Wyoming House bill targets hunter harassment on public land
If the land’s public, then what’s the deal with the fake No Trespassing signs? A new bill aims to “crack down” on individuals falsely claiming public land as private and harassing hunters who use that land, according to Cowboy State Daily.
House Bill 147 specifically prohibits “acts that restrict access to or use of state or federal land as specified.” Rep. Karlee Provenza (D-Laramie) is sponsoring the bill and said that it “would target only blatantly egregious instances of people trying to falsely post public land, or chase hunters off it.”
In Wyoming, landowners and hunters tend to respect one another and the land they use.
“A few people who are trying to intentionally claim that public land is their private land are giving good landowners a bad name,” said Rep. Karlee Provenza (D-Laramie), sponsor of House Bill 147 (HB147).
Under the Wyoming Constitution, hunting is considered a right. Provenza added that “any attempt to keep people from lawfully taking wildlife on public land should be treated as hunter harassment” Under state law, those found guilty of hunter harassment can be fined up to $10,000 for the first offense and up to $50,000 for repeat violations.
However, Rep. Donald Burkhart Jr. (R-Rawlins) noted that some landowners might be concerned over HB147, especially in “areas where property lines are unclear.” Eastern Wyoming, for example, has some old fencing still there from the days of the first settlers, which might not account for current boundary markers. Burkhart doesn’t want property owners to have to pay to move fence lines.
“The last time I built fence, it cost about $10,000 per mile,” said Burkhart.
No decision has been yet made on the bill. Stay tuned to GOHUNT for further updates.