By Associated Press - Saturday, January 25, 2020

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Landowners in three North Dakota counties will soon be able to use a mobile app or go online to electronically post land that’s open for hunting, as part of a pilot project.

Ramsey, Richland and Slope counties were named as project participants by the Legislature’s interim Natural Resources Committee, the Bismarck Tribune reported. Landowners will have until July 15 to electronically post land, which is voluntary, and hunters can then use an app or go online to find out what land is posted.

The project is part of an interim study related to the “trespass bill” that was defeated in the 2019 Legislature. The bill sought to ease hunter access on private land but stirred debate over private property rights and the state’s hunting heritage.

No penalties exist for trespassing on electronically posted land. North Dakota landowners must physically post signs to close access to their property.

Sen. Robert Erbele, a Lehr Republican who chairs the committee, said the code and penalties for electronic and physical posting need to be made consistent to avoid confusion. Future legislation would look at continuing the study to include more counties, potentially making the project statewide by 2023.

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