As the demand for publicly accessible places to hunt and fish continues to grow, so have incidents where “no trespassing” signs have been placed to block public access to your public lands or waters. Many of us have seen it, some of us have reported it, but the question becomes, "What recourse do we as public land owners currently have to right this wrong and stop such acts of hunter harassment?"
As of right now? Not much. That’s why BHA chapters and others are working so hard in legislatures throughout the West to change this! Here’s just a few examples of how we’re engaged:
- In Wyoming, BHA has led the charge on a bill (HB0147) that would help safeguard the constitutional right to access public lands in order to hunt and fish and would put in place penalties for illegally posting "No Trespassing" signs on public lands. This bill passed the legislature with broad bipartisan support.
- In Montana, in past years, BHA has worked hard to address this same issue, by working to establish meaningful penalties for those who choose to illegally block public access on public lands or harass hunters. Montana BHA remains committed to this effort.
- In Idaho, BHA is backing a bill that adds illegal posting of public lands and waters to the list of hunter harassment offenses.
No individual should have the right to block you from accessing your public lands and waters through a legal public route. Regardless of whether the intent of the individual installing a “no trespassing” sign on your public lands is to put an outright prohibition on hunting on your public lands, or if their aim is to keep access to public lands to themselves, BHA is committed to working toward solutions that put an end to this egregious practice.
We hope you will stand with us in supporting solutions that improve public access to your public lands and waters!