In the United States, land access has been a contentious issue among Landowners, Farmers and those who wish to access their land as long as statehood. Who owns the land? Who has access to the land? Who needs permission to enter it? We have come to associate these issues with terms like “Private property rights”. Depending on which state you are in, determines if you must ask permission to enter or not. Most states fall under the category or “presumed posted” meaning, whether there is a posted sign or not, you must obtain permission to access.
In 2004, Duke University Law Student Mark Sigmon wrote a paper about the complexities of Hunting and posting on private land in America. Every North Dakota legislative session since then has had some sort of “Posting Bill” come up, pitting hunters against landowners/farmers, and Farmers against Farmers. Birder watchers, Hikers, Hunters, and Pro 2nd Amendment groups would argue that changing North Dakotas “Open unless otherwise posted” laws would harm their groups. Farmers would argue they don’t want to keep putting up posted signs which would frequently be vandalized by gun shots, torn down, or claimed “unseen”. Farmers lists of issues were not without merit including:
- They just want to know who is on their property
- Not wanting to be sued if someone gets hurt
- Family and Friends hunt the land
- Safety of family and farm employees
- Safety of livestock or other animals on or around the farm
- Access Compensation
- Access Compensation is only foreign to the Northern Plains
- Property damage
- Ruts (NDSU 2016 study says fixing ruts can cost $9-$20 per acre to fix)
- Fences cut (either to retrieve animals or vandalism)
- Garbage left in the field
- Grant permission once, hunter feels that permission lasts for ever
- Grant permission, hunter acts as if its permission over every field
- Grand permission to more than one group
- Hunter call and complain to the farmer over who has permission
- Countless phone calls daily during hunting months
- Countless phone calls when home with family
- Countless phone calls while working on break downs or equipment
- Hunters knocking on doors or coming to the house or shop
- Posted signs shot, ignored, or torn down
- Unsure what field the hunter is in
- Hunters falsely claiming they had permission
- Granting access is low on the priority list for farmers during their workday or home life
Hunters, Hikers, birdwatchers, and 2nd amendment groups also have valid concerns:
- It’s hard to find places to hunt
- Most other states, private landowners charge money to hunt
- Public land is frequently crowded and over hunted
- Birdwatchers just want access for viewing
- Birdwatchers love to photograph or film different birds each region provides
- Hikers enjoy different areas to hunt whether mountains, beaches, or the plains
- Restrictions on access cause hunters to quit the sport
- Reduction in hunters reduces 2 nd amendment activism
- Reduction in hunters reduces support for the NRA
- Reduction in birdwatchers, hunters and hikers reduces tourism dollars for states
- Receiving permission from incorrect landowner by mistake
- Scouting for tomorrow’s waterfowl hunt is usually the evening before
- Don’t want to bother farmers at home or when they are busy
These common arguments shared by both groups led our Co-founders to deliberate over several years that something could be done to provide landowners to tools to manage their property and access requests and subsequently improve the communication between the groups. The concept of improving communication between landowners and the people wishing to access their property was quite simple; make it less invasive, quick, and easy to use. It wasn’t until the Covid-19 Pandemic started in the early months of 2020 when QR Code scanning on menus and other uses really took off.
QR Posts is a land management web application designed to help farmers and landowners manage the land access requests they receive
In the spring of 2020, Co-Founders Kyle Reierson and Levi Otis were at a restaurant that had removed menus from their tables and installed QR Codes on the tables. Observing a table of patrons at least twice their age, use their cell phones to scan the QR Code and order, the lightbulb went off. Mr. Reierson suggested to Mr. Otis that by applying a QR Code to a posted sign, they could program that link to ask a landowner permission to access their property. QR Posts was born. Mr. Otis went into thorough detail about the process farmers must take to post their land in North Dakota versus other states like Minnesota that have ‘presumed posted’ laws.
Our mission remained consistent: “QR Posts is a land management web application designed to help farmers and landowners manage the land access requests they receive”. Keeping the process simple and easy to use allowed Mr. Reierson develop the application in under a year with a goal of releasing more phases as time goes on.
Since our launch on October 1st, 2020, QR Posts – Patent pending has over 70 customers and 10’s of thousands of acres posted. Landowners log into www.qrposts.com, click on “my posted land” tab, click on “post new land”, enter their personal land identifier that appears on their posted sign and then map out the acres being posted. The process only takes minutes for each farm or land area to be posted. Receiving an InnovateND Grant through NDSU and North Dakota Department of Commerce allowed QR Posts to market heavily in the summer of 2021.
As we enter our second full year of business, our acres are increasing as fast as our interest. Stay tuned for exciting phases rolling out in 2022!