A new online platform aims to help Sask. rural landowners prevent trespassers

The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) has joined with tech start-up SaskLander to help rural landowners manage their properties to reduce unsolicited trespassers through an online platform.

The amendments to the trespassing legislation came into force on January 1, 2021. The new amendments now transfer responsibility from landowners to those who wish to gain access to land by requiring them to seek permission before entering.

The SaskLander platform allows landowners to add their property, review and manage permissions, schedule time off periods and more online.

Bob Huber is a semi-retired rural landowner from the Rural Municipality of Lipton, Saskatchewan. and said the app is a step “in the right direction” as intruders have been a concern for him and other owners for several years.

“No hunting signs have been put up and we have tried to manage our land, we are also in the ranching business so we manage a lot of livestock on our property and many hunters in the past just ignore the signs hunting ban. and enter the property anyway,” Huber told CTV News.

According to MRSA, trespassing can pose a threat not only to the safety of the owner, but also to their livelihood, as livestock can be lost in hunting accidents due to doors left open by intruders.

There is also a high potential for the spread of noxious weeds and soil-borne diseases such as clubroot.

Although Huber is a supporter of the platform, he has some concerns such as the time and effort it would take for landlords, who own large lots, to access the website and app.

“Another thing that concerns me is that you need an internet connection to work and in rural Saskatchewan we have poor connectivity in many parts of the province,” he said. .

SARM said he is an advocate for better connectivity in Saskatchewan and is working on ways to ensure the platform is accessible.

Those seeking access to private land may not always see a “No Trespassing” sign, who owns it or how to contact them, but with the online platform people can quickly find the information they are looking for.

“We’re trying to make people feel safer in Saskatchewan, we’re trying to curb illegal activity, theft, property crime and things like that,” said SARM President Ray Orb.

The SaskLander platform has 268 landowners registered online, representing 730 lots. The service is in its infancy and is free for everyone.

Stephen V. Lee