Promoting respect for private property is a priority for the Idaho Fish and Game Commission because privately owned lands provide important wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities in Idaho.
The commission does not support H536 out of concern it would make Idaho’s current trespass laws less enforceable and more confusing, increase landowner frustration with Fish and Game and local law enforcement, and erode landowner support for wildlife and recreation.
H536 would amend and add to existing law to provide for civil trespass, criminal trespass and to limit the liability of a land owner to a trespasser. You can read the full bill and see its progress on the Idaho Legislature website.
The commission supports the intent of legislation to bring more consistency and clarity to civil and criminal trespass laws, and to improve the effectiveness of law enforcement to deter abuses.
The commission is willing to review other legislative options to better achieve this intent.
All seven commissioners are sportsmen, but commissioners also bring perspectives as land owners, operators of farming, agricultural, real estate, timber, and recreational businesses, and as members of farming and ranching families. One commissioner is also a retired state magistrate.
Fish and Game Deputy Director Sharon Kiefer previously provided testimony to legislators identifying technical concerns with H536.