It has reared its head in the legislature before as farmland was flooded into lakes, and unexpectedly, the State Supreme Court has thrown this issue back into chaos – with sportsmen in one corner, and landowners in the other:
The South Dakota Supreme Court dealt a victory to private property owners in a ruling that says a state agency doesn’t have the legal authority to allow people access to flooded waters or ice over private property without legislative approval.
The decision represents a blow to South Dakota Game Fish & Parks, which had argued that all water was accessible to the public if it could be reached without trespassing on private land. It also represents a defeat for hunters and anglers who argued that all waters in the state should be accessible to the public.
The decision stems from a lawsuit brought by landowners in Day County against the GF&P as well as a class action against people accessing two sloughs.
And read the decision here:
One of the most recent efforts at mediating the situation through legislation that was attempted in 2014…
But obviously emboldened by the recent court decision, watch for the battle lines to be fought all the more fiercely next year.