ANOTHER IN-YOUR-FACE ROAD CLOSURE
ACTION POINTS OUT MAJOR PROBLEM WITH MONTANA GOVERNMENT IN THIS REGARD

Prairie County commissioners are in a quandary about what to do after a landowner erected a gate, installed a cattle guard and posted a sign across a road that leads to a popular scenic overlook northwest of the town of Terry. (As of October 2008, we understand the gate is now locked.">
"Keeping the public on public lands & waters"




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Scenic View Road (2011)
SETTLEMENT REACHED

The Scenic View Road

Terry Area Attraction Closed

The "Scenic View Road"

ANOTHER IN-YOUR-FACE ROAD CLOSURE
ACTION POINTS OUT MAJOR PROBLEM WITH MONTANA GOVERNMENT IN THIS REGARD

Prairie County commissioners are in a quandary about what to do after a landowner erected a gate, installed a cattle guard and posted a sign across a road that leads to a popular scenic overlook northwest of the town of Terry. (As of October 2008, we understand the gate is now locked. )

This and another road closure of a road leading east off of the same highway have had the attention of PLWA for some time. It points out a very significant problem with Montana government.

That problem is that Montana counties do not have the money, legal resources, or political will to stop egregious road closures. If you open the link, below and read the Billings Gazette story with the comments, it is clear where the public stands . They don't want to put up with it any more. But Montana government often fails them. The county attorneys in small counties do not have the time or resources to pursue the civil law violations associated with the closures. ( Also keep in mind they are elected officials, and the rural ag interests are politically very powerful. ) Organizations such as PLWA do not have the time or budget to pursue all these cases. (It would probably take a budget up upwards of $250,000 per year to pursue them all. )

PLWA believes the state has an obligation to step in to these cases and situations to see that the public interest is protected. Just exactly how we don't know. It could be a piece of legislation in the upcoming legislature. It could be intervention by the Attorney General . It could be some other approach. But this situation cannot continue. Too much is at stake.

Gazette Story:

Road closure puts county in quandary

Prairie County commissioners are in a quandary about what to do after a landowner erected a gate, installed a cattle guard and posted a sign across a road that leads to a popular scenic overlook north of the town of Terry. "We don't want to tread on any private-property rights," said County Commissioner Bill Leach. "But having public access to public lands is pretty important to these little communities' survival. That's one of the reasons people live out in this part of the state, to have a little elbow room."

For more of this story, click on or type the URL below:




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Scenic View Terry





Public Land/Water Access Association Inc. or PLWA, is a citizen group organized and operated under the Montana nonprofit corporation act.

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