"The mission of PLWA is to maintain, restore, and perpetuate public access to the boundaries of all Montana public land and waters."
Here we go again. After 10 years of litigation , and a clear decision by the Montana Supreme Court , that Montanan's have right to access rivers and streams from public roads, Madison county has thrown some sand in wheels of justice. To refresh the readers' memory, in the last 10 years PLWA won court cases and helped pass legislation that solidified the right of recreational stream access from county roads . However, a technical issue on "prescriptive" roads - roads created by public use - was the final chink and went to court as the Seyler Lane case . The case involved a bridge on that road . The Montana Supreme Court ruled that all legal uses including recreation were allowed on that prescriptive right-of-way including the bridge. They sent the case back to district court for determination of the width of the Seyler Lane road based on history and need. ... (more)
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It doesn't take much for certain groups and individuals to jump on the “Fantasy Wagon”. Like with so many of these situations, some believe the fantasy and others use it for political advantage. Does anyone really think the citizens of the United States, who own these lands, are going to allow a small state like Montana to take control of a huge chunk of their National Forest and other public ;property? ... (more)
Unwise suggestion To recent news articles advocating state takeover of public land, the only phrase that applies is “horse pucky.” Many groups have been involved in this issue since former secretaries of the Interior James Watt and Gayle Norton inspired the “Sagebrush Rebellion” more than two decades ago. Turning over our public land didn’t happen then, and it won’t happen now. ... (more)
"Out Of Bounds" By Rob Breeding, 05-07-14 Who's Got Next?Last week I joined in a celebration at the headwaters of the Missouri River. There, at Headwaters State Park, where the Mighty Mo' begins, supporters of Montana's Stream Access Law celebrated their latest victory: the Montana Supreme Court's decision to overturn a District Court ruling that prevented access to the Ruby River. ... (more)
John GibsonPLWA PresidentI am disturbed by the Wilks brothers’ coercive tactics to gain ownership of the Durfee Hills.No state or federal agency, including the BLM, should negotiate with a gun at its head. The Wilks brothers have no apparent reason to block access to 50,000 acres of public land with armed guards on the Bullwacker Road other than to coerce the BLM into giving up public ownership of the Durfee Hills. ... (more)
|public land newsBoadle Road - Victory Over Arrogance( 07/01/2014 )
After fourteen years PLWA found itself in court in Choteau Montana on June 16, 2014. The Boadle Road had been closed that long ago by a new owner even after being told that the road had been used as a public road for nearly a hundred years. Lilly Pad Trail dedicated ( 07/03/2014 )
On July 3 , 2014 approximately 60 people gathered atop a crest of the mile-long trail to dedicate it in the memory of Ernie Strum, a longtime Red Lodge resident . This recently created trail to Lilly Pad and Crater lakes has been a 15 year effort on the part of local folks and various government agencies - most notably the Beartooth Backcountry Horsemen. The Seventh Inning Stretch( 03/27/2014 )
By George BauerPublic Land/Water Access Association DirectorKennedy requests rehearing and Supreme court says no !If the Bridges of Madison County saga on the Ruby River was a baseball game then we would be at the seventh inning stretch. SUPREME COURT DENYS KENNEDY REHEARING ( 04/04/2014 )
One more victory for PLWA - As you may recall, James Cox Kennedy requested a rehearing of the January Montana Supreme Court decision in the Seyler Lane bridge case. This was the case which effectively settled the issue of stream access at prescriptive road bridges and reaffirmed the stream access law.
know your rightsCaveat and Disclaimer( 11/28/2008 )
Information on this site is provided as a matter of information and education only. It is not intended to provide legal advice or counsel . WHAT IS A PUBLIC ROAD ?( 12/16/2007 )
If you encounter a closed road or trail ( which is obviously not a federal highway , a state highway, or a city street ) and you believe it may be a legally accessible road, here are some things you can do to check it out :FIRST, is it in a National Forest ? If so check with the Regional Forester office to see if a private easement or fee tile exists.
|public land issues
14 more public land issues
|Tenderfoot Acquisition Advances|
Tenderfoot Acquisition AdvancesThis is truly one of the most significant public access actions by a government agency - working with private entities - of all time.|
Updated June 1,2013Efforts underway since 2006 to acquire 5 miles of railroad right-of-way stretching west from Ringling along Sixteen mile Creek, and accessing an otherwise isolated section of DNRC land for another mile, are now nearing conclusion.|
|Teton County Road No. 380 - |
Old County Road No. 380 - "Salmond Ranch Road "PLWA, has been very involved with this .|
|Tenderfoot Creek Area Land Purchase|
PLWA officers and President John Gibson have been active in advocating for this major access opening to both public land and water in central Montana.|
Public Access Objectives
What can PLWA Do For You?
- Educating and informing the public on their ownership and access rights.
- Monitoring public access routes and identifying access problems.
- Initiating legal action when access has been illegally blocked.
- Monitoring public land sales exchanges, and purchases to insure that no transfers are made without full consideration of conservation and recreational values.
- Initiating programs and policies to expand public land and water access.
- Pursuing every legal and ethical avenue to protect and maintain your access to public lands and waters.
Primarily we help hunters, anglers, and other recreationists fight back against the tide of privatization of public land and waters. Montana is changing and part of this change comes from outside interests who think they can grab “ownership” of a river or public land with "No Trespassing" signs, orange paint, barb wire, chains, lawsuits, legislation and other tactics. It takes an organization with “pit bull” mentality like PLWA to deal with these situations. In many cases we are the ones who initiate appropriate legal action and are on the firing line.
PLWA is an all volunteer organization with little overhead. Your donations are almost totally used to press the issue of maintaining access. Member contributions are our only source of income. Usually the deep pockets are on the other side.
We hope you'll take a moment today to join us in our mission to retain the traditional value of access to the public landscapes which make Montana such a special place.