The government seeks public input on current rural land access rules
By Kate Ayers
Saskatchewan is conducting a review of its trespass legislation to determine if adjustments are needed to better address the balance between rural residents and the public.
Current rules vary for different activities under The Trespass to Property Act, The Wildlife Act 1998, The All-Terrain Vehicles Act, The Snowmobile Act and The Provincial Lands Regulations, a Government of Saskatchewan release said last week.
“Right now, there are rules under different acts. A snowmobile is treated differently than an ATV, which is treated differently than a half-ton (truck), for example,” Todd Lewis, Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) president, said to Farms.com today.
“There is a lot of confusion about what is trespassing and what isn’t. It is time to modernize the (legislation) and make it so there is one set of rules for everything.”
The Ministry of Justice encourages Saskatchewan residents to provide input on the matter by Oct. 1, 2018.
According to the release, the ministry is seeking answers about:
- Should all access by members of the public to rural property require the express advance permission of the rural land owner of the activity?
- If so, how should permission be sought and granted?
“In Saskatchewan, (residents) have implied permission. So, in other words, if your land isn’t posted, it is legal for someone to drive on (your property) for hunting or bird watching … and they have every right to do that,” Lewis said.
“Before someone goes and enters someone else’s property, they should ask for permission from the land owner. It only makes good sense that they find the land owner.”
Biosecurity on farm properties is becoming more important with the increasing prevalence of noxious weeds and diseases, such as clubroot.
“We need to know who is on our land,” Lewis said.
“Something as simple as mud on someone’s tires from an infected area could have a huge impact on a land owner.”
More information on each Act as well as the questionnaire can be found here.
Responses should be sent to
Ministry of Justice
Legislative Services Branch
Attn: Review of Trespass Related Legislation
800 - 1874 Scarth Street
Regina, SK S4P 4B3
Or by email to LSBQuestionnaire@gov.sk.ca
Previous Farm.com coverage of crime in rural Saskatchewan can be accessed here.