"Electric livestock fence meets swinging iron gate on forest service access road leading to cellphone and agency radio towers on Bald Ridge above Chief Joseph Scenic Highway 30 miles NW of Cody. This is a fairly new catch fence to keep publically grazed livestock from getting down into the Clarks Fork Canyon." (Dewey Vanderhoff)

Who can travel and who can shut the gate on publicly-mapped and maintained roads that cross private property enroute to public lands? Those were two of the many questions debated last Friday in the first hearing of Frank Ranches v. Jonathan Ratner.

The landmark case, which pits ranchers against environmentalists, has already spawned controversial data trespass legislation — state laws which some contend make photographs, like this one of a forest service access road northwest of Cody, illegal.

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