Betty Olson confirms what had been discussed earlier - a landowner privacy act is coming to shut out game wardens

Representative Elect Betty Olson conforms to the Associated Press this morning that she's coming with a bill to require a permission slip for game wardens as had been previously mentioned in other places. Check out this story via the Rapid City Journal:
A newly elected lawmaker said she will offer a bill in the 2007 South Dakota Legislature that would require game wardens to ask for permission before going on private land. Rep.-elect Betty Olson, R-Prairie City, said officers could still enter private property if they have a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing or get a tip about it.

But she says game wardens should not be allowed to simply drive onto someone’s land to look for hunters who may or may not be doing something illegal.

The right of game wardens to go onto private land comes from a policy called the open-fields doctrine. Legislators have tried to repeal it twice in recent years.

“I’m hoping that ... both houses will decide that Game, Fish & Parks (should) show the common courtesy of asking before they trespass,” Olson said.

Gov. Mike Rounds and administrators with GF&P strongly opposed limiting access to private property for law officers, which probably played a large role in the bill’s past failures, according to state House Majority Leader Larry Rhoden.
Read it all here.


Anonymous said…
Her name is Betty and she dances on the sand. Just like that river running through a dusty land.
Anonymous said…
If this goes through you might as well get rid of the GF@P. I am a landowner in Walworth County and I have been checked by our local warden, but never harrassed.

There might be a problem warden here and there but that is no reason to get rid of the whole system.
Publisher said…
I hope it goes through then!
Anonymous said…
I really wish Betty would leave this bill at home even though I know she won't. The division this bill created in the legislature had a lasting effect and it did nothing to help landowner rights. Open fields isn't the only issue landowners have or will have and it isn't worth all the hard feelings that will come back to haunt them on other landowner issues. This bill will not pass and Betty Olson will be marginalized as a crazy west river landowner who is a single-issue candidate. No matter how you feel on this issue, it can't be implemented because it is impossible logistically. If the warden must ask permission first, how do they reach absentee landowners who live out of state? What if the landowner is the one participating in illegal activity and will do everything to keep the warden out? With multiple thousands acre tracts with no public access, how will the warden even see any suspicious activity? With such hatred up there for GF&P, nobody will tip them off for suspicious activity.
It's too bad that they can't get along up there because most landowners get along with GF&P in the rest of the state. Pushing this bill will only make their cause weaker and will further create a divide between landowners and sports people.
Anonymous said…
Yup, there was a problem here and there with some game wardens! And nobody would take care of it!

They said "yes, we know there is a problem but we can't do anything about it"!

Just like trying to get rid of a teacher, it just doens't happen!

Well, nobody would take care of the obvious problem so up steps Betty Olson!

Good job Betty!
Anonymous said…
To say that repeal of open fields is unworkable ignores the fact that several other states including Montana operate without the open fields doctrine.

I think cooperation will increase - not decrease - when landowners aren't having things forced on them. And you don't have to go looking for owners out of state, consent to search can be obtained from whoever is living on or managing the property. And once again, if GFP has any articulable suspicion of wrongdoing, they can go onto the land without permission.
Anonymous said…
Wow I can see the headline now....."Game Warden arrests 2 non -residents"
The game warden arrested 2 non-resident hunters wheo did not have licenses for hunting. A west River landower was also areested for guiding the 2 non-resident (money men) and allowing them to hunt and shoot illegally taken game from Joe Landowners land. All 3 will also be facing the stiff penalties of the "Lecy Act" which means Federal chqrges will kick in for illegally taken and transported game across state lines.
There are questions regarding the legality of the game warden on the private property, seems the Warden says he had gotten permission from the very honest Joe Landowner but facing charges of several hundred Thousand dollars and possibilty of prison time. The fine Joe landowner says he "never gave permission" to the game warden.
Sounds like a great scenario. Lets take the "open Fields" away from the DCI and state and County law enforcement also.
Anonymous said…
A majority of the negative GF&P issues would disappear if the new game wardens didn't think they had to act like hard-asses when they first hit the fields. If someone breaks the law, get 'em. But the wardens don't need to strike fear into the public just to be effective. The pricks ruin it for the majority of the game wardens--the good ones.
Anonymous said…

Betty is a solid Republican who campaigned and won on this issue.

Finally, a Republican who stands up for what they campaigned on.

Any marginalization of her will only be attempted by squishy RINOS.
Anonymous said…
Your 100% correct 1:19PM

The problem is and always has been, everyone knows what some of these game wardens are like but nobody will do anything about it!

The wardens created this mess and now sit back as bystanders playing the "nobody respects me" role.

Everybody in Pierre knew how some of the game wardens were acting and refused to do anything about it and now they want to blame the rancher for the mess!

Like I said, go to it Betty! Go to it!
Anonymous said…
Anon 12:43 obviously lives in an apartment in Sioux Falls. Not to mention in a building with a call box, so no one is allowed in without permission!

It's called LANDOWNER RIGHTS! Yes, there are some people still (mostly in West River) who actually think instead of acting like urban liberals, we can still operate on them.

What do you want next, Anon 12:43, my gun?
Anonymous said…
You know what is really ironic?

VJ wants government to stay off of the land without permission, but at the same time, VJ wants government to come into our homes and verify that nobody's cohabitating who isn't married - and have cohabitating people thrown in jail.

Funny how some people want government out of their own business but into everybody else's.
Anonymous said…
2:07, BINGO
Anonymous said…
I hope they lock out their land forever and choke on all the wildlife.
These people have disdain for any kind of government and not only do they think that the open fields doctrine is a taking, they think they own the wildlife too. When a herd of deer come into the yard and eat their feed, they don't chase them off, they shoot them.
When a handful of landowners can control over 100,000 acres in one chunk, it will be hunting season all year long.
11:23, you must not understand the law or how it works. Legally it is the landowner unless you can find a contract that designates the privelage to the lesee or someone else. Many landlords are retaining hunting privelages so the lessee doesn't have any more right than Jon Public to hunt and no way should we expect GFP to be repsonsible for keeping track of who actually has the say from year to year. There is such distrust that reasonable suspicion will be questioned every time.
Some of you posters on hear need to check your party registration and make sure you are registered libertarian.
Anonymous said…
Stupid, stupid, stupid. Hey Betty, if we give you tags to sell will you go away? Bet so. W. River needs to wake up and realize they don't have the population (read political pull) to change this. Move on or you'll sound more and more goofy (let's see, like Jim Lintz, Bill Napoli, etc. etc.).
Anonymous said…
To those making negative comments, you must not be landowners. You have no idea what goes on out in the country. Goofy 5:52, what is your gripe with Sen. Bill Napoli? He is a common hard working man, elected by the voters and will represent them well. We need more reps. like Napoli. Hang in there Betty, most of the comments are being made by a bunch of whimps that feel they won't have free run because they buy a license to hunt.
Anonymous said…
How many of you appreciate it when a person knocks before entering your home?

Why is asking permission to enter so hard to do?

Susan Clarkson
Anonymous said…
Amen Susan!
Anonymous said…
The sad thing is that half of you lockout members and idiot "landwoners" think that you're all together on a "land rights" issue, when in fact the other half of you is pushing for commercial big game hunting behind the guise of "land rights". I am a landowner, albeit only 2 quarters (but it is west river), and I am more than happy to be checked by a game warden.

Perhaps this is because I was raised as a poor South Dakotan always looking for a place to hunt, and I really have a respect for the sporting part of a hunt and the landowners willing to allow me the pleasure.

I think it's a shame what you are doing to hunting in South Dakota. Sure there have been conflicts that weren't your fault, but in this case, somebody has to be bigger than the other. You know the GF&P has to have some way to enforce the law. This bill will lose, and so will the lockout members. You have two choices: 1)Continue the lockout - be hated by South Dakotan hunters that don't own land - get overrun by deer until they either cause problems, or you shoot them illegally and get caught and get in trouble...2)End the lockout - be the bigger man, try to get some kind of compromise.

But guess what, the open fields doctrine is here to stay, if you don't believe me, go ahead and take option 1. I'll be the guy buying your land so your family can pay your bond to get you out of jail.
Anonymous said…
She "conformed" to the Associated Press? Is Frank editing your blog?
Anonymous said…
In perusing the comments here over the afternoon and evening I noticed that most of those in favor of Betty's bill descended into namecalling, or used as their justification getting even with game wardens they've developed a personal dislike for, or slogans like "landowners' rights". It seems to me that "landowners' rights" is just being used as a cover for "I'll do what I or anyone I choose to allow access damn well please on my own land." Game laws can't be enforced in that environment. That's what they're really after, and they should just admit it instead of wrapping themselves in the flag.
Anonymous said…
11:23am said that Montana operates without the open fields doctrine. He is correct, but the poaching has gotten out of control.
Anonymous said…
11:01: In a response to your recent statement, I first want to give you a background to the point of view that I currently hold.

I come from a farm that operates (owns or rents) 30 quarters of land in eastern South Dakota. All of this land is within an hour of Sioux Falls, so we have nothing to do with any sort of "lock-out" that is taking place West-River.

We have NEVER CHARGED a person to hunt on our property. We have family, friends, and business acquaintances hunt our land as long as they ask, and the only time we receive re-imbursement is when the parties they bring choose to either pay us (because they pay the other landowners they hunt with) or they give us gift certificates in their Christmas cards.

Further, we have a good relationship with our current game warden (who is fairly new), and we think he does a good job of enforcing the laws. He's worked to crack-down on the guys that hunt from their trucks, and he does so in a way that promotes respect toward himself. Sadly, not all game wardens operate this way. There are some that want to instill fear in the people they talk to and take an accusatory tone into all conversations they hold with hunters. If this is a tactic SDSU and BHSU teaches them, I think it should be changed.

We personally have never had a severe run-in with a game warden (because we work to follow the rules), but we have been offended on a few occasions due to their current MO.

What my point earlier was: If the game wardens showed more respect towards land-owners, I think the land-owners would show more respect toward them and their organization's agenda. It's basic psychology. If a person disrespects you, are you going to WANT to give them respect in return?

The wardens are the face of the GF&P. If land-owners don't respect the wardens, they are not going to respect the wishes of the organization.
Anonymous said…
I wonder how the city folk would feel about this issue if police officer could periodically just enter into your house and make sure you weren't breaking any laws
Anonymous said…
Anon 7:35 Open Fields has nothing to do with your house...your house no matter where it is, is protected by 2nd Amendment, ifyour going to try to change a law make sure you know what you are talking about.
Open fields means nohan the oppertunity to enter the open field, nothing to do with your house.
Betty will prove hersef as a single issue canidate and will soon alianate herself as a West river wacko right next to Lintz and Napoli
Anonymous said…
8:33, speaking about knowing what you're talking about, the 2nd amendment has nothing to do with your house.
Anonymous said…
You go Betty. Open fields doctrine is an insult to any person that believes in the constitutional rights of property ownership. No one, Govt. or anyone else for that matter has any right to enter any property without permission. Of course the mainstreamers believe the govt should control every inch of our property. There is such twisted thinking out there,Makes me wonder what country some of these mainstreamers think they live in.
Anonymous said…
I posted this before and never got an answer so I’ll try again:

I am curious as to why some on this board are so opposed to landowners exercising their private property rights guaranteed in the constitution? Please read the text of SB122 below and tell me where this law would interfere with legitimate law enforcement duties.

Please note that the permission from the landowner can be obtained weeks, months or even years before the game warden needs it. GF&P has supposedly been urging their employees to develop lines of communication with the landowners in the area they serve.

I can’t think of a better way to open those lines of communicate than by using common courtesy and asking the landowner politely for permission, can you?

FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to restrict the entry of conservation officers onto certain private land without permission.
Section 1. That chapter 41-2 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:

No conservation officer may, in the course of performing the ordinary duties of a conservation officer, enter any private land unless the conservation officer has the permission of the landowner or the lessee.

However, any conservation officer may enter any private land without permission:

(1) If reasonable suspicion or probable cause exists that a violation of a law that the conservation officer is authorized to enforce has been, is being, or is about to be committed;

(2) To investigate a report of illegal hunting, fishing, or trapping activity;

(3) To dispatch crippled or distressed wildlife; or

(4) To respond to emergency situations, accidents, or other threats to public safety.

This is what a rancher in Gov. Rounds’ administration had to say in an article about this issue in the Argus Leader. He tells it like it is out here in west river, and I’m sure he also speaks for many landowners east river:

"There are people with extreme positions on all sides of the issues," said state Agriculture Secretary Larry Gabriel. "But a lot of people just don't get it. For most of us, our families and our ranches are what we hold in the highest value.”

"Our ranch, whether it's 2,000 acres or 20,000 acres - that's our home. People look at this big expanse out there, and they don't realize it's our home."
Anonymous said…

I think you probably slipped and meant 4th amendment.

but, you are still a jackass because open fields is still governed by the 4th amendment to the constitution, which also governs the ability of the government to enter your home.

So, in all actuality both are controlled by the 4th A. Open fields is a legal subset of 4th a governance.
Anonymous said…
not to agree or disagree with any post, just a dose of reality for all.

I work for the U.S. Postal service. They can search me, my car or any lunchpail, backpack etc etc when I am on their property,,WITHOUT PERMISSION.

I guess because its their property. It just seems reasonable to give citizens the same consideration when government is on property owned by a citizen.

just my 2cents.
Anonymous said…
The open fields doctrine is a U.S. legal doctrine created judicially for purposes of evaluating claims of an unreasonable search by the government in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The open fields doctrine was first articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Hester v. United States, which stated that “the special protection accorded by the Fourth Amendment to the people in their ‘persons, houses, papers, and effects,’ is not extended to the open fields." This opinion appears to be decided on the basis that "open fields are not a "constitutionally protected area" because they cannot be construed as "persons, houses, papers, [or] effects."

This method of reasoning gave way with the arrival of the landmark case Katz v. U.S., which established a two-part test for what constitutes a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. The relevant criteria are "first that a person have exhibited an actual (subjective) expectation of privacy and, second, that the expectation be one that society is prepared to recognize as reasonable." Under this “new” analysis of the Fourth Amendment, privacy expectations deemed unreasonable by society cannot be validated by any steps taken by the defendant to shield the area from view.

In Oliver v. United States, the Supreme Court held that a privacy expectation regarding an open field is unreasonable:

…open fields do not provide the setting for those intimate activities that the Amendment is intended to shelter from government interference or surveillance. There is no societal interest in protecting the privacy of those activities, such as the cultivation of crops, that occur in open fields.

Courts have continuously held that entry into an open field--whether trespass or not--is not a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. No matter what steps a person takes, he or she cannot create a reasonable privacy expectation in an open field, because it is an area incapable of supporting an expectation of privacy as a matter of constitutional law.

At the same time a State can afford more rights to its citizens than what is provided for in the U.S. Constitution. So, the question here is does South Dakota want to afford more protection to its landowners. Do we want agents of the government, however well intentioned, to have unfettered access to our lands?

We should err on the side of protecting landowner rights and guard against agents of the government intruding upon our lands, however well intentioned.
Anonymous said…
How is it that private people on your property without permission are trespassing, but government people on your property without permission are not?
Anonymous said…
Thank you gop come home for getting that information. To those of you like Napoli who think that the open fields is unconstitutional, be sure to read the gop come home post. I don't agree with his conclusion because the state is in charge of managing the wildlife and if we don't allow them that capability, then they can't do an effective job.
Betty, you keep asking what is wrong with getting permission. What do you do when you can't get permission?
Do you really expect the GFP to update their contact information at least annually to figure out who controls the access rights? Maybe in west river where there aren't that many landowners but come east river, it would be a nightmare bacause of so many. I thought you were for smaller government?
The point is, open fields doens't violate ANY constitutional rights so stop saying that it does.
Really? You don't understand the difference between an agent of the government and a common person?
Anonymous said…
And when she shines she really shows you all she can. Oh Betty, Betty, dance across the Cheyenne.
Anonymous said…
11:20 – You answer my question first - what is wrong with the game warden having the courtesy to ask my permission before trespassing on my land?

If my cows get into the neighbor’s pasture, I call him up and let him know before I round them up and bring them home. If my bull busts down his fence and is fighting his bull, I get in there quick to separate them, fix the fence and THEN call the neighbor and let him know what I did because this was an emergency situation where I didn’t have time to call him beforehand. GF&P would have both of these neighborly options under SB122.

Again, what could be wrong with this? And yes, I don’t think it would be much of a hardship for even east river game wardens to keep their contacts updated. The key word here is taken from the mouth of Sec. Cooper and it is COMMUNICATION. Besides, most east river hunters can be seen from one of the many roads that crisscross your side of the river. If the game warden sees what he thinks might be a violation, under SB122 he would still be able to enter private property to check it out even without the landowner’s permission.

I’ve got another question for you – what sort of criminal conduct do you think these dastardly landowners are committing out here? That seems to be the first thing out of the mouths of those who think they should have the right to trample on our constitutionally guaranteed rights, and yes, they are guaranteed in the constitution. The only reason Open Fields is still on the books is because it has never been tested in court.

You will note that all the cases cited by "gop come home" above involved criminal cases where the law enforcement officers had either “reasonable suspicion” or “probable cause” to suspect that there was illegal activity that had nothing to do with checking some poor hunter’s license.

Thanks for posting that, gop, and I agree with your conclusion.

11:46 - Oh, the imagery your post invokes! I so love a lyrical mindset.
Anonymous said…

thanks for being civil about this issue.

I disagree with you about wildlife management, which I have no expertise on whatsoever.

It would seem that open fields is not about wildlife management. It is about the power of the government to enter onto private land.

How did South Dakota manage wildlife before having the power to enter private property without probable cause? Was wildlife managment in shambles before? Are there any scientific studies suggesting that?

Probably not. GFP wants to have to the ability to enforce the law by bypassing the probable cause requirement thereby making it easier for agents to enter onto property. Normally, the plain view exception would allow entry onto private property without a warrant or probable cause. However when thousands of acres and great distant are at issue potential violations of game law are not plainly visible.

So this is not about wildlife managment. If it was that means that poaching is out of control? The question that has not been substantiated by any means is whether poaching is so out of control that entry onto private property is neccessary to curtail rabid illegal acitivity.

Meth is a much greater problem than poaching. Should we allow unfettered access to homes that look like meth labs without probable cause?

The point is that just because the government can do something does not mean that it should. Further, can GFP substantiate that illegal activity neccesitates the need to do this.
Anonymous said…
There is nothing wrong with COs asking for permission but I don't think that it should be a preclusion in law to say they must. So please answer my question as to what you do with those landowners that don't give permission to COs? Why is is fair that if a CO can see something suspicious on my small piece of property be able to apprehend but if he can't see what is happening on your 20,000 acre parcel the CO can't?
I can tell you that previous cases including the US Supreme Court that have dealt with open fields makes it pretty clear that there is not a violation of property rights under open fields. A previous poster mentioned a couple of examples where there is a distinction between your home (i.e. your house) and open lands. I know you try to say that the open lands are your home but not by defintition of law. Do you have any idea how subjective reasonable suspicion and probable cause are? If you were CO for a day, what would warrant these two? How would you as a CO ever know if someone was taking more than their limit? How would you know if someone bagged a deer or other wildlife if they had the right license or any license at all? To me that is what COs use today to make sure because short of seeing them shoot something out of season or chasing game, there is no clear definitions in your bill what suspicion or cause is.
Unfortunately you see things so black and white because I am not saying that all landowners want to commit crimes but for the ones that will, taking away open fields really limits the ability to police the small number of law breakers.
Anonymous said…
Cont. from 12:48 post taken from Caselaw:
''Open Fields.'' --In Hester v. United States, 96 the Court held that the Fourth Amendment did not protect ''open fields'' and that, therefore, police searches in such areas as pastures, wooded areas, open water, and vacant lots need NOT comply with the requirements of warrants and probable cause. The Court's announcement in Katz v. United States 97 that the Amendment protects ''people not places'' cast some doubt on the vitality of the open fields principle, but all such doubts were cast away in Oliver v. United States. 98 Invoking Hester's reliance on the literal wording of the Fourth Amendment (open fields are not ''effects'') and distinguishing Katz, the Court ruled that the open fields exception applies to fields that are fenced and posted. ''[A]n individual may not legitimately demand privacy for activities conducted out of doors in fields, except in the area immediately surrounding the home.'' 99 Nor may an individual demand privacy for activities conducted within outbuildings and visible by trespassers peering into the buildings from just outside. 100 Even within the curtilage and notwithstanding that the owner has gone to the extreme of erecting a 10- foot high fence in order to screen the area from ground-level view, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy from naked-eye inspection from fixed-wing aircraft flying in navigable airspace. 101 Similarly, naked-eye inspection from helicopters flying even lower contravenes no reasonable expectation of privacy. 102 And aerial photography of commercial facilities secured from ground-level public view is permissible, the Court finding such spaces more analogous to open fields than to the curtilage of a dwelling. 103

Sorry Betty, the facts are on my side.
Anonymous said…
Is the State's interest in busting a small number of law breakers greater than that of private property owners?

No one disputes that the state has the right under the open field's doctrine to do this. The greater issue here is whether the state should extend more protection to private property owners.

If the state cannot substantiate that a great amount of illegal activity is occurring on those "20,000 acre" parcels, why should we not support the rights of private property owners and the principles limited government?

This issue is much greater than law enforcement v. private property rights...its one of supporting the principles of limited government v. unfettered government access.
Anonymous said…
I challenge you to cite a specific case that deals with a law enforcement officer caught trespassing on private land when he had neither reasonable suspicion to believe a crime had been committed or probable cause to believe that one was about to be committed.

You won’t be able to produce any court case for us dealing with this issue because there isn’t one.

I have never said that open lands are the same as the inside of my house, those open fields are my pastures, my fields and anything outside of the curtilage (the immediate surroundings) of my house.

These open lands are still my private property and anyone can be prosecuted for trespass if they are caught on these lands of mine without my permission, and that includes law enforcement officers with no reason to be on my property that doesn’t involve a criminal investigation.

With the vast areas covered by one game warden on the ranches in the west river area, do you think it would be very efficient law enforcement for the warden to come snooping across these isolated ranches looking for game violations when he could be stopping every hunter at game checks on the few highways we have in this area that all hunters must use to get home?

For your last point, do you think that the private property rights of every law abiding landowner must be subject to violation by GF&P on the off chance that they might find one of the few game violations that occur? That makes as much sense as doing strip searches of every motorist driving down the highway because some of them have actually hidden drugs in their clothes and in their cars!

We’re not trying to hinder legitimate law enforcement here. My father was a cop. Our county sheriff and his deputy are very good friends of mine. I admire and respect law enforcement officers for the dangers they face every day protecting us and our loved ones. This is purely a private property issue that has absolutely nothing to do with law enforcement and, I might add, our local law enforcement officers agree with us on this issue.
Anonymous said…

Betty is not claiming that the open fields doctrine is unconstitutional. Even casual readers of the Constitution understand that open fields are not enumerated in the 4th amendment and thus are not protected areas.

This, however, is not an issue of if the state CAN extend such protections...this is an issue of whether the state should extend more protections to private property owners than what is currently does.

States have the power to extend more protections to their citizens than what the Constitution calls for. That is not debatable.

So to imply that the State should not extend these protections because it is forbidden is wrong and your claim that the facts are on your side is rendered moot.

Besides, who claimed that the facts were not on your side and how does that demerit Betty's legislative proposal?
Anonymous said…
Start lining up your votes, Betty. There are those who voted consistently both times it came up. And there are those who flip-flopped, voting for it once then against it. Work on the flip-floppers and the new people and see if you have the majority.

Governor Rounds will never sign it, so expect him to twist the arms of your Republican caucus mates to vote no so that he's not forced into vetoing a bill that's so popular west river. Your caucus mates will turn all spineless and butt-kissy so as not to offend the governor.

Sooner or later, you will figure out that Rounds has absolutely nothing to offer you that you want. He will undermine you at every turn, and you will be called upon to pass his liberal measures.
Anonymous said…
That seems to be the first thing out of the mouths of those who think they should have the right to trample on our constitutionally guaranteed rights, and yes, they are guaranteed in the constitution. (Betty Olson)

You will note that all the cases cited by "gop come home" above involved criminal cases where the law enforcement officers had either “reasonable suspicion” or “probable cause” to suspect that there was illegal activity that had nothing to do with checking some poor hunter’s license. (Betty Olson) My "Facts" disprove this statement

No one, Govt. or anyone else for that matter has any right to enter any property without permission. (Bill Napoli)

I have never said the state can't repeal open fields, I am saying that we can keep it because it is constitutional. Betty Olson claims that open fields hasn't been tested and what else can you surmise by some of these posts that open fields violates constitutional rights?

OK Betty if what you say is true about no officer ever being charged with trespass then what good does this bill do? They will just snoop around under the guise of suspicion or cause and never be prosecuted.
Anonymous said…
"You will note that all the cases cited by "gop come home" above involved criminal cases where the law enforcement officers had either “reasonable suspicion” or “probable cause” to suspect that there was illegal activity that had nothing to do with checking some poor hunter’s license. (Betty Olson) My "Facts" disprove this statement"

Really? Explain which facts you cited that disprove this statement.

"No one, Govt. or anyone else for that matter has any right to enter any property without permission. (Bill Napoli)
I have never said the state can't repeal open fields, I am saying that we can keep it because it is constitutional. Betty Olson claims that open fields hasn't been tested and what else can you surmise by some of these posts that open fields violates constitutional rights?"

Trespass by law enforcement officers with no reasonable excuse for being where they don’t have permission to be is no more legal than if that same law enforcement officer is caught speeding without his red lights flashing just because he’s late for dinner or if he’s caught shop lifting or beating his wife. Crime is crime and it doesn’t matter what your title is when you are caught breaking the law.

"OK Betty if what you say is true about no officer ever being charged with trespass then what good does this bill do? They will just snoop around under the guise of suspicion or cause and never be prosecuted."

This is one of the definite weaknesses of the bill. Some of the GF&P employees have already proven to us that they can’t be trusted but I don’t know how to toughen the bill in a way that we won’t have to depend on the word of the game warden that he either got a tip or has reasonable suspicion that a crime either has been, or is going to be, committed. Makes you wonder why they fight this so bad, doesn't it?
Anonymous said…
Re 1:27's "This issue is much greater than law enforcement v. private property rights...its one of supporting the principles of limited government v. unfettered government access." That's the core of the disagreement, isn't it? Those who think that we can concurrently have effective game law enforcement WITHOUT the open fields doctrine are fooling themselves and playing into the hands of those who could care less if we have a GF&P that can do their job. There are an amazing number of people who think they are above the law out there, and attorneys willing to push the envelope on the rare occasions when the pieces actually fall into place well enough to prosecute, that removing open fields would just play right into their hands. This provision would just flat out increase poaching and other wildlife abuses. Admit it and make the argument about that instead.
Anonymous said…
I will end with this.
You seem like a nice person and I respect you for your enthusiasm. Just don't let this issue define you and when you lose, keep your chin up and don't take it personally.
Anonymous said…
I've been taking an informal poll for the last year every time I'm at a wildlife or hunting event (DU, Pheasants Forever etc.) in Eastern South Dakota:

Question: should we initiate a law simply banning hunting? Since us normal folks with no money have little or no access to hunt anymore, why have it?

I do it just to see the reactions it generates among fellow hunters and stir up the dinner time conversation, but, surprisingly, I've had a large number of people say they've considered the same thing.

Considering we've put things like JAIL on the ballot in recent years, those on both side taking extreme views may want to think harder about possible consequences. There is a vast silent majority of disaffected sportsmen who are about ready to throw in the towel.
Anonymous said…
4:02 Go buy yourself a piece of land and you will have a place to hunt. Then you will find out what really is happening out in the country. For you as being a spotsman, you need to make good relations with landowners and so does GF&P.
Anonymous said…
Those disaffected hunters are caught in the middle of this and are the only ones being hurt by the feud between the GF&P and the landowners. The landowners who locked their land to hunters did so only because it was the only way they had to keep from having their property rights trampled on by a bullheaded and short sighted Sec. Cooper, who was determined to show us who has the real authority over the land that WE own.

Almost none of these landowners had ever charged hunters and never had any intention of ever charging in the future. This is some of the best big game hunting in South Dakota, most of it available to hunt for the cost of phone call. The blame for hunters no longer being able to hunt for free on these ranches can be laid squarely at the feet of Sec. Cooper.

Tell Cooper thanks next time you see him! And when your kids ask what it was like to hunt the wide open spaces of western South Dakota, remember to tell them that hunting like that will no longer be possible unless a law is passed in the legislature protecting those landowners who used to welcome hunters with a big smile and a hot cup of coffee.

Of course, you can always come on out and hunt the public land and the walk-in areas if you don’t mind taking a chance on getting yourself shot. Opening day sounds like the begining of World War Three and most of the game runs over onto the locked out land, but there is still a lot of game to be gotten if you’re willing to run the risks.

Again, thank you Mr. Cooper!
Anonymous said…
I guess this is one of those issues that clearly illustrates how people who live on the opposite side of our river think differently.

Here's a true story-

I am an east river landowner, who was looking at purchasing a piece of land on the western half of the state. I was with the listing realtor looking at the property, when a pickup came bouncing across the land at a high rate of speed.

When the truck got to us and stopped, the man got out, recognized the realtor, and said "Oh, it's you again"... He went on to say in a pretty terse tone, that he was going to put up a fence so the realtor would stop "dragging people out here"

This is the guy that was trying to sell the property!!!

Different mindset... I guess us east river liberals will never understand.
Anonymous said…
Betty, get the law passed. The courts got it wrong again and we need someone to protect our rights.

I heard of a man shot down by police for not sending his children to public school. Later it was reported that his children were home schooled.

Probable cause is a slippery term for some individual law enforcement officials.
Anonymous said…
It is kind of funny watching these west river folks complain about Cooper. I would bet all that I have(I own a ranch) that they voted for Bill and Mike. Are they are so foolish to think that their OWN GOV lets Cooper do his own thing. Good luck Betty. You will need it with your single thought in Pierre.
Anonymous said…
7:41 and Betty, you kind of missed my point. Disaffected sportsmen are so because both your sides have dug in and have blinders on. Did I mention 7:41 that we don't have money? Kinda makes its hard to "buy some land" doesn't it?

Betty, you're playing in the big kids league now, you have to be a representative of ALL the people now. Your oath isn't to your neighbors, it's to all the people. You responsibility as an office holder now is to find a solution, not advocate for one group.

And all the landowners who insist it's their game and their land, great. But it's our taxes that write the government checks that keep you on that land. Don't be hypocritical to the extreme. Both sides need to take a step back and have a grown-up discussion.
Anonymous said…
it is only a corollary to the posting here, but how about that Argus assasination on john cooper? i disagreed with lots of stuff cooper did, but i always beleived that he had the guts to call it the way he saw it. Now he is retiring. Let him leave with a smidge of dignity, eh?

once again, the argus proves there is no bottom, in bottom feeding.
Anonymous said…
PS, betty's bill is d-e-a-d.

she makes a great headline but that bill wont get out of committee. the legislature has had this argument many times before. get over it.
Anonymous said…
8:41 you are right. Good morning Betty, yell all you want, you aren't making it out of committee. Bring it back next year, same thing. Please say your peace and be prepared to move on or you are done as an effective legislator.
Anonymous said…
No, 8:33, I don’t think I missed your point at all. The hunters are disaffected because locking out land was the only way we had to deal with the abuses by GF&P. Did you miss what I said about most of the landowners who are locked out have NEVER charged for hunting? Your loss can be blamed directly on Sec. Cooper and if he and GF&P ever decide to work with the landowners on this issue, maybe you’ll be able to hunt out here again for free, but not until then.

I also disagree that I am to be a representative of ALL the people now. I was elected by the good folks in my district to do some pretty specific things and it is my duty as their duly-elected representative to do just that – represent their interests in the very best way I can because they chose me as their advocate.

The comment about your taxes funding the ranching operations out here is not only offensive and wildly inaccurate; it also has nothing to do with the issue of whether or not GF&P should be allowed to trespass on private property.

8:41 and 9:44, you may be right. I may not even be able to get this bill out of committee, but it won’t be because I didn’t give it my best shot and I’ll be darned if I’ll “get over it” just because you folks from GF&P think I should.

Was I yelling?
Anonymous said…
There's a bigger issue for you here, Betty... Why do you want to bring a bill in your first year, that will ruin your credibility for the rest of your stay in office?

By reading your postings here, it's obvious you're an intelligent, friendly person. But by leading this charge before your butt ever hits your chair in the House, you're going to get classified as an "extremist". It takes a long time to shake that label.

If you're convinced the bill needs to be run, let Rhoden or McNenny or Lintz offer it.

To bring it as a freshman will hamper your efforts when you do want to bring a bill that really has a snowball's chance in hell of passing.
Anonymous said…
I’ll readily admit I’m green as a gourd when it comes to the processes one must go through to become accepted by my peers in the legislature. That said, I’ll also say that if I can’t even try to do what my voters sent me to Pierre to do, I might as well stay home on the range.

If my credibility suffers because I’ve pushed an issue that I and my constituents are passionate about, I guess I’ll just have to suffer the consequences. I’ve been on the losing side of other battles and the sun always seems to come up the next day anyway. I assume it still will if I lose this battle; however, I fully intend to give it all I’ve got.

If not everyone sees the issue the same as I do, that’s fine, but they will also have to convince me that their issues are worth voting for. Hopefully, we can agree to disagree without being disagreeable. If that seems naive to you, so be it.
Anonymous said…
8:33 am - Would you say that Herseth is sticking up for ethenol or Thune for DME. Why not Betty for landowner, real people living on personal land - not a special interest.

11:02 am - Your advice stinks. It is noticable that it lacks logic in any form.

We are behind you Betty.
Anonymous said…
I want to make this very clear I like hunters, Co’s and GF&P and believe hunting is a great recreation and believe there is a need for Co’s and GF&P. In the same token I disagree with GF&P’s use of the open fields doctrine.

This statement below comes from the South Dakota Game fish and parks home page.

Conservation laws have provided for the recovery and protection of many species of wildlife around the nation. Without compliance and license checks, it would be nearly impossible to ensure that hunters follow established seasons, license requirements, bag limits and other restrictions put in place to conserve and sustain wildlife populations. These checks serve an important role in wildlife management and continued protection of this state’s wildlife resources. Compliance checks on privately owned open fields also play a significant role in protecting landowner rights against trespass and vandalism.

If this is a true and accurate statement, these are the questions it raises in my mind.
1. How can GF&P check compliance for limits if they only enter private property during a hunt?
2. How can these property owner checks serve as an accurate management and protection of this state’s wildlife resources without the check of the hunter’s home?
3. How can this compliance check on privately owned open fields also play a significant role in protecting landowner rights against trespass and vandalism if the CO believes it isn’t his duty to ask if a hunter has permission?
4. If GF&P can come onto privately owned open fields without any knowledge that an illegal activity is or has been conducted on this property and assume a person with an orange hat is conducting illegal activity, without asking permission to enter, why then can’t they enter your home when you have given up your rights by signing the license?

I believe most hunters and most landowners are law abiding citizens and those that aren’t will be caught without having to assume all landowners and hunters conduct illegal activities.

I don’t believe asking permission to enter is too much to ask for entering my property and I don’t think it is too much to ask to enter your home.
What makes you think that law enforcement couldn’t, wouldn’t and can’t and haven’t use the open Fields doctrine to enter a home without permission?

It may not hold up in court but ultimately it will take a court case to answer the question.

The open-Fields- Doctrine is not law.
Anonymous said…
You see, there's the difference.. The GF&P is not entering your home. If you live in town, there's a big difference between someone entering your yard, rather than your home... It's not the same thing.

You may own thousands and thousands of acres of land, you can't call it all your "home". In town people are lucky to have an acre, but still they don't call their yard their home.

You're comparing apples and oranges.
Anonymous said…
Betty Olsen may be a "freshman" legislator, but having known her and her family for over 35 years, she is NO QUITTER. All of those branding her as "single issue"... forecasting or threatening isolation of Betty Olsen in the legislative process, because of her committment to represent her constituents, better be ready for the final go round. You will have to look long and hard to find any legislator as constitutionally based as Betty, or as studious and diligent in contemplation of each bill presented. So be a little careful in trying to slip something past Betty.
Anonymous said…
Stick with it Betty. This is a bill that has passed both the house and the senate (just not in the same year). You will not suffer any lack of credibility for the effort, and you will keep a campaign promise.

Do not let anyone dissuade you from pushing the issues you campaigned on. You have only 75 days of session in your term to do what you promised. Nobody will fault you if you push issues diligently but fail. They will fault you if you do not try.
Anonymous said…
Yes, have Lintz bring the bill along with his idea that land owners only can shoot of the road. That's a great idea too. Also, we can sell tags, shoot trained ducks, put up high fences for game, and let our paying customers do whatever "we" want them to do.

Realize this angry landowners, you are few, we hunting city folk are many. You are risking a backlash with everystep you take to protect your "property rights." When you get your way why don't we just restrict the number of out of state pheasant hunters? Put an end to preserve hunting? Restrict preserve size or the total number by county?
Anonymous said…

Go take your medication. It's Christmas and delusional folks are hard to have around when everyone else it trying to have a jolly time.
Anonymous said…
as was mentioned WAY earlier in this thread...

You can see by the number of comments on this issue that it will cause an even greater emotional division in the legislature than even 1215 did last year...

Why do we have to go there??? It has no chance whatsoever of passing, and will do nothing but cause hard feelings for the rest of the session.

Please reconsider Betty.
Anonymous said…
Nope. Here is the wall. Here is Betty's Head. Let's watch them meet time and time again.
Anonymous said…
It all boils down to "if you have nothing to hide, why should a CO entering your open field worry you"?
Anonymous said…
I think you are right if GF&P has nothing to hide their should be no reason for GF&P not to ask permission before entering.
Anonymous said…
Well Susan...what do you think they are hiding?
I think our court system is proving what some landowners are hiding.....
Anonymous said…
Anon 7:46,
It really puzzles me why you think there would be an “emotional division” in the legislature over an issue that is basically just between an overbearing and intrusive governmental entity like GF&P and the landowners who believe it is their right to control access to the land they own and pay taxes on.

Who is being emotional? Only hunters who have lost millions of acres of free hunting land have any reason to get worked up about this issue because they are the only ones who have lost anything from GF&P’s push to control landowners.

If folks like anonymous 8:02, 8:05, and 12:24 have become so involved in this property rights issue that it causes them emotional distress and hurt feelings, they should be looking for another job that doesn’t involve working for Game, Fish and Parks.
Anonymous said…
Betty: You can say all that you want to, it is going to create a riff, it is going to pit the urban Legislator against the rural Legislator of which there are just a few of you from West River and dip sticks like Duenwald who hasnt passed a single issuein his career.
The urban vote will win and it will continue to win, gone is the power that the rural Legislator's use to have.
Besides we all know what the single issue that would take all this away dont we...I beleive Bob Johnson was quoted in saying "give us transferable licenses and all this will disappear"....
It is all about money and greed...
Anonymous said…
I know Robert Johnson pretty well I don't believe he said transferable licenses would make it all go away. I do however remember them discussing giving property owners 1 or 2 transferable licenses not unlimited transferable licenses. That has never happened. I think common sense would tell most that 1 or 2 transferable licenses would not be all about money or greed. I do know Robert Johnson has never charged anyone to hunt his property and I can also say the only one who has charged hunters to hunt his property is GF&P.

If you could tell me what meeting this quote was made I could probably listen to the tape or read the transcript.
Anonymous said…

Why is it that everyone who disagrees with your side of the issue, works for the GFP. I think that you are missing the point that sportsmen and women support their states wildlife management agency and blame the few "poor victimized landowner" of rural Harding County for trying to use them as a wedge to get what they want from the GFP. Why is it also that when a person voices their opposition to your side of the arguement that we "obviously live in an apartment in Soiux Falls"
I am an East River Land Owner, and neithor I nor any other land owner I have the pleasure to visit with agree with your side of the debate.
I am not sure why, but from what I have read here today, quite a few proponants of the "repeal the Open Fields Doctrine" fad have resorted to immature name calling. As for the "vast majority of the population" as you make your side sound, I am not impressed, nor would I be if I were undecided on an issue with such high stakes.
The states wildlife management agency has in the past done and excellet job in maintaining the wildlife (Game, non-game, protected, threatened, and endangered). This is in part due to cooperation between the Land Owners and the GFP. The SD lockout movement has been geared toward one thing and that is commercialization of wildlife.
During your posts one key word keeps popping out at me and that is "Comminication". You I assume that you are referring to the lines of communication between the Conservation Officers and the Land Owners. Are you forgetting or choosing to ignore the strong movement to improve communication by the GFP? I have had the great fortune to meet my local CO and to get to know him through on the farm talks and through his community involvement. I have visited with him about the need to keep and excercise the Open Fields Doctrine, and I am aware of how crutial it is for te continuance of wildlife management and enforcement (which go hand in hand). I am sure that in your little corner of the state the local CO that has been assigned to that county has attempted to meet you, and hopefully greeted with open arms. If you are picking this fight because of the communication, I ask you, what is there to fight about?

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