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23495Re: Odds and Sods-Lazulis and the Law.

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  • Kevin
    Aug 1, 2012
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      In several jobs I've had, we have always been concerned about liabilities of trespassers. The odd thing is trespassing or not, if the danger was clearly one that should have been fixed but wasn't, anyone could sue. There is a phrase for this type of danger but I've forgotten it off hand. One Scout campe for example had an outhouse visible from a road. The outhouse was rotten wood and no longer used but you couldn't tell. We tore it down eventually. But a court might rule that it was logical for a person to stop on the side of a road by a Scout camp not in use and rush in to use the outhouse if they really had to. If they fell through the rotten wood then whose fault is it?




      The same applies to an "attractive hazard". If you have something on your property that might be seen as to lure someone in. For example one Scout camp had a small climbing wall visible from an adjacent grid road and there was even a worn trail leading to it. So people were going down to use it. When I worked with zoological parks we often heard of such example. A good one was Magnetic Hill Game Farn in NB who was sued when a monkey in a cage bit a little boy's finger after he stuck it in the cage. The boy had to go under a chain, ignore the sign that said "Do not feed food or fingers".

      The issue as I understand it comes down to people who don't read the language the sign is posted in or don't read at all. Or if the sign isn't near the problem area. Or people who can read but don't like to. I've worked with people, hard to believe, who can but NEVER read. I know one person who almost prides himself on never reading. So they don't look at things like signs the way we might. The Magnetic Zoo example above was a good example as the child couldn't read. The single chain fence to keep them out was more of a warning barrier than prohibiting barrier. It was replaced with an actual fence. And the distance between the chain and the cage was so close that if a parent were inattentive for even a second or two, the child could reach the cage.

      So I think in principal any landowner with an open well, a well with a rotten wooden top, an old building about to fall over might have a potential problem. However I think it would take the worst combination of personalities both from the landowner and the person hurt for that to happen.

      From the comments here, most of us would accept an injury as a normal part of ebirding an old homestead. Especially if there was a whip poor will down the well. :-)

      Kevin



      --- In Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com, "Alan Smith" <alansmithlegge@...> wrote:
      >
      > Good comments everyone.
      >
      > It would be interesting to know what the laibilites are if someone got hurt or fell down a well - shades of Dolores Claiborne.
      >
      > Al
      >
      > --- In Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com, "lilliankaye@" <lilliankaye@> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > Thank you, Alan; I am indeed one of the new (birding a year) birder who is looking for the lazui bunting, so your note was really appreciated.
      > >
      > > Regarding land, just a footnote: another danger is wells, even on properties where old homesteads once stood (or are still there) one should step carefully due to well holes where all that is left is overgrown weeds to hide the opening.
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com, "Alan Smith" <alansmithlegge@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > With regard to those wishing to see a Lazuli Bunting this year it is probably too late. Aside from a few late fall records, the latest date I have for a males singing on territory in Saskatchewan is August first. This is to do with the life history of the species. After nesting and raising their young which has happened by now, the species migrates to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico to moult. After moult they move to their wintering area further south in western Mexico. It seems unusual that a songbird should have three areas where it spends significant amounts of time but it is probably more common we think. I mention this as I would not like to see some of our less experienced birders become frustrated and discouraged by searching for a species that has probably left. Some young Lazulis may linger behind but they would be hard to ID and even harder to find. Keep searching if you wish, but you will have better luck next year, the species is not hard to find in suitable habitat from late May to mid-July.
      > > >
      > > > With regards to the Trespass Law for Saskatchewan it decriminalizes trespass and replaces it with a fine of up to $2000. It certainly was not enacted to punish birders or other relatively innocuous trespassers but it does indeed include us. Basically you could be fined if you ignore a trespass sign or if you do not leave after the landowner has requested you to leave. When I worked for the government or when I now work for a consulting firm, I always make sure that permission was obtained from the landowner. We all know those who have "trespassed" if there are no signs or if a landowner was not immediately available for permission. I am certainly not advising any of the readers to do this, for if you do it is your "lookout". The point being is that after 45 years and hundreds of quarter sections of wandering Prairie Canada I have had only two incidents where I was confronted and both were actually on legal road allowances, and one case it resolved amicably on the spot. More often than not landowners have good reasons for posting their land. One reason is a misunderstanding of the Species-at-risk Act (SARA). So if you find a SARA protected species assure the landowner that the intent of the act is to encourage them to maintain the status quo and that is all. Also often the landowner is most interested in what you are doing so take the time to chat with them; don't tick the bird a take off!
      > > >
      > > > A disconcerting aspect of the Trespass Law is that persons engaged in lawful hunting, fishing or trapping are exempt. I am not sure what this means, but I assume that they are not subject to a fine and merely asked to leave. I assume they are exempt because they require a licence-I would gladly pay for a "birding licence" if the funds went to conservation. This is a good segue to the PFRA pastures which officially require a "right of entry" permit if you wish to enter. Some pasture managers turn a blind eye to this especially for local people, but ironically it's easier to access private land than some pastures, lands that in theory we own! Again hunters don't require a permit. Nothing against hunters, but what's good for the hunter of the goose is good for those who want to take gander at a gander!
      > > >
      > > > Alan Smith
      > > > Avonlea
      > > >
      > >
      >
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