As the province reviews its trespassing laws, there are concerns being raised by the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation.
The provincial government is asking if the public should require permission from rural property owners before accessing land, regardless of the activity.
While the president of SARM said it would address concerns about trespassing leading to break-ins and thefts, it could cause problems for hunters trying to track down landowners.
“Concerns about access have been building quite significantly for the last few years,” said Darrell Crabbe, Executive Director of Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation.
Hunters are encouraged to gain permission from the landowner, regardless of whether or not the property has signs posted for no hunting or trespassing.
He said there are a lot more of what he called ‘absentee landowners’ in Saskatchewan who don’t live on the property. He feels there’s an understanding that if these landowners are OK with hunting, they don’t post their land at all.
Crabbe explained even with the ability to access RM maps, it’s been more of a challenge to contact landowners over the last 20 years, many who don’t have landlines anymore.
“That is one of the leading issues right now. We can go get the maps from the RM but to actually track a lot of these folks down is getting increasingly difficult,” said Crabbe.
He also questioned how permission would be obtained if it was required. Would it need to be written, verbal or through a text message?
The Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation does not believe hunting is a major concern by property owners when it comes to the access issue. Crabbe said this questionnaire is an opportunity to address the issues that are concerning landowners while not disrupting much on the ability to hunt.
“I think if we all work together we can come up with something that is going to address the issues for everybody and not impede a lot of the great opportunities or activities that we have in our province.”