Murphy’s Law 2021 #4 Posting and Trespass

January 13, 2021

Tomorrow (Jan. 14, 2021) in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee will be a hearing on all four bills dealing with posting – both physical and electronic – and trespass laws. Senator Erbele, a rancher and farmer from south central North Dakota, has been taking the legislative lead on this for a few years now and has been determined to end the long running discussions between hunters and landowners when posting is the topic. Chaired by Senator Erbele, the interim committee comprised of many legislators, landowners and some sportsmen worked on this since May of 2019. Senate bill 2036 continues the study and pilot program which had a short time to see if the electronic posting methods would be workable. I believe Senator Erbele will be in favor. SB2037 is a bill that makes legibly signing posting signs both physical and electronic optional and strengthens criminal trespass while SB2038 allows for electronic posting. It is my understanding after speaking with two different committee attendees that SB2144 – introduced by Senator Erbele and fellow committee member Senator Patten amongst others – is a bill intended to replace SB2037 and potentially SB2038 as well. It is feared that SB2037 will meet fierce resistance because hunters would not know who to contact for permission. SB2144 states that legibly signing must happen yet still gives landowners what they want with strengthened criminal trespass law. Hopefully this can put the issue to rest.