Just an idea

Killergaurd

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
85
What if, maybe already exists to a point. But what if montana or any other state had u buy a permit call it what I want. $5 deal and all of it went to buying private lands and turning it into public. A permit deal that everyone had to buy to hunt fish whatever. Thoughts.
 

Gerald Martin

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Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
4,002
Or just build roads to the millions of acres of locked up public ground that already exists. Oh wait, the're already doing that...
“Locked up” in what way? Inaccessible because of being surrounded by private or because of wilderness areas or other designated non roadless areas? The latter is not locked up.
 

theat

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Joined
Aug 28, 2010
Messages
600
Location
NW Montana
I like the idea, but unfortunately highly unlikely to happen in any western state controlled by a Republican majority in the state legislature. You are just not going to find enough support for increasing the amount of public lands. In fact, here in Montana, during the last handful of legislative sessions we often have to fight against bills that would decrease or eliminate funding for management or purchase of more state lands/fishing access sites.

Here is a quote straight from the Montana Republican Party Platform -

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"Federally Managed Public Lands
The Montana Republican Party supports the U.S. Congress and U.S. President, other public officials and
citizens of Montana and the United States to fully exert their efforts and powers to support returning
federally managed public lands to the states in order to secure statehood equality and provide for better
management of public lands."

It doesn't say it, but what that really means is eventually privatizing a lot of that land. Oh, and when they say "better management of public lands" that doesn't mean improving wildlife habitat or increasing access, it means getting the most money out of that land as possible. The state is required by law to do so. Interestingly, most if not all western states have way more stringent restrictions on the public use of their lands. Some states don't even allow hunting on their state lands without it being leased.

I hate to say it, but public land hunting in the west is going to get worse and worse as time goes on. The US population is growing by about 3.3 million people a year. Public lands and the wildlife we hunt on them are a very limited resource and the use of these resources by hunters is very very low on most elected members of government priority list. A lot of others want that land for many other reasons such as, logging, mining, agriculture, private playground, etc. I guarantee you that the people who want those things have a lot more money and A LOT more influence than hunters on the politicians in DC and most state capitols.

Due to the perceived and real value that exclusive access to public lands provides, I also see the battle to maintain and increase public access to landlocked or otherwise difficult to access public lands as an uphill battle. There have been bills introduced in Montana during the current and last legislative session to make it illegal for someone to put up a gate closing a public county road that access public lands, or at least make it easier for the local county to open it back up. So far, one of the parties in this state will not allow those bills to make their way to the governors desk. Ill let you guess which part is the road block (pun intended).
 

Kensley

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2018
Messages
42
Location
Bozemen, Montana
I wouldn't support it if it was run by the government. Whats stopping them from taking that money and using it for something else? Charity's like rmef is a better option because that is exactly what they do and they are not part of state or federal government. I would be for adding more charity's out there, but I think your best bet is a charity that is there to help some of the land owners maintain their land, which could in turn could lead to access points and additional participation in the BMA programs. Sure you can go out and offer some volunteer time and possibly get access that way. But if we had a larger entity that did charity work for some of our landowners, possibly those charity members could be granted access. Just a thought.
 

Ben Lamb

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Joined
Aug 6, 2010
Messages
10,469
Location
Helena
This is precisely what the Land & Water Conservation Find does at the federal level, and in Montana, we have Habitat Montana, MT-PLAN, PAL act, block management & fishing access sites.

Funding for habitat MT comes from mostly out of state license sales, while other programs have different sources of revenue.
 
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