Idaho Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is a leading voice and champion for access to public lands. Ensuring legal access to public lands and waters is at the core of our mission, and it is to that end that we strongly support House Bill 43. H0043 will amend Idaho code pertaining to hunter harassment, making it illegal to knowingly and without authorization post signs or place obstructions which restrict access to or use of public land, navigable streams, or valid easements unless the individual or entity posting the sign or creating the obstruction has a legal right to do so. We believe this bill can help to address an important issue that impacts our ability to legally access public lands and we need you to contact your legislators and urge them to support this legislation.
Not all of us have experienced it, but most of us know of someone who has – hunter harassment is extremely unpleasant and can not only ruin a great day afield but can prevent us from legally accessing our public lands. The loss of access is the number one reason hunters and anglers give up their hunting heritage. Ensuring hunters and anglers have legal recourse when prevented from accessing public lands is important to supporting our heritage and the constitutional rights of Idaho residents to hunt, fish, and trap.
Hunter harassment can take many forms. In some instances, it is instigated by individuals who are illegally posting public lands as private, or placing gates across roads that should be legally open to public use. The recourse hunters and anglers currently have in such situations is limited and confusing, and as a result there is often not clear direction as to how to respond to an individual who incorrectly tells them they are trespassing.
House Bill 43 helps to change that by amending existing statute under Section 36-1510 of Idaho Code, making willful acts of incorrect posting and obstruction to public lands, navigable streams, or valid easements illegal.
Hunting is a constitutional right in the state of Idaho and hunter harassment shouldn't be tolerated. Amending the current statute will protect public land hunters and help to eliminate the practice of illegal posting or obstructing public access by providing clear enforcement direction.
Hunting is a core Idaho value and private land owners are important community partners. The West is shrinking and we’ve experienced conflict in our community that erodes this important partnership. We need policy solutions that target bad actors and provide common sense solutions. We believe this bill does just that.