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HOUSE BILL NO. 344
INTRODUCED BY B. RANEY, J. BOHLINGER
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT REQUIRING THAT THE VALUE OF FISHERIES BE ANALYZED
WHEN ACQUISITION OF A HABITAT EASEMENT IS CONSIDERED AND THAT WHEN A FISHERY VALUE
EXISTS, THE FISHERY BE
INCLUDED IN CONSIDERED FOR PART OF THE HABITAT ACQUISITION;
AMENDING SECTIONS 23-1-102, 87-1-209, AND 87-1-241, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 23-1-102, MCA, is amended to read:
"23-1-102. Powers and duties of department of fish, wildlife, and parks. The department shall make a study to
determine the scenic, historic, archaeologic, scientific, and recreational resources of the state and may by purchase, lease,
agreement, acceptance of donations, or condemnation for the purposes outlined in
87-1-209(2) 87-1-209(3) acquire for the
state any areas, sites, or objects which that in its opinion should be held, improved, and maintained as state parks, state
recreational areas, state monuments, or state historical sites. The department may in its discretion accept in the name of the
state, in fee or otherwise, any areas, sites, or objects conveyed, entrusted, donated, or devised to the state. It may in its
discretion accept gifts, grants, bequests, or contributions of money or other property to be spent or used for any of the
purposes of this part. A contract, for any of the purposes of this part, may not be entered into or and no other obligation may
be incurred until moneys have money has been appropriated by the legislature or are is otherwise available and, if the
contract or obligation pertains to acquisition of areas or sites in excess of either 100 acres or $100,000 in value, until the
board of land commissioners has specifically approved such the acquisition. The department also has jurisdiction, custody,
and control of all state parks, recreational areas, public camping grounds, historical sites, and monuments, except wayside
camps and other public conveniences acquired, improved, and maintained by the department of transportation and
contiguous to the state highway system. The department may designate lands under its control as state parks, state historical
sites, state monuments, or by any other designation it considers appropriate, remove or change the designation of any area
or portion, and name or change the name of any area as designated. The department may lease those portions of designated
lands which that are necessary for the proper administration of these lands in keeping with the basic purpose of this part."
Section 2. Section 87-1-209, MCA, is amended to read:
"87-1-209. Acquisition and sale of lands or waters. (1) The department, with the consent of the commission and, in the case of land acquisition involving more than 100 acres or $100,000 in value, the approval of the board of land commissioners, may acquire by purchase, lease, agreement, gift, or devise and may acquire easements upon lands or waters for the purposes listed in this subsection. The department may develop, operate, and maintain acquired lands or waters:
(a) for fish hatcheries, nursery ponds, or game farms;
(b) as lands or water suitable for game, bird, fish, or fur-bearing animal restoration, propagation, or protection;
(c) for public hunting, fishing, or trapping areas;
(d) to capture, propagate, transport, buy, sell, or exchange any game, birds, fish, fish eggs, or fur-bearing animals needed for propagation or stocking purposes or to exercise control measures of undesirable species;
(e) for state parks and outdoor recreation;
(f) to extend and consolidate by exchange, lands or waters suitable for these purposes.
(2) When an analysis conducted pursuant to 87-1-241(1)(g) indicates a fishery value, including the value of riparian
zones, fish habitat, nutrient barriers, instream flows, and wild fish spawning, on property considered for acquisition as
wildlife habitat, the fishery must be
included as CONSIDERED FOR part of the habitat acquisition.
(3) The department, with the consent of the commission, may acquire by condemnation lands or structures for the preservation of historical or archaeological sites that are threatened with destruction or alteration.
(3)(4) (a) The department, with the consent of the commission, may dispose of lands and waters acquired by it on those
terms after public notice as required by subsection (3)(b) (4)(b), without regard to other laws that provide for sale or
disposal of state lands and with or without reservation, as it considers necessary and advisable. The department, with the
consent of the commission, may convey department lands and waters for full market value to other governmental entities
without regard to the requirements of subsection (3)(b) (4)(b) or (3)(c) (4)(c) if the land is less than 10 acres or if the full
market value of the interest to be conveyed is less than $20,000. When the department conveys land or water to another
governmental entity pursuant to this subsection, the department, in addition to giving notice pursuant to subsection (3)(b)
(4)(b), shall give notice by mail to the landowners whose property adjoins the department property being conveyed.
(b) Notice of sale describing the lands or waters to be disposed of must be published once a week for 3 successive weeks in a newspaper with general circulation printed and published in the county where the lands or waters are situated or, if a newspaper is not published in that county, then in any newspaper with general circulation in that county.
(c) The notice must advertise for cash bids to be presented to the director within 60 days from the date of the first publication. Each bid must be accompanied by a cashier's check or cash deposit in an amount equal to 10% of the amount bid. The highest bid must be accepted upon payment of the balance due within 10 days after mailing notice by certified mail to the highest bidder. If that bidder defaults on payment of the balance due, then the next highest bidders must be similarly notified in succession until a sale is completed. Deposits must be returned to the unsuccessful bidders except bidders defaulting after notification.
(d) The department shall reserve the right to reject any bids that do not equal or exceed the full market value of the lands and waters as determined by the department. If the department does not receive a bid that equals or exceeds fair market value, it may then sell the lands or waters at private sale. The price accepted on any private sale must exceed the highest bid rejected in the bid process.
(4)(5) The department shall convey lands and waters without covenants of warranty by deed executed by the governor
or in the governor's absence or disability by the lieutenant governor, attested by the secretary of state and further
countersigned by the director. (5)(6) The department, with the consent of the commission, is authorized to utilize the installment contract method to
facilitate the acquisition of wildlife management areas in which game and nongame fur-bearing animals and game and
nongame birds may breed and replenish and areas that provide access to fishing sites for the public. The total cost of
installment contracts may not exceed the cost of purchases authorized by the department and appropriated by the
legislature. (6)(7) The department is authorized to enter into leases of land under its control in exchange for services to be provided
by the lessee on the leased land."
Section 3. Section 87-1-241, MCA, is amended to read:
"87-1-241. (Temporary) Acquisition of wildlife habitat -- rules. (1) Before acquisition of any interest in land for the
primary purpose of securing wildlife or fish habitat, the commission shall by rule establish a policy for making
acquisitions. With regard to any specific acquisition the policy shall must provide for a comprehensive analysis of:
(a) the wildlife populations and use currently associated with the property;
(b) the potential value of the land for protection, preservation, and propagation of wildlife or wild fish;
(c) management goals proposed for the land and wildlife populations, and where feasible, any additional uses of the
land such as livestock grazing,
or timber harvest, or fisheries;
(d) any potential impacts to adjacent private land resulting from proposed management goals
, and plans to address such
(e) any significant potential social and economic impacts to affected local governments and the state, including but not limited to impacts on:
(i) tax revenue available for the operation of taxing jurisdictions within the county;
(ii) services required to be provided by local governments;
(iii) employment opportunities within the counties;
(iv) local schools; and
(v) private businesses supplying goods and services to the community;
(f) a land maintenance program to control weeds and maintain roads and fences;
(g) the potential value of the land for fisheries, including the value of riparian zones, fish habitat, nutrient barriers, instream flows, and wild fish spawning; and
(h) any other matter considered necessary or appropriate by the commission.
(2) The analysis made of any proposed acquisition must be made available for review by each owner of land adjacent to the property that is the subject of analysis, and to any member of the public. A public hearing must be held in the affected area after the analysis has been made available to the public. (Terminates March 1, 2006--secs. 1, 2, Ch. 241, L. 1993.)"
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
- END -
Latest Version of HB 344 (HB0344.02)
Processed for the Web on February 3, 1999 (4:51PM)
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