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Bridge Access Bill Passed in 2009
An Important Part of Stream Access

Implementing House Bill 190

Presidents Message

Now that the Bridge Access Bill is the law of the land,we need to help implement it.

There are two possibilities we need to avoid:

1.) Nothing Happening ...A lack of interest or an attempt to avoid controversy resulting in nothing being done.

2.) Someone else taking the initative and doing things that are not consistent with the law which says the FW&P and C.C. consult with landowners in order to come up with what, where and how many access structures are adequate.

Here in Billings PLWA intends to work with the FWP and County Commissioners to craft a process that will open these access points in a timely manner. We will start with the Citizens Advisory Committee at Region 5 FWP and go from there.

At the very least we can help with an inventory of sites with perhaps a priority system from the vantage point of the public.

I would encourage members to contact all Regional FWP Offices and offer help and ask some questions about a schedule. It wouldn't hurt to attend a C.C. meeting and ask some of the same questions.

Keep in mind that the law only applies to County Roads. We have asked about State Highways and will let you know.

You can also point out that once a person reaches the easement on the stream( that extends from one high water mark to the other) the Stream Access law allows you to portage around any man made obstructions in the shortest and least obstrusive manner. In the absence of multiple access facilities, the Bridge you just came from becomes a man made obstruction blocking your passage either up or down stream and you are allowed to portage around the fence that lacks an access facility.

The point here is to encourage multiple access facilities unless the stream is so small that one can easely wade across it.


John Gibson

related articles

Ruby River Stream Access Victory
( 07/01/2016 )   7/1/2016PLWA, once again, has been victorious in the battle for the public's stream access on the Ruby River, from the Seyler Lane Bridge, likely the original stagecoach route from Salt Lake City, north to Virginia City and Helena.It has been over a decade that PLWA (formerly known as PLAAI) has been involved in a lawsuit over public access to the Ruby River from Seyler Lane and the Seyler Bridge, a public prescriptive easement right-of-way in Madison County.

"Dark Money" Brought to Light
( 07/01/2016 )   The June-July, Newscasts section of Fly Fisherman reported on the recent investigation by Montana's Commissioner of Political Practices, Jonathan Motl, into a dark money campaign that could overturn Montana's Stream Access.Fly Fisherman recounted the Montana Growth Network's campaign contributions to District Judge Laurie McKinnon's run for our Montana Supreme Court.

public land issues

Seyler Lane Update
9/24/2015Seyler Bridge Easement - More Than Just RecreationUpdate - Kennedys attorney requested a postponement of the September 21 hearing.

Tenderfoot - Four Years and Counting
9/24/2015Tenderfoot Creek is a tributary of the Smith River, joining the Smith a mile or so north of Camp Baker.

    18 more public land issues

East Rosebud by Roscoe

Public Land/Water Access Association Inc. or PLWA, is a citizen group organized and operated under the Montana nonprofit corporation act.

Articles and Information on this site represent the opinion of the writer and are not intended as legal advice. Legal counsel may be needed in dealing with specific access situations and issues.
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