Trespassing to stop under settlement – August 18, 2016
Nearly two years after filing suit against anti livestock grazing organization, Western Watershed Projects, Wyoming landowners and WWP have reached an agreement to settle the Landowners’ trespass claims against WWP employee Jonathon Ratner and the organization.
Western Watershed Projects has trespassed on these private lands over 60 times since 2005. Western Watershed Projects conceded to a Consent Decree in which they have stipulated to not trespass again on these lands and other lands owned by the landowners, amounting to over 50,000 acres, or they will face paying damages and attorney fees to the Landowners.
The Landowners have contributed greatly to outdoor recreation by leaving thousands of acres of privately owned lands, in some cases interspersed with public lands, open to the public for hunting fishing and recreation. This settlement will encourage these Landowners to keep lands open for continued recreation use.
The Landowners were also concerned with monitoring for water quality and other natural resources on their land by individuals who have no formal training or education to conduct such monitoring and fail to abide by standard operating procedures such as the Department of Environmental Quality’s water quality monitoring requirements and no authorization to access private property.
On February 25, 2016 DEQ published their 2014 Integrated Report which included a rejection of WWP data due to numerous issues with quality of the data.