The Wyoming Farm Bureau is looking to the January legislative session as an entry-point to address issues surrounding trespassing, liability, and transportation.
The bureau announced it will ask for clarification of who is responsible for covering the injuries of a trespasser on private property. It will also advocate for farmers and ranchers to be able to use semi-trucks during harvest without a commercial driver’s license. Farm Bureau Vice President Ken Hamilton says surrounding states make exceptions for agricultural producers during harvest time so that they can use semi-trucks in certain areas.
Hamilton says the group also wants to prevent rural landowners from losing phone service. “The Telecommunications Act, it sunsets in 2015,” he says. “So our legislative body has to address that in this session. We’re interested in how that body addresses that so that our ag. members or folks out there at the end of the line are taken care of and don’t find themselves suddenly without any kind of phone service.”
Hamilton says one of the biggest issues he’d like the legislature to address is trespassers using information they find against landowners. For example, he says, “The Western Watersheds Project illegally trespassed across private land to gather water quality data in hopes that by submitting that to DEQ they could convince the agency that the water bodies are impaired.”
Hamilton says the group will also be looking to modify the Antiquities Act so that a two-thirds majority of Congress has to approve new national monuments.