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Farming bill aimed at increasing the trespassing fine

A newly-proposed bill aims to strengthen Idaho’s trespassing laws on farms. The bill was introduced by State Republican Representative, Judy Boyle of Midvale.

Idaho Farm Bureau President, Bryan Searle is one of many farmers sharing horror stories, who also testified that the trespassing fine is low, that it’s not worth the sheriff’s time in his county.

From fertilizer tanks and pivot tires shot through, to a demolition derby held on a Shelley farm, it’s obvious why multiple farmers are frustrated with the low trespassing fine.

Bryan Searle, IDFB President stated, “There needs to be some attention to it and that’s what this bill does is impose some infractions for the violations that stiffer to help prevent that.”

Representative Boyle instead wants a three-strike clause. This would mean if within a ten year period, someone is convicted of two trespassing charges, the third offense is a felony, which is already a law within the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Jim White, with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game explained, “We think that it’s good to have the conversation about clarifying the trespass rules in Idaho, but we think that some of the language in the bill is not quite as clear as it could be.”

Gary Allen, who represents the Idaho Property Rights Coalition stressed this bill targets repeat offenders, not those who are simply lost or who accidentally trespass.

Farmer, Sid Freeman, based out of Caldwell stated, “We don’t mind people walking their dogs and riding their horses, but when they get out in the fields, and start tearing up our coregates and our ditches, it’s a big problem.”

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