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SB 1089: Public Access Protection Act – 2019

Summary: SB 1089 would promote access by allowing citizen enforcement to protect access to public lands.

ICL's position: Support

Current Bill Status: Dead

Issue Areas: Public Lands

Official Legislative Site

Senate Bill 1089, introduced by Sen. Fred Martin (R-Boise) and our friends at the Idaho Wildlife Federation, would provide citizens the ability to protect access to public lands. In the event that a landowner posts public land as “private,” it would provide a “civil remedy” to correct that violation.

Believe it or not, there are public lands in Idaho that are located behind “No Trespassing”  signs, mostly in cases when adjacent landowners have illegitimately expanded their landholdings onto state or federally-administered parcels. Under existing law, only the county sheriff has the authority to enforce against these trespassing landowners. In many cases the sheriff is unwilling to enforce the law, usually because of lack of capacity, or it’s not a priority for the sheriff in question.

Public access to our public lands in Idaho is consistently identified as a priority for Idahoans. In instances when wealthy landowners seek to block legally-valid access, citizens should have the right to enforce the law. It’s that simple.