and fees that currently range from about $0 to $500 a year, depending on State of residence you use and whether you have a car on the land and (2) a property tax assessments for your personal buildings.
- Choose among several options for paying your site fee.
- Additional food and upkeep fees apply if you eat at the Hut Hamlet Kitchen. Be affiliated with a homesite on Community Land, either by obtaining one yourself, or by joining with another full member who already holds a homesite. Up to four people can go in together on a full site (roughly a quarter-acre); two people can go in on a compact site (about half the size of a full site) or on a commonwall site.
- If you want to obtain a homesite, pay a one-time Site Fee. The compact Site Fee is 60% of the current full Site Fee. The fees are subject to annual cost-of-living adjustments. See What it Costs.
What about my partner?
Membership is individual. The amount of land purchased by the community is calculated for a specific human population density, and not legal or nominal status of human relationships. Your partner can also apply for Membership.
What about my children?
If you have children who will live with you on Community Land, their behavior and any special needs will be taken into account when we consider your membership. In other words, we would want to feel good about your children too.
What about dogs or other non-human animal “pets”?
We encourage total liberation for human and non-human animals, and we do have prohibitions against pets. There are also concerns for the complex relationships with the surrounding ecosystem, and we do not wish to introduce canine, feline, reptilian, or avian predators into the biome. Further, many of the items (e.g., dried fish) and activities (e.g., brain-tanning hides) on Community Land are seen as delicious food to many animals besides humans.
It’s sometimes possible to have a dog on Community Land; however this exception is limited, and typically only applicable to sled dogs in northern climates. While Full Members may have dogs on Community Land under certain conditions, a Provisional Member who wants to bring a dog during the Provisional Membership period would have to get special permission first, and such a request may or may not be granted. After becoming a Full Member, the dog would be considered for acceptance separately from the person, and the dog’s behaviors and impact on the community would be taken into consideration. If there are no concerns about the dog, there might be a provisional term for it as well.
Become a Supporting Member
- Support our work to create a demonstration and model hunter-gatherer community.
- Receive emailed newsletters, committee and Council minutes, and events calendar.
- Enjoy two weeks free camping per year
- Attend community events and Council Meetings as an observer.