Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 1. Public Land Access Network Grant Program

Grants -- Eligibility

76-17-104. (Temporary) Grants -- eligibility. (1) An individual or organization may apply to the department for a grant to pay for costs associated with an access project that secures public access through private land to public land, as defined in 15-30-2380, for which there is no other legal public access or to enhance existing access to public land. The costs must include payments to the owner of private land who allows public access. Grants may not be made to pay costs associated with litigation related to public access.

(2) An access project that is eligible to receive a grant:

(a) (i) except as provided in subsection (2)(a)(ii), must provide public access for recreational purposes; and

(ii) if the access project would provide access to state trust land, as defined in 77-1-101, must provide access for all lawful purposes to the state trust land;

(b) may have a term that ranges from 3 years to in perpetuity. A termed easement that is awarded a grant pursuant to this section creates no expectation of access after the term expires.

(c) may not provide access to a previously inaccessible parcel of land if that parcel is leased state land under Title 77, chapter 1, and the lessee is not the landowner granting access to the parcel.

(3) The department shall make recommendations to the board regarding grant applications received pursuant to this section. A grant must be approved by the board before it is disbursed pursuant to 76-17-103.

(4) An access easement that is awarded a grant pursuant to this part must be held and enforced by the department.

(5) The department shall report the details of approved access project grants to the legislative auditor. (Terminates June 30, 2027--sec. 10, Ch. 374, L. 2017.)

History: En. Sec. 3, Ch. 374, L. 2017.