Federal judge dismisses challenge to Wyoming trespassing law

A Handbook for Ranch Managers  Well, at least they throw us a bone every now and then.

Actually, I take this as an indicator of the advantage of dealing with the state vs the feds. Had this been in federal court, the outcome would likely have been the opposite. — jtl, 419

By BEN NEARY Associated Press via Casper Star Tribune

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual  CHEYENNE — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit from groups that challenged Wyoming laws prohibiting trespassing on private lands to collect data.


Groups including the Western Watersheds Project, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Press Photographers Association sued Wyoming last year.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewThe groups claimed state laws prohibiting trespassing to collect data were unconstitutional. The groups said the laws, which allowed both civil penalties and criminal prosecution, would block people from informing government regulators about such things as violations of water quality rules and illegal treatment of animals.


Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl of Casper dismissed the groups’ lawsuit Wednesday, ruling there’s no constitutional right to trespass on private lands.

“The ends, no matter how critical or important to a public concern, do not justify the means, violating private property rights,” Skavdahl wrote.


The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits   Skavdahl last winter expressed concerns about earlier versions of the laws, which the Wyoming Legislature had passed early last year. The earlier versions sought to prohibit collection of data on “open lands,” a term Skavdahl said could be stretched to cover more than just private property.


In response to Skavdahl’s criticism, the Wyoming Legislature earlier this year Combat Shooter's Handbookrevised the laws to specify they only applied to trespassing to collect data on private lands.

Gov. Matt Mead on Thursday said he was pleased with Skavdahl’s dismissal of the groups’ lawsuit.


“There has been a lot of misinformation about the intent of this law,” Mead said. “The judge’s ruling affirms that the issue at the heart of the matter is preserving private property rights — a fundamental right in our country.”


The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)  David Muraskin, a lawyer representing Western Watersheds and the National Press Photographers Association, said Thursday that his clients are disappointed with Skavdahl’s ruling and are considering whether to appeal.


“We think it fails to recognize the state is seeking to limit the speech and government participation of a variety of groups,” Muraskin said of the ruling.


Muraskin emphasized Wyoming law doesn’t require that a person intend to enter onto private property to be found guilty of trespassing. He said it’s easy for people to inadvertently enter private land, saying there are instances where even government roads built on easements over private property don’t follow the same route on the ground as shown on official property records.


“We’re talking about whether the state can set out to suppress speech,” Muraskin said. “No one here is disagreeing with the fact that the state can regulate certain activities. No one is saying that the state can’t make a law saying you can’t go on people’s property.”

Rather, Muraskin said the revised state law violates the Constitution by seeking to specify that people can’t go onto other peoples’ property to gather information that allows them to exercise their right to speak.


“When someone does that, it makes people afraid to go out and get any kind of information,” he said. “That’s a bedrock principle in the Constitution.”


A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

You might also be interested in the supplement to this Handbook: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.


About Land & Livestock Interntional, Inc.

Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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One Response to Federal judge dismisses challenge to Wyoming trespassing law

  1. Kristen says:

    There’s certainly a lot to learn about this subject.

    I like all of the points you have made. http://www.yahoo.net


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