Judge Questions Wyoming Ban on Open Lands Data Collection


by The Associated Press, Cheyenne WY

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit contesting two new Wyoming laws barring people from gathering information about agriculture and other industries on private and public lands.

U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl in Casper made the ruling Monday after questioning the constitutionality of the laws.

The Wyoming Legislature passed the two similar laws earlier this year. The measures specifically prohibit the taking of photos or gathering of other data while trespassing on open land.

A coalition of environmental, animal rights and other groups filed the suit, saying the laws try to prohibit gathering information used to challenge resource management decisions and expose animal cruelty.

The Legislature passed the laws after a group of Wyoming ranchers and landowners sued a conservation group they said trespassed on private land to collect water-quality samples.

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Source:  Associated Press



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