Doug Leier: North Dakota to implement electronic posting test program
If you are a landowner in North Dakota wanting hunters to help trim coyote or Canada goose numbers, law allows hunting and access without permission if the land is not posted. Conversely, if a landowner wants to restrict access or trespassing, the requirement is to post the land as “No Hunting” or “No Trespassing.”
The debate in landowner and hunter discussions has continued in the North Dakota legislature for decades with different bills addressing the same concerns for generations. The last legislative session created an interim study with a directive to move forward with an electronic posting test program.
This fall, hunters in Ramsey, Richland and Slope counties are encouraged to use the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s online map resources to help evaluate electronic posting.
Private land that is posted electronically for the 2020-21 hunting season is viewable on a computer or smartphone, or can be printed from the Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.
“Right now, there are not laws available that address any penalties, so landowners still have to post their land this season,” said Brian Hosek, with North Dakota Game and Fish Department administrative services. “But if this law passes, legislation would look at addressing those issues and putting forth the laws that would be required to implement this fully.”
A recurring landowner point in this issue is the cost and effort to post lands. Hosek points to advances in technology to work to alleviate this while improving contact for hunters.
“So, looking at a means of using technology to address some of these concerns is where the electronic posting came from,” he said. “It really gives another option so landowners can continue to post their lands physically. There are other landowners who may not want to post their land so they can continue to do so.”
A benefit of electronic posting is the ability for hunters to determine a point of contact for the landowner, or authorized individual who posted the land. Point of contact is included on the Department’s map service application. This may include email and phone.
Hunters are reminded to be respectful of landowners and be mindful of their daily schedules, as farmers will be busy with fall duties, including harvesting crops, moving cattle and hauling bales.
Hunters using the application will help evaluate electronic posting as an option for landowners to post land into the future.
The electronic posting study will conclude with a brief survey. The information collected will help the North Dakota Legislature’s Interim Natural Resources Committee determine the usability of the electronic posting application and provide direction for changes required to existing law.
A total of 79 landowners in the three counties are participating in the pilot study by electronically posting their land, totaling 268 parcels and 38,600 acres.
After this year’s hunting seasons conclude, surveys of hunters will help the interim legislative committee evaluate the program and determine the next step in the process. More information on electronic posting is available by visiting the Game and Fish website.