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Montana Stream Access Law
The Best in the West
The Bridge Access FightIt isn’t over yet folks
Many folks have the idea that the stream and bridge access is settled for good with the Public Land Water Access Association victory in court and passage of HB190.
Well, it isn’t.
HB 190 applies only to “county roads”. The status of right-of-way and access on prescriptive roads is not settled. (Prescriptive road right of ways are those acquired by public use rather than by petition.)
In the Ruby River case Judge Tucker did not rule on the Seylor Lane road and bridge portion of the PLWA case. It is likely to go to a trial which will determine access on roads deemed ‘prescriptive easements’. The prescriptive status of Seylor Lane is an issue as is the width of the right-of way at the bridge . Even if Judge Tucker finds that Seylor Lane has a prescriptive easement (which is likely) he could still rule that the easement narrows at the bridge and public access is not possible without trespassing.
What’s more, our anti-access adversaries may choose to appeal Judge Tucker’s rulings. While they have little chance of success, they have deep pockets.
Result of Bridge Access Law