Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 2. Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks

Fishing Access Enhancement Program Created -- Private Landowner Assistance To Promote Public Fishing Access -- Rules

87-1-285. Fishing access enhancement program created -- private landowner assistance to promote public fishing access -- rules. (1) The department may establish programs of landowner assistance that encourage public access to and across private lands for purposes of fishing and may adopt rules to carry out program purposes. Rules may address but are not limited to incentives for private landowners who allow public fishing access on or across their lands, where legal access does not presently exist. Participation in the fishing access enhancement program is established through a cooperative agreement between a landowner and the department, including other resource management agencies when appropriate, that allows access for public fishing with certain restrictions or use rules.

(2) The department may also develop similar voluntary programs that are designed to promote public access across private lands for fishing purposes.

(3) Participation in a program established under subsection (1) is voluntary. Programs may not be structured in a manner that provides assistance to a private landowner who charges a fee for fishing access to private land that is enrolled in the program or who does not provide reasonable public fishing access to private land that is enrolled in the program. The commission shall develop criteria by which tangible benefits are allocated to participating landowners, and the department may distribute the benefits to participating landowners.

(4) Funds from the account established pursuant to 87-1-605 may be used to purchase or lease public fishing access at county road bridge crossings or for necessary parking facilities, trails, or ramps to facilitate fishing access to public waters at bridge crossings.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 196, L. 2001.