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COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TO OPEN WISE LANE
Wise Lane is an official county road leading to the north bank of the Yellowstone River between Billings and Laurel. In addition to leading to the river, PLWA research indicates it also leads to an important public island at that point. The road was created when “Petitioned” by citizens in the early part of the last century. Sadly, it was unilaterally closed by the adjacent landowner in the 1980’s.
PLWA had been unsuccessfully talking with the Yellowstone County Commissioners for years on this issue. However, in 2010 PLWA took direct action to again notify the commissioners of the continued closure and demand action. Finally, in a meeting with the Commissioners in early November of 2010, the Commissioners agreed there was no doubt that the road was an illegally blocked, official county road. They intend to enforce the decision with a court injunction if necessary.
While this specific access point is significant, the principle and precedence may be of greater significance in the long run. County commission compliance and cooperation on these types of closures has been very spotty throughout the state. They usually have to be drug screaming and kicking, sometimes with a lawsuit, to comply. Thus, the action of the Yellowstone County Commissioners to disallow illegal and unilateral closing of county roads is an important progress milestone.
They further indicated they would erect a safety barrier at the end of the road together with a widening as necessary to allow vehicle turn around. The Billings Rod and Gun Club will cover a portion of the expense to build a walk-thru as part of the barrier and explore options to facilitate entry of light watercraft at that point.
Many thanks to PLWA Director George Bauer from Livingston Mt, whose diligent research and effort spearheaded the latest effort.
External Article / Resource
Wise Lane Before - 1/2 mile from Yellowstone
Walk Thru 25 yards from Yellowstone