"Keeping the public on public lands & waters"


Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust

Donate via PayPal

Scenic View Road (2011)

Scenic View Road Lawsuit Filed

County Takes Action

County files complaint seeking public access to Scenic View Road


By Kay Braddock - (Courtesy of Terry Tribune ) -

A 27-page legal brief filed by Prairie County last week in district court seeks a judgment declaring a 7-mile dirt road north of Terry a county road by virtue of prescriptive easement. Prairie County is also seeking a preliminary injunction from the court to remove a locked gate that is on the road.

The document lists Michael and Terry Karrels as defendants.

The Karrels placed a gate on Scenic View Road in 2007. A lock was added to the gate a year later. Talks between county officials and the Karrels came to an impasse after an October, 2009 public meeting between the two parties and officials from the Bureau of Land Management produced no compromise.

Scenic View Road leads to a popular overlook of the Terry Badlands, which rests on a large portion of BLM land. The road runs through portions of state, federal and private land.

According to court documents filed on Friday of last week, a 1965 cooperative agreement between the BLM and county commissioners extended and improved Scenic View Road, with BLM providing the equipment and materials for the work while the county provided the construction equipment and labor. This agreement places liability on the county to maintain the road for public use, according to court documents.

Prairie County also asserts the road has been used for both commercial and recreational use since at least 1965, according to court documents filed. Those who used the road included: Ranchers accessing BLM land where federal grazing permits were held; employees of Tongue River Electric, a local commercial well driller, and BLM officials to monitor federal grazing allotments, among others. None of these parties sought permission from landowners to use the road, according to the court documents.

The county is seeking a preliminary injunction to remove the locked gate in order to allow county road crews to maintain the road, preventing further deterioration.

Published Sept. 22, 2010

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

Scenic View Terry

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.
      PLWA.ORG   -   Public Land & Water Association