76-6-102. Intent, findings, and policy. (1) The legislature, mindful of its constitutional obligations under Article II, section 3, and Article IX of the Montana constitution, has enacted the Open-Space Land and Voluntary Conservation Easement Act. It is the legislature's intent that the requirements of this chapter provide adequate remedies for the protection of the environmental life support system from degradation and provide adequate remedies to prevent unreasonable depletion and degradation of natural resources.
(2) The legislature finds that:
(a) the rapid growth and spread of urban development are creating critical problems of service and finance for the state and local governments;
(b) the present and future rapid population growth in urban areas is creating severe problems of urban and suburban living;
(c) this population spread and its attendant development are disrupting and altering the remaining natural areas, biotic communities, and geological and geographical formations and thereby providing the potential for the destruction of scientific, educational, aesthetic, and ecological values;
(d) the present and future rapid population spread throughout the state of Montana into its open spaces is creating serious problems of lack of open space and overcrowding of the land;
(e) to lessen congestion and to preserve natural, ecological, geographical, and geological elements, the provision and preservation of open-space lands are necessary to secure park, recreational, historic, and scenic areas and to conserve the land, its biotic communities, its natural resources, and its geological and geographical elements in their natural state;
(f) the acquisition or designation of interests and rights in real property by certain qualifying private organizations and by public bodies to provide or preserve open-space land is essential to the solution of these problems, the accomplishment of these purposes, and the health and welfare of the citizens of the state;
(g) the exercise of authority to acquire or designate interests and rights in real property to provide or preserve open-space land and the expenditure of public funds for these purposes would be for a public purpose; and
(h) the statutory provision enabling certain qualifying private organizations to acquire interests and rights in real property to provide or preserve open-space land is in the public interest.