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Private property rights shot down in SD House

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Liberty Belle

Well-known member
Feb 10, 2005
Reaction score
northwestern South Dakota
I'm going to post those who voted for SB122 and those who voted against private property rights in the SD House of Representatives again for any of you who may have missed it. If any of you have any of the legislators who voted against this in your district, I hope you make them realize what a dumb thing they just did.

SB 122: FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to restrict the entry of conservation officers onto certain private land without permission.

Was read the second time.

Rep. Dykstra moved the previous question.

Which motion prevailed.

The question being "Shall SB 122 pass?"

And the roll being called:

Yeas 27, Nays 43, Excused 0, Absent 0
Bradford; Brunner; Davis; Deadrick; Dennert; Garnos; Gassman; Glover; Hackl; Halverson; Hanks; Hargens; Haverly; Hills; Howie; Jensen; Klaudt; Lange; Nelson; Pederson (Gordon); Putnam; Rave; Rhoden; Sigdestad; Turbiville; Valandra; Van Norman
Boomgarden; Buckingham; Cutler; Dykstra; Elliott; Faehn; Frost; Fryslie; Gillespie; Glenski; Haley; Heineman; Hennies; Hunhoff; Hunt; Jerke; Koistinen; Kraus; Krebs; Kroger; McCoy; McLaughlin; Miles; Murschel; Novstrup; O'Brien; Olson (Ryan); Peters; Rausch; Roberts; Rounds; Schafer; Sebert; Street; Thompson; Tidemann; Tornow; Van Etten; Vehle; Weems; Wick; Willadsen; Speaker Michels

So the bill not having received an affirmative vote of a majority of the members-elect, the Speaker declared the bill lost.
Short sighted idiots. What I'd like to know is how do you prosecute ANY trespass?

You asked me some time ago what an orchestrated test case would be, and I've still not responded because I don't have a good plan. I'll describe objectives of a test case. First, we need a clear example that a court couldn't disagree with. Let me say the privacy issue is the wrong law. I think we're really talking about a taking of many sorts. So the Law we're asking to be affirmed would need to be concerned with an uncompensated taking not privacy.

What if ranchers posted signage:
"access restricted only to biohazard free vehicles. all access must be immediately preceeded by a biohazard compliance inspection by a liscenced and bonded inspector."
Your ranch and mine both have an economic interest in avoiding all the e colis, scours, leafy spurge, cockle burrs, blue iongue, anaplas, and the list goes on and on. Realistically, we damn sure don't need some idiot dragging scours on his tires from one ranch to the next or weed pests in the grill. So west river ranchers convene a biohazard conferance, create signage, and even a compliance protochal, complete with TESTING REMEDY FOR RESURRECTING AN AREA AFTER INTRUSION BY A NONCOMPLIANT VEHICLE. It could cost a hell of alot of money to hire a bonded company to guarantee a noncomlpiant pickup didn't drop off a biohazard in a 4 section pasture. What if it cost $25,000. we have real damages and a test case that would get more favorable review at every elevated step in the court system

I'm not sure if this scenerio is the best route to defining a tresspass as a taking, but you can get the idea.
Thanks for your ideas Brad. Most of this goes over my head, but it certainly requires "thinking out of the box". I can't believe all the hunter groups that swallowed John Cooper's horse manure whole. They are the ones who are the losers here, not the ranchers. We don't need hunters if it means putting up with trespass by GF&P every time we agree to allow hunting.
Does it help that my no hunting/no trespass signs say: "USFWS and GF&P, this means YOU!"? I certainly don't want them to be able to claim they didn't realize they weren't wanted. Can you think of any other protection we can put in place right now? I'm trying to put that mad looking little devil picture here. :twisted:
The socialist fishing guru, Tony Dean, posted this on his website today. Isn't it interesting that a strong supporter of liberal Democrat Tom Daschle shows up as mouthpiece for our supposedly conservative Gov. Rounds? This isn't so surprising when you remember that GF&P Sec. John Cooper was caught taking Eric Washburn, Daschle's aid who lives in DC, hunting using a resident hunting license. Although both men knew they were breaking the law, nothing happened to either of them. Interesting?

Open Fields and the Future

Now that the attempt to do away with the "Open Fields" doctrine, that makes it possible for Conservation Officers to go onto private land to check for game law compliance is mostly settled, what's the aftermath and where do we go from here.

First, let's pass out a few accolades. Our thanks and congratulations to Gov. Mike Rounds for his leadership on this issue. Though we were aware of his own personal lobbying, we were asked to keep it out of the headlines. However, lawmakers Eric Bogue and Larry Rhoden made it public in an interview with the Rapid City Journal. The Governor's willingness to stand up for what's right is a mark of leadership.

Next, Chris Hesla and Dave Nauman of the SD Wildlife Federation deserve congratulations. They have evolved into one of the most effective lobbying teams in the legislature. Most important, they have taken the SD Wildlife Federation from an organization concerned primarily with hunter rights to one more concerned with conservation and what's best for South Dakota. They have been diligent, persistent, realistic and honest.

Hats off also to John Cooper, Secretary of Game, Fish & Parks. He's never wavered and he's bent over backward to work with west river landowners. He's also deserving of recognition for working on policies that result in more professionalism among conservation officers.

And finally, the sportsmen of South Dakota deserve recognition. They flooded lawmakers with emails and phone calls, and that made the difference in a House of Representatives that passed the same legislation a year ago.

Certainly the burden is on the conservation officers themselves, and I will say that most operate in a highly professional manner.

But there's something else South Dakotans should recognize.

There's been a big changing of the guard in the CO ranks in recent years, and it goes without saying that the longer one is on the job, the more experienced, the better he can become.

Most of the old timers we all equate with good game and fish law enforcement retired over the past decade. And there were some great ones like Duke Lamster and Bill Shattuck of Pierre, Harvey Binger of Britton, Swede Larson of Mobridge, Dan Limmer of Desmet, Owen Meadows of Hot Springs and many others.

Each of them operated with a high degree of common sense and spent a lot of time drinking coffee in farm and ranch kitchens.

I've no doubt the new bunch of younger CO's will learn that you kill more flies with honey, too. What we have to remember is that to the public, the employees they see most often BECOME the Department of Game, Fish & Parks.

A CO has a difficult job. He is the county fish expert, wildlife biologist, dead deer picker-upper, the guy who gets the cat out of the tree, the land specialist, and public relations specialist. He has to have a knowledge of agriculture that includes understanding cattle prices and fertilizer costs. Most have that because most Conservation Officers grew up on farms and ranches.

And when all of those duties are done, he is a game and fish law enforcer. Not to mention the fact that he is also often called in as an enforcement officer on other crimes having nothing to do with fish or game.

And many CO's are still young, having recently graduated from college. That aside, we need to recognize that they now must have degrees in fish and wildlife management and they also receive more law enforcement training than their predacessors received.

An old conservation officer once told me that some people are geared to do all of these jobs, and that the most important task is establishing a good relationship with the landowners in his area.

Some can do that...and do it well. There are rarely problems in their areas.

Others, a minority to be sure, are uncomfortable in their relationships with farmers and ranchers. Their comfort level rides in the cab of their pickup. They become fulltime game wardens and may issue their share of tickets, but accomplish little else. However, they are a distinct minority.

Their job is complicated by a court decision a few years ago that said CO's can't work more than 40 hours per week. Truth is, sometimes the job demands more, and at odd hours too. Remember, most waterfowl and deer hunters are out there in prime times, sunrise and sunset. So must the conservation officer be there too.

I've always believed that if there is a shining star among various law enforcement officers, it's the highway patrolman. I have never personally experienced anything but total respect and professionalism from a highway patrolman.

That professionalism should be emulated.

But let's understand also that just as there probably are a few CO's who have overstepped their bounds, there are more than a few landowners out there, especially in recent years, who have been running around with a chip on their shoulder.

I'd bet I've heard that term "property rights" more over the past couple of years than at any point in history. Others I've talked with about this agree.

It's not an accident, because if you pick up the pages of Wise Use Movement sympathizing periodicals like Range Magazine, you'll get the feeling that everyone's picking on ranchers. And some Wise Use Movement spokesmen travel the west, preaching discontent. Normally, they are ineffective, but during tough times, such as when cattle prices are low and ranchers are struggling, they'll point out the convenient scapegoats. And almost always, that will be the government, but specifically an agency like Game, Fish & Parks.

But for the most part, the vast majority of ranchers are good people, proud and independent, and most get along well with their neighbors and their local conservation officers. You don't hear from them.

And of course, any discussion of this issue needs to address the Lockout. These folks claim to have 2 million acres of land closed to hunting. Whether they do or do not, is a moot point. But efforts such as the lockout, which penalize only two groups; hunters and the ranchers themselves, make little sense. If, in fact, hunting is not allowed, the next cold winter will have deer all over haystacks in western South Dakota.

And then they'll demand that Game, Fish & Parks do something about it.

No one in South Dakota has a tougher job than John Cooper. He's a reasonable, accommodating guy, who tries to operate logically when dealing with illogical constituencies. Most would tire of the late night calls, the harrassing manner of some of those constituents, but South Dakota should consider itself fortunate that we have a John Cooper.

And we should also recognize the people we started patting on the back at the outset; Chris Hesla, Dave Nauman and others who have worked tirelessly when it would have been easier to just go fishing.

And certainly, we all owe Gov. Mike Rounds a thank you. His leadership will be felt for many years on this issue.

The problems will begin solving themselves. CO's will grow older, more tolerant, and maybe some of the discontents in the ranching community will realize that we're all in this together and none of us is planning on moving. Thus, we might as well get along.
Mr Dean makes no mention of a group that are ranchers, lawful sportsmen, avid conservationists, and defenders of the principles of liberty. Too often speaking up for liberty is costly in many ways, and those patriots that demand freedom are a small enough minoriy that they're easily marginalized - as Dean is attempting.

AGAIN, Open Fields Doctrine is being perverted here. Open Fields Doctrine establishes that the privacy afforded a home is not extended beyond the curtilage of the house, ie the open fields. It requires a totalitarian leap, of which most governments are capable, to morph into "since it can't be supressed, its legal." NO COURT HAS EVER SAID THE TRESPASS IN AN OPEN FIELDS CASE WAS NOT A TAKING. Infact one court held the open fields doctrine only went so far as the expectation of privacy, and how that expectation effected the admissability of illegally gathered evidence not within the curtilage of a residence, furthermore the victim of trespass may find civil or criminal remedy against the trespasser despite the admissability of evidence gathered by the trespasser during his trespass.

This is America, if ya don't like something, you have to petition the court. Even a thousand nuisance $50 small clains suites "I want $10/hour for the 5 hours I spent raking out the governments' tire tracks." Did I mention that Wildlife & parks can't efficiently defend a lawsuit?
The following article is from the Bismarck Tribune. I don't think that people in the Dakota's realize that in the old days people were shot for trespassing. How on earth can the government say who can and cannot go on to your private land?

Hunting trumps property rights in House vote
By DALE WETZEL, Associated Press Writer
Hunting prerogatives overcame property rights in the state House as representatives voted to allow hunters to continue going on private land without permission unless the landowner puts up signs to warn off trespassers.

North Dakota law assumes hunters are welcome on private land unless the owner puts up "No Hunting" signs. The provision has long irked rural legislators, who say they should not have to go through the time and expense of posting signs to assert their private property rights.

They were outvoted in the North Dakota House on Monday. Representatives voted 69-24 against a change.

"If we pass this, we're reversing almost 120 years of heritage in this state, where hunting has been allowed to take place on private lands unless it's posted," said Rep. Jon Nelson, R-Wolford. "The message that we send to hunters ... is certainly going to be negative."

Rep. Rod Froelich, D-Selfridge, argued that keeping the status quo sends a hostile message to landowners.

"Why is it ... that the law enforcement officers need a court order to go onto your property, but someone else with a hunting license can go on your property if it's not posted, and not get into any trouble at all?" Froelich asked.

Froelich and Rep. Jim Kerzman, D-Mott, were the two primary sponsors of the defeated legislation. Under their proposal, farmland would be considered private, even without "No Trespassing" signs. Hunters would need the landowner's consent to enter.

Similar bills have been defeated in previous sessions of the Legislature.

Froelich, with support from the North Dakota Farm Bureau, sued Gov. John Hoeven and Dean Hildebrand, director of the state Game and Fish Department, last year in state district court over the issue.

Froelich's lawsuit asserted that North Dakota law and hunting rules deprive landowners of their private property rights without any compensation to the landowner. It was dismissed.

"This is not about antihunting. This is not about posting your property. This is about private property," Froelich said in a House floor speech Monday. "I don't care which party you belong to ... it's in your platforms that you respect private property."

Rep. Chuck Damschen, R-Hampden, said he believed changing the law would improve relations between rural landowners and hunters.

"I appreciate hunters. I rely on them to control the wildlife population on my land," Damschen said. "But I would much prefer hunters that respect my rights as a landowner, and my property, to the point that they'll come and ask before they hunt."

The bill is HB1338.

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Thanks for posting this article. Those poor landowners in ND have it ever worse when it comes to property rights than we do south of the border. I take a back road to Hettinger when I go and after I cross the state line EVERY landowner has posted their land for no hunting and no trespass. This is an expense they shouldn't have to bear, but as long as we both have socialist GF&P folks and governors who take orders from those socialists, we are going to have to put up with garbage like this. We certainly can't expect that they will protect ANY of our constitutionally guaranteed rights with the attitudes they have.
You guys in South Dakota need to have a change in administration! You'd be better off with a liberal Democrat as governor than the liberal big government Republican you have. How did you ever manage to get rid of Daschle?
"You guys in South Dakota need to have a change in administration! You'd be better off with a liberal Democrat as governor than the liberal big government Republican you have. How did you ever manage to get rid of Daschle?"

That's a good question, isn't it? Gov. Rounds and Sec. Cooper are really big into government control, especially when they are exercising that control. Rounds got elected because in South Dakota the policy is when in doubt vote Republican, and most of us didn't realize that he was just another Bill Janklow without Bill's redeeming qualities! A lot of us won't make that mistake next time he runs for governor. Not that it'll make much difference. We don't have enough votes to count for anything out here, but at least we'll have the satisfaction of voting for ANYBODY ELSE!!!
I guess I forgot what Bill Janklows redeeming qualities were. Cement plant sale? Sucking at the tit of legalized gambling? Millions of dollars worth of nobid state contracts? Laws made for everyone but Bill? Firing DOT workers that we can see, and expanding beaurocracy that we cant see? Mike Rounds may or may not have made a good decision regarding open fields, but he is a breath of fresh air compared to Janklow. Maybe I am mistaken, but I have nothing to hide, and I couldnt care less if my local CO wants to check hunters on my property. JR
You know JR, you might be right about Bill's lack of the finer qualities, although he did give a heck of a rousing patriotic speech at the WWII Memorial dedication and he has a memory for names and faces that is the envy every politician I know.

Rounds a breath of fresh air? All I smell when I am in close proximity to Fuehrer Rounds is the same aroma wafting off the pile of manure in the bull pasture. I was tickled when Rounds was elected governor. I thought we finally had a guy who would put the people before his own empire building and I couldn't have been more wrong. We now have a bureaucracy begun by Janklow and entrenched by Rounds that would put Stalinist Russia to shame.

As for checking hunters on your property, you go right ahead and invite GF&P in. They will come whether you allow them or not, but if it makes you feel better thinking you are the one making the decision about who is traveling around in your pastures, more power to you.

I happen to believe that just because a hunter is walking in my pasture, dressed in orange and packing a rifle on the opening day of hunting season, he should not be presumed to be in violation of the law until the CO drives across my grass, violating my property rights, just to make sure the hunters tags are in order. What ever happened to the presumption of innocence that our legal system was founded on? And what kind of hunter crime wave justifies the trampling of landowner rights? This has nothing to do with anyone having anything to hide. It does have everything to do with property rights, hunter's rights and plain old common courtesy.
LB, I can't agree more. Rounds is no different than Daschle, Kerry and Clinton. Its just whats in it for me as far as they are concerned and the hell with the common man.

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