SB 354 to limit public access up today on Senate floor

Gevock

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Hope you've all seen this bill:

SB 354, sponsored by Sen. Steve Hinebauch, R-Wibaux, was amended last week in an attempt to practically end prescriptive easements to reach public lands and cut off public access. This bill as amended by Rep. Barry Usher, R-Billings, would set a deadline of December 31, 2022 to file for easements and bar non-profit groups like the Public Land and Water Access Association from claiming access easements. This is a blatant attack on the public’s ability to reach its public lands.



The bill is before the full House and must be stopped. Contact the House and tell them to vote NO on SB 354.



You can also leave a message by calling 444-4800.



PLEASE LEAVE YOUR OWN MESSAGE

  • Tell legislators that they should be working to improve public access, not impede it.
  • Tell them to work with hunters, anglers and recreational users on measures that open access to public lands, and this bill does the opposite of that.


Nick Gevock



As always, our bill tracker is up on our homepage at the top under “Capitol Report 2021”. P.S. Encourage your friends and family to join our Legislative Action Team.
 

Nameless Range

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Thank you Gevock. Speak up on this!

I wrote my own house representative highlighting access that exists within her district that was established via prescriptive rights.
 

pyrotechnic

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Thank you Gevock. Speak up on this!

I wrote my own house representative highlighting access that exists within her district that was established via prescriptive rights.
Is there a repository of information on these types of access points? For having hunted MT for around 20 years I'm embarrassingly uninformed on these issues and would like to be a bit better armed with information when it comes to contacting my reps and getting others involved.
 

Nameless Range

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Is there a repository of information on these types of access points? For having hunted MT for around 20 years I'm embarrassingly uninformed on these issues and would like to be a bit better armed with information when it comes to contacting my reps and getting others involved.

Unfortunately I am on aware of any centralized repository of a list of accesses that have been fought for and won by relying on prescriptive rights.

I know there are many many examples, and I know of one 10 miles south of me, but I don’t have any wide spread knowledge.
 

Nameless Range

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OntarioHunter

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Man, this legislature is turning out to be legendary ... in a very disgusting way! Who is this guy from Wibaux? Hmmm.

Edit: I can find very little about him except that he is a "rancher and businessman." From his mother's obituary I see that the family was involved in ranching and outfitting at Glendive. She was 80 in 2011. Presumably Steve took over the family outfitting business?
 
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Southern Elk

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The Wonder Ranch is an excellent contemporary example that can be pointed to where prescriptive rights were used to defend public access.


I know there are many more.
Losing this one would be devastating for access to the Madisons and the owners have already tried blocking it.

I still get a kick out of how an 80 parcel is considered a ranch.

The owners are from Texas.
 

RobG

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@Ben Lamb @Gevock
If it passes the house, how will it proceed through the Senate?

The road to my father's property crosses several properties. He's have to do all the research, hire a lawyer, and file. In additional to being a very un-neighborly hostile action, it may force very expensive action on the parties to resolve it.
 
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RobG

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The Wonder Ranch is an excellent contemporary example that can be pointed to where prescriptive rights were used to defend public access.


I know there are many more.
The thing is, people might not know trails like this don't have easements. Or if they do we would have to force the Forest Service to take action against it. There are dozens of trails in the Gallatin National Forest alone that cross private land but don't have written easements.
 

Schaaf

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The Wonder Ranch is an excellent contemporary example that can be pointed to where prescriptive rights were used to defend public access.


I know there are many more.
I was thinking last night, there needs to be a list of all the access points we can find that have been granted via prescriptive easement. It’s too difficult to explain unless people can relate to it.
 

Ben Lamb

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@Ben Lamb @Gevock
If it passes the house, how will it proceed through the Senate?

The road to my father's property crosses several properties. He's have to do all the research, hire a lawyer, and file. In additional to being a very un-neighborly hostile action, it may force very expensive action on the parties to resolve it.

it has to be accepted by the Senate for the amendments or if rejected, has to go to conference committee.

Hinebauch is the chair of Senate Fish & Game, containing a shitty trend to put to worst people in that chair for over 25 years.
 

RobG

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it has to be accepted by the Senate for the amendments or if rejected, has to go to conference committee.

Hinebauch is the chair of Senate Fish & Game, containing a shitty trend to put to worst people in that chair for over 25 years.

I don't understand how this will work. Some targeted lawsuits against small landowners might change people's mind.
 

Gerald Martin

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it has to be accepted by the Senate for the amendments or if rejected, has to go to conference committee.

Hinebauch is the chair of Senate Fish & Game, containing a shitty trend to put to worst people in that chair for over 25 years.
If the MT Republican Party is trying to see just how bad they can be for sportsmen, this crop seems to be in full on “hold my beer and watch this!” mode.
 

Ben Lamb

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I don't understand how this will work. Some targeted lawsuits against small landowners might change people's mind.

It's a shitty bill & amendment, but I've not been following it, spending my time on the welfare tags. I think @Gevock has the goods & strategy on it. Though a party line vote is telling here.
 
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