It’s public land. But the public cannot reach it.
“Hunting has become big business,” said Mr. Herring. “And people who have leased land for hunting don’t want people living on it who aren’t paying for it. As a result, the topic of trespassing has gotten hotter every year.”
Resentment against landowners and commercial hunting has also increased.
“If you go back a few decades, it was a lot easier for the public to knock on the door and get access to private land,” said Mr. Webster of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, which has worked with OnX on public land initiatives. “Generally, the people who owned the land were rooted in that community — they went to church together, they went to school together, they grew up together. And if you want access to my apartment, that’s fine, just let me know – something like that.”
That trust has eroded, partly due to a generational shift away from family farming and ranching. “The owners and their children don’t want to continue that tradition,” Mr. Webster said, “so they end up selling to a new landowner who may not be local and may not have the same feelings for the public on their land.” “
The result – bitter confrontations steeped in class overtones and pointing to greater grievances – is now a staple of the West.
Lawmakers have stepped in to resolve the conflicts, largely in favor of landowners and corporate interests seeking to restrict public access, while judges have tended to relax restrictions. For outdoor advocacy groups, the issue can be a public relations nightmare, as the funders they approach for financial support are often landowners.
Like a curve-walker, OnX navigates through a tightly contested space. In 2018, Mr. Siegfried stepped down as Chief Executive to focus on public land advocacy. At the same time, the company began publishing a series of “access initiatives” trumpeting the problems of landlocked and landlocked land.
Laura Orvidas, who took over the management of OnX for Mr. Siegfried, does not believe that the app makes trespassing easier.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/26/business/hunting-wyoming-elk-mountain-access.html It’s public land. But the public cannot reach it.