Data Trespass Lawsuit Dismissed

AP 7-7,2016

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging Wyoming laws that prohibit trespassing on private lands to collect data.

Groups including the Western Watersheds Project, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Press Photographers Association sued Wyoming last year.

The groups claimed state laws prohibiting trespassing to collect data were unconstitutional because they would block people from informing government regulators about violations on private lands.

U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl of Casper dismissed the lawsuit Wednesday, ruling there’s no constitutional right to trespass on private lands.

Skavdahl last year expressed concerns about an earlier version of the state law that prohibited collection of data on open lands. The Wyoming Legislature earlier this year revised the laws to specify they only applied to trespassing to collect data on private lands.