Montana Moves To Secure Bridge Access Rights

A bridge-access bill that was threatened with derailment by the lawyers of at least one large private landowner has passed the Montana house by a large majority. This is terrific news for Montana anglers and for traveling fly fishers, because it promises to prevent private landowners from arbitrarily fencing off access to rivers at bridges. Further, it removes control of bridge access from the county and places it in the hands of the state, where treatment is sure to be more even-handed. (Oddly enough, wealthy landowners have had great success in influencing local enforcement.) “As it reads, HB190 makes the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks responsible for resolving conflicts. The Montana Association of Counties supports the bill as is.” Daniel Person in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. (Thanks to reader Wayne Hadley for the early news.)

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  • mot

    while this still has to pass the Senate, where landowners have a stronger voting block, this should finally become the law of the land here in MT and a model for other states to work towards.

  • Lee Gustafson

    Much of the credit for this legislative action goes to the Public Land / Water Access Association which did battle in the courts to get the judicial opinion which cleared the way. Check out http://www.plwa.org . They did most of the heavy lifting but don’t get the credit.
    (PLWA is a Montana non-profit 501-c-3 )