1.52 MILLION ACRES of PUBLIC LANDS, in MONTANA, are inaccessible to the public! I know that I have written about this before but, as we begin to get permission to hunt and access property, this really stings! As we near election season, this is a thing we need to vote about!
A Montana GPS mapping company also mapped 9.52 million acres of inaccessible PUBLIC LANDS in 13 western states. 3.05 million acres are inaccessible to the public in Wyoming, where the largest amount of public land is inaccessible.
In 2013, a Federal agency identified that 1.9 million acres were inaccessible to the public. These are lands that the public owns, manages, and regulates. BUT… only the private landowners, with land that surround these blocks, can access.
898,000 landlocked acres are in Region 7. 10,650 landlocked acres are in central Montana. This study/survey does not include lands that are only accessible by water, walk in, or provided by conservation easements. These “Off Limits” but in reach parcels are for only “youthful” sportsmen.
Many of these parcels are connected at corners to accessible public lands BUT… it is unlawful to cross a corner to access public land. Even if your foot never touches private land, you are in violation when crossing at a corner in Montana!
In other cases, private landowners block roads or right a way to prevent public access. Outfitters and guides also benefit from this barrier. Other roads are simply gated and locked. Only certain chosen ones get a chance to borrow the key.
If the land is public, it belongs to the public! Access should be guaranteed. Land swaps often help to address these problems but… they also tend to give away great areas for closer to the road, or crappy acres, to avoid issues.
Much of this land was bought and paid for by sportsmen but…
For more Montana Grant, feel free to trespass at www.montanagrantfishing.com.