Saturday, January 15, 2011

Got DNR Tramping Around on Your Property?

A bit of a brouhaha Up Nort' over DNR's selective reading of policy and statutes is described by the Lakeland Times.

Interesting factoid from the article, describing DOT policy (DNR was acting as DOT's agent in the case at hand.)

"The department does not have to ask for permission, but shall notify the owner/occupant that entry will occur, when it will occur, and why it will occur," the manual states. "It may be necessary to contact more than one person (e.g., owner of the land, renter, occupant, caretaker, and neighbor) to adequately provide information of the proposed project to everyone concerned or affected by the project."

Department personnel, the manual continues, should contact the owner before beginning work.

The department is also keenly aware a warrant might be required, and that they cannot enter without it if a property owner refuses to relent and consent.

"Although the statutes allow the right of entry on private land, the exercise of this right may require a Special Inspection Warrant when an owner/occupant steadfastly refuses entry," the manual states. "Neither the department nor the department's representative may 'breach the peace' when entering private land."

Notification is always required, the DOT manual states, when walking around an entire parcel of privately owned land.

It would be interesting to know if DNR policy is similar, or whether they have a policy at all.

HT: BerryLaker

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