The trespassing bill SB 2315 was held last Friday in the Brynhild Haugland room. The room was packed to capacity with folks from all across the state, and the hearing went on for well over 5 hours. All who came to testify had the chance to do so.
By Senator Don Schaible
There was about 50/50 as far as support and oppose. Most of us are receiving many very passionate emails on both sides of the issue. Currently there is lots of work going on within these groups, your Ag Committee, and the sponsor of the legislation.
This bill is just like what I sponsored last session that fell short on the Senate floor. This bill would be just like what most other states have already where all private land would be considered posted and hunter would require permission to enter. Sounds like common sense, but currently in North Dakota, unless land is legally posted, hunters have a legal right to enter and hunt. There will be committee work and several proposed amendments, so this legislation will not come out of committee this week.
One idea that I also offered two years ago was to create an online app for land owners to designate there land as posted or open for hunting. This app would also provide sportsman and women quick access to what is posted and what land is not. It would also make available property owner contact information if they want. I have been asked to continue work on this idea and that work has begun. This was considered a compromise to provide less frustration to landowners and better access for hunters. This law would also sever the difference between criminal trespass and hunter trespass and would consider all land posted for criminal trespass. This is what created so much trouble in prosecuting trespasser in the Dakota Access Pipeline protest. If this bill would pass, criminal trespass would be easy to define, would not have the requirement of land needed to be correctly posted with signs, and would make prosecution much easier. I see a lot of benefits in this legislation and hope that positive work continues, and we see this become law. By the time you read this article, we will have completed 25 days of this session. All bills need to be complete before day 32 to get them completed by cross-over, which is February 22nd. Most committee are ahead of that schedule.
I would like to thank everyone that has taken the time to contact us with there concerns ideas or questions. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Don Schaible