Vilifying, suing Montana ranchers no way to improve access

“Respect for private property is essential to Montana’s outdoor way of life …” So says a report published by Montana Wildlife Federation and its affiliate, Public Land and Water Access Association. Montanans would be better served if MWF and PLWA actually demonstrated some respect for private property rights, rather than paying lip service to it while agitating for the confiscation of thousands of acres of private land every year through questionable political and judicial means.

Continue reading

Waters of the US rule is about control, not conservation

It’s safe to say all Montanans enjoy our lakes, rivers and streams and wish to ensure that they remain healthy for years to come. No group values our water more than Montana’s agriculture producers. They’re the primary stewards of our water and their conservation efforts benefit all Montanans. That could all change, however, if the EPA gets their way. Their newly proposed “Waters of the United States” rule would flip our water conservation model, ultimately turning what landowners now consider an asset into a huge liability. History has shown when that happens, our environment pays the price. Let’s be clear on what this rule is about. It’s an attempt to expand the power of the federal bureaucracy to control what happens on private land. This rule is not about protecting water resources—in...

Continue reading

MOU Between FWP and Turner Enterprises, Inc.

Over the past several weeks we have had several members inquire as to the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding between Turner Enterprises, Inc., Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, and the Montana Department of Livestock regarding the quarantine and relocation of Yellowstone National Park Bison. Click here to view the MOU.

Continue reading

LA Times: Supreme Court deals setback to rails-to-trails movement

“The Supreme Court dealt a setback Monday to the popular redevelopment trend of transforming abandoned railroad lines into public bike paths, ruling that buyers of such lands are not required to continue granting a federal right of way… “In an 8-1 decision, the justices ruled in favor of Marvin Brandt, a Wyoming man who controls 83 acres of land that was formerly used by the Wyoming and Colorado Railroad, located near the Medicine Bow National Forest. When the U.S. Forest Service told Brandt that the government retained the railroad’s right of way across his land and planned to use it for a bike trail, he filed suit. “Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the Railroad Right of Way Act of 1875 gave the rail lines a temporary easement across the land, but once...

Continue reading

Oped: Access for all but stewardship for not

By Terry L. Anderson and Reed Watson of PERC When the Montana Constitution was rewritten in 1972, no one would have thought that the clause stating all waters “are the property of the State for the use of its people” would lead to an erosion of private property rights to land. But it has as Montana’s activist Supreme Court has used the clause to favor stream access over private property rights. … With landowners outraged by the ruling, the legislature tried to slow the erosion of property rights in 1985 by passing the “Stream Access Law.” The law limits recreation to activities such as fishing, hunting, swimming and floating and limits access to areas between the high water marks, specifically excluding irrigation ditches. It also limits access across posted private property to gain...

Continue reading

Oped: Stream access decision bad news for landowners

By Senator Debby Barrett The Montana Supreme Court’s recent ruling on an important stream access case represents an alarming expansion of access law at the detriment of property rights. But despite headlines announcing a win for stream access, the court all but ignored the 1,000-pound gorilla in the case: whether Montana’s stream access law is constitutional. Ultimately, if the appellants are successful in appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, the case may yet prove to restore the property rights that were taken from Montana landowners 30 years ago.

Continue reading

Join our mailing list

© 2019 United Property Owners of Montana. All Rights Reserved

Web design by the Montana Group