Don't Cut Corners

Montana lawmakers recently voted against a bill that would have amended current trespassing laws and enhanced access to public land for hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts. The House Judicial Committee tabled the “Corner Crossing Bill” on January 30. If the bill had passed, it would have allowed people to legally step across the point where two corners of public land touch, but are bordered by private land, thus avoiding trespassing and allowing further public-land access for those out hunting or hiking.

The bill was controversial and prompted many comments. Supporters were eager for it to pass and enhance access to previously inaccessible public land, while those opposing the bill were concerned it would infringe upon private property rights (although nobody could say exactly how). At least for now, hunters and hikers will have to gaze wistfully across the invisible barrier and hope that in the future, they will be able to hop-scotch across the corner and continue tracking that elusive elk herd.

Photo by Payel Patel