Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. General Provisions


75-1-103. Policy. (1) The legislature, recognizing the profound impact of human activity on the interrelations of all components of the natural environment, particularly the profound influences of population growth, high-density urbanization, industrial expansion, resource exploitation, and new and expanding technological advances, recognizing the critical importance of restoring and maintaining environmental quality to the overall welfare and human development, and further recognizing that governmental regulation may unnecessarily restrict the use and enjoyment of private property, declares that it is the continuing policy of the state of Montana, in cooperation with the federal government, local governments, and other concerned public and private organizations, to use all practicable means and measures, including financial and technical assistance, in a manner calculated to foster and promote the general welfare, to create and maintain conditions under which humans and nature can coexist in productive harmony, to recognize the right to use and enjoy private property free of undue government regulation, and to fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Montanans.

(2) In order to carry out the policy set forth in parts 1 through 3, it is the continuing responsibility of the state of Montana to use all practicable means consistent with other essential considerations of state policy to improve and coordinate state plans, functions, programs, and resources so that the state may:

(a) fulfill the responsibilities of each generation as trustee of the environment for succeeding generations;

(b) ensure for all Montanans safe, healthful, productive, and aesthetically and culturally pleasing surroundings;

(c) attain the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without degradation, risk to health or safety, or other undesirable and unintended consequences;

(d) protect the right to use and enjoy private property free of undue government regulation;

(e) preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of our unique heritage and maintain, wherever possible, an environment that supports diversity and variety of individual choice;

(f) achieve a balance between population and resource use that will permit high standards of living and a wide sharing of life's amenities; and

(g) enhance the quality of renewable resources and approach the maximum attainable recycling of depletable resources.

(3) The legislature recognizes that each person is entitled to a healthful environment, that each person is entitled to use and enjoy that person's private property free of undue government regulation, that each person has the right to pursue life's basic necessities, and that each person has a responsibility to contribute to the preservation and enhancement of the environment. The implementation of these rights requires the balancing of the competing interests associated with the rights by the legislature in order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.

History: En. Sec. 3, Ch. 238, L. 1971; R.C.M. 1947, 69-6503; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 352, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 361, L. 2003.