State Land Recreation Info
By angelamontana

Posted: September 15, 2020
State Trust Lands are properties managed by the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) for the sole purpose of generating income for public schools and other public institutions. Legally accessible State Trust Lands can be accessed by public roads, public easements, public waters that are recreationally navigable under the Stream Access Law, by adjacent federal, state, county, or municipal land that is open to public use, or by permission of an adjacent private landowner.

For land ownership maps and more information regarding State Lands, contact DNRC at (406) 444-2074.

State Land Recreation Use Permit

A State Land Recreation Use Permit is required for anyone conducting a non-commercial activity on State Trust Lands not related to hunting and fishing. Applicable non-commercial activities include, but are not limited to, hiking, skiing, sightseeing, and day horseback use.

The State Land Recreation Use Permit is not required when using State Trust Lands for hunting or fishing, because a $2.00 fee is included in the Montana Conservation License for use of these lands.

The State Land Recreation Use Permit is available from any authorized FWP license agent or through the Online Licensing System. The permit is valid for one license year—March 1 to the last day of February.

Special Recreational Use License

The following activities require separate authorization from DNRC:

  • overnight horseback use
  • trapping
  • outfitting
  • group use
  • cutting or gathering of firewood
  • collecting valuable rocks and minerals
  • mineral exploration
  • collection or disturbance of archaeological, historical, or paleontological sites (fossils, artifacts, dinosaur bones, old building, etc)

The Special Recreational Use License is available only from DNRC offices.




Individual Permit $10
Youth Permit (age 17 and younger) $5
Senior Permit (age 60 and over) $5
Family Permit (original permit holder plus five immediate family members) $20

DNRC Land Offices

Central Land Office Helena (406) 458-3500
Eastern Land Office Miles City (406) 232-2034
Northeastern Land Office Lewistown (406) 538-7789
Northwestern Land Office Kalispell (406) 751-2240
Southern Land Office Billings (406) 247-4400
Southwestern Land Office Missoula (406) 542-4200
Info via MT FWP; Photo credit: Larry Mayer/Billings Gazette
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