Electronic Posting Coming To North Dakota This Fall
Landowners, you can forget about having to post signs on your land going forward. According to an article in the Bismarck Tribune, electronic posting is about to become law. Both the Senate on Wednesday, and House of Representatives on Thursday passed Senate Bill 2144 by very wide margins. This bill was brought on by Senator Robert Erbele, a Republican from Lehr, North Dakota.
Two years ago, North Dakota's trespass law or lack thereof, was one of the most contested topics in the legislature. Hunters said, North Dakota's hunting heritage was at on the line. Being able to hunt or fish on un-posted land was what made North Dakota unique. They also argued, that many farmers don't want to be bothered with phone calls, texts or visits by hunters seeking to get permission to hunt during the very busy harvest season. It was also noted that finding a place to hunt has become harder and harder each year with guides and outfitters tying up more and more land each year.
Landowners argued it's our right to know who's on our land. They also were tired of the burden of having to post their land over and over again. Time and the cost associated with it was a big argument. Tough to argue with either of those opinions.
The idea of e-posting came up at the end of the last session of the legislature. A committee began the study and 3 counties in North Dakota were actually live with the program last hunting season. That passed with flying colors and the technology was deemed to work.
Electronic posting is expected to be live state wide during the 2021-2022 hunting season. Landowners will be able to post their land online. Those who don't, and don't want to be bothered with phone calls asking for permission, a hunter may legally access the land without permission. I do know some landowners like this. I've even been yelled at before for asking for permission on non posted land. "It's not posted for a reason" is what I heard more than once. Now, if your land is already posted with metal signs, keep in mind a posted sign supersedes everything else. You have no need to post your land electronically. That's up to the landowner. You can do it the "old school" way or jump into the new technology. I think that was something that made this bill appealing to all, and why there was virtually no pushback.
I'm sure there will be some growing pains, but at least its common ground. The bill is on the Governor's desk and he's expected to sign.