WSGA discusses fence laws
Casper – “Good fences make good neighbors,” has been a longtime rancher’s creed, along with the fact that “the best fence is horse high, pig tight and bull strong.”
Unfortunately, many new people that are moving into subdivisions and ranchettes do not have the same views on fencing.
There has been a lot of discussion in Wyoming in recent months about whether there is a need for a statute to be written to codify Wyoming’s status as a fence-out or fence-in state.
Historically the issue of fencing has been backed up by case law.
“Most of that case law is over 100 years old,” explained Leanne Correll, the Wyoming Livestock Board’s (WLSB) director.
Correll, along with other WLSB members, spoke at the 2013 Wyoming Stock Growers Association Winter Round held in Casper in early December.
Many that attended the Brand Committee meeting were ranchers across the state that expressed their concerns and opinions about Wyoming having a statute over fence law.
“There have been discussions around the state in recent months about a fence-in law. There is a preference to being a fence-out state by many producers,” said Todd Heward, member of the WLSB.
Many members warned that people should be careful for what they ask for.
Once a statute is made about fencing, it could be very difficult to change later. Thus far, by using case law, fencing issues have been settled, WSLB members said. Making the case law into statute could turn the tables, they continued.
“We are afraid that if we had a civil challenge to the law and somebody wanted to take their neighbor to task over that 100-year case law, it would not hold up in today’s court system with judges and prosecutors we have in today’s world,” said Correll.
Madeline Robinson is assistant editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.