A new state law allowing for electronic posting of private land takes effect in August, but landowners have until July 15 if they choose to digitally post their land using the Game and Fish Department’s mapping technology.
“In the past, it’s been a very contentious issue with private property rights and landowners on one side and the sportsmen’s groups on the other,” North Dakota Farm Bureau Public Policy Director Pete Hanebutt said.
The new law comes as a compromise largely between hunters and landowners. In most states, hunters need permission to access private property, but Hanebutt says North Dakota is a little different.
“We are the only state that does not have a system where land is assumed to be private,” Hannebutt said.
Yet more than 93 percent of the land is privately owned, according to the Game and Fish Department.
“So we’re a little unique in North Dakota in that we have this history of not asking permission,” Hanebutt said.
Hanebutt says the law isn’t perfect but strikes a balance for both parties.
“We’re moving toward protecting private property rights while embracing technology and allowing access for hunters, so there’s a happy medium here that gets us more in line with most places,” Hanebutt said.
In order to post the land, head to the Game and Fish Department’s website for a step-by-step guide.
You don’t have to move to the online posting though — the physical posts continue to be an option, but for some, the cost and time involved make the online option easier.
“It allows landowners the access or the ability to post their land electronically without all the hassle of going through physically posting land, which in some cases can literally mean you need a boat, an ATV and a horse to post all your land,” Hanebutt said.
North Dakota is the only state in the country to allow for electronic posting of property, according to the governor’s office.
Hunters who trespass on posted land can face a $250 penalty, and those who cause damage to the land could face misdemeanors.