Minnesota Trappers Association
 Sportsmen's Alert


**MTA Alert**

Thursday night SF 723 was amended to include the written permission requirement as listed below. The House version does not have this language. We will be working to have the language removed in the conference committee.

MTA members can contact any and all of the House and Senate members listed below, as well as their own senators and representatives to add support to the removal of this provision. Time is of the essence.

Senate file 723 - Sec. 58.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 97B.001, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 9. - Placing traps or snares on private land; written permission required. A person may not set or place a trap or snare on private property that is not subject to a requirement to be open to the public, other than property owned or occupied by the person, unless the person has the written permission of the owner, occupant, or lessee of the private property. This subdivision includes, but is not limited to, written permission to access private property from waters of the state when the trap or snare is placed or staked in the water.

A Sample Letter is found below...

Dear Senators and Representatives

This email is written on behalf of the Minnesota Trappers Association.  Language has been added to SF 723, Sec. 58 that will require written permission on private land for trapping and only trapping. If this becomes law, trappers will be harmed with no benefit to either landowners or the public.  The House companion bill, HF 888, does not contain this language.  

Trappers understand and respect that landowners have the right to control access to and use of their property.  Under current law, on agriculture land, permission, but not written permission, is needed for any recreational use. On non-ag lands, permission, but not written permission, is needed for any recreational use if the land is posted.  It may seem benign to change this long held standard for trapping, but it is not.  

All outdoor activities require access to land.  It is a reality that there are less and less places available.  This is especially true for the young and the new to any activity.   The MTA has always advocated that trappers seek permission to enter land, but in many instances, the owner will give permission, but not written permission.  It is also becoming more and more common that land is held by estates and trusts that are absent and essentially legally unfindable.  In today’s world, absentee landowners, many living out-of-state, are common.  The land is often held for investment purposes, and the landowner is very difficult, if not essentially impossible to find.  Minnesota does have the blessing of large tracts of public land, but the public lands are interspersed with land ownership of many types.  The line between public and private is neither marked nor easy to determine. Currently, a simple “posted” sign tells all that the land is unavailable.  To those that do not heed the posting, another law does not help.  But to those that want to follow the law, which is the vast majority of trappers, the result of the current language of SF 723, Sec. 58 will be a chilling effect to not trap anywhere which could possibly be private land.  Even National Forests like the Chippewa and Superior National Forests have hundreds of parcels within the Forest boundaries that are held in private or quasi-private ownership.  It is one thing to find these lands in a plot book, it is an entirely undoable thing to find them on the land. And it is essentially impossible to find the owner.  This is a reality not only in the northern areas of the state, but all over Minnesota.  

There is also no evidence that the current law on trespass in Minnesota has caused any harm to anyone.  The MN DNR records do not show that trappers on private property without permission, written or otherwise, has resulted in instances of dogs or other domestic animals being trapped.  Changing the current trespass law will hurt trappers, but will not help anyone.

I would invite the opportunity to meet with any of you to discuss this or any trapping related issue. 

Thank you.

Senator Karin Housel (39,R)
Email: sen.karin.housley@senate.mn

Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen (08, R)
Email: senbill.ingebrigtsen@senate.mn

Senator Michelle R. Benson
Email: Sen.michelle.benson@senate.mn

Senator Julie A. Rosen (23, R)
Email: sen.julie.rosen@senate.mn

Senator Carrie Ruud (10, R)

Representative Dan Fabian (01A, R)
Email: rep.dan.fabian@house.mn

Representative Tony Cornish (23B, R)
Email: rep.tony.cornish@house,mn

Representative Kurt Daudt (31A, R)
Email: rep.kurt.daibt@house.mn