IDAHO EXPANDS ACCESS YES! PROGRAM- The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) has been awarded with a $900,000 grant to expand their “Access Yes!” program. This program increases the amount of land that is open to the public for hunting and fishing, by allowing the public to hunt on private property. They received the grant through the 2020 Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP). The direct purpose of this program is to provide compensation to landowners.
As of right now, there exists just over 300,000 acres of private land enrolled in this program. They will allocate their grant money over the next three years to ensure the growth of “Access Yes!.”
Officials specifically look for areas where they can balance proper conservation interests and public access for hunters. They are hopeful that enrollment of new land will be done by the end of this Spring, so that hunters can utilize these opportunities in the Fall.
The way in which the “Access Yes!” program works is quite simple. The IDFG maintains a list on their website of every landowner who has enrolled. The list compiles certain hunting information, that varies by property. For example, some landowners may require you to contact them before hunting on their land. They may also limit how many hunters are on their land, and where they can travel and camp. Finally, landowners may limit the type of hunting and fishing, such as only allowing for elk hunting, for example.
“Access Yes!” is a way to bridge the gap between private and public land. It serves legitimate interests for both landowners and hunters. It is of upmost importance that hunters and anglers respect the landowners and their property. Their enrollment in the program is voluntary.
Does your state have programs similar to the Access Yes program?