HB 43: Public Access Protection Act – 2023
ICL's position: Support
Current Bill Status: House Committee
Issue Areas: Public Lands
Rep. Steve Berch (D-Boise) introduced House Bill 43 which would create a civil remedy to allow citizens to file a complaint against any landowner who wrongly posts public lands as private.
Many public lands in Idaho are mistakenly (purposefully or by accident) marked with “no trespassing” signs or wrongfully enclosed by fences. In some instances, landowners want to keep people away from their property even though the adjacent property is public.
Currently, only a county sheriff can enforce these laws against landowners. This means our rights to access public lands often go unenforced due to lack of resources or an unwillingness to uphold the law. This bill has been proposed for several years, and it’s unknown whether the bill may receive a hearing.
Citizens have a right to access their public lands, and no one should be able to deny them that right. If county sheriffs are unwilling to enforce the law, then citizens should have the right to ensure that access is preserved.