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  1. #1
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    Default Montana Hunting Access

    There is a ranch in Valley and Phillips County that was attempting to sell a Conservation Easement to the State of Montana. The Cornwell Ranch Consist of 24,000 deeded acres and has numerous parcels along the Milk River and Buggy Creek. The Ranch has had a long history of public access and working with the FWP. The entire ranch is currently in the BMA program as well. The State Lands Board, under the direction of the Gov. declined to spend the $5,000,000 to purchase the easement because he believes the appraisal price is to high even though the $210 an acre price to guarantee access to hunt on the Milk River is less the 10% of the going price per acre for prime whitetail habitat. While not all lands are on the Milk River I would challenge anyone to find 24,000 acres and get permanent access forever for $210 an acre. This is a bitter issue over here as it appears that the State only wishes to gain access for hunters in Western Montana.

    The FWP approved the purchase and was waiting on the State Land Board to approve the purchase of the Easement

    http://www.montanastandard.com/artic...jdihhghdjh.txt

    http://dnrc.mt.gov/commissions/land_...nwellRanch.pdf

    http://fwp.mt.gov/publicnotices/notice_1782.aspx



    The land board, especially the Govenor, needs to hear from hunters either in support of or against this easement ASAP because as of now these lands are in Jeopardy of being lost to hunters.

    http://www.kulr8.com/news/state/34589869.html

    Nemont
    "You can observe alot just by watching"
    Yogi Berra

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    Maybe you can get data on how much of the money they are spending comes from eastern Montana. At least number of tags purchased, etc. That would show how much they need to support each area, to be fair about it, if that's one of their goals.

    Maybe they don't want to be fair about it.
    "You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas."
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  3. #3

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    Any other opinions from TX?

  4. #4

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    Do you have contact info for the land board and governor?
    Every day I'm hustlin'....

    Hell is coming to breakfast.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Oak,

    I will get the contact info. up sometime today.

    Nemont
    "You can observe alot just by watching"
    Yogi Berra

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Glasgow, Montana
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    Default

    To send Comments to the Govenor
    http://governor.mt.gov/contact/commentsform.asp

    Supt. of Public Instruction
    OPISupt@mt.gov

    Secretary of State
    sos@mt.gov

    Attorney General
    contactdoj@mt.gov

    State Auditor
    stateauditor@mt.gov

    These are the 5 elected officials that sit on the State Lands board. With the recent election there will be significant changes but this is the current make up.

    Nemont
    "You can observe alot just by watching"
    Yogi Berra

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks Nemont. I sent comments to all.
    Every day I'm hustlin'....

    Hell is coming to breakfast.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Default

    Thanks Nemo,

    I'll be sending comments to all this afternoon. I just got done with a pretty good confrontation with a landowner over access.

  9. #9

    Default

    Good luck, sounds like a good deal for all involved. With the publicity the land around the Milk gets securing permanent public access would be a great investment I would think.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    "Land of Giant Rams"
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    Default

    "This is a bitter issue over here as it appears that the State only wishes to gain access for hunters in Western Montana"

    Maybe Max can get some fed dollars for you Nemo . $210 an acre of state tax dollars to provide a hunting access easement seems a very high price to me. After paying so much money, are sportsmen going to then bitch about who and how many get to use it and whether or not cattle should continue to graze it? Maybe interested hunters good fund the project?
    Wood is Good treefarmsystem.org

  11. #11
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    Default

    $210 an acre was not pulled out of thin air, there was an appraisal done already on the lands. How much is the easement worth then? Why is it okay to spend $500,000 on 53 acres in Western Montana, ($9,434 an acre) but not $210 an acre to guarantee access forever?

    Max doesn't care about Eastern Montana, nobody does until they want to come hunt. Then my PM box fills up and phone rings with guys who just want to come over and "get a nice buck and maybe a couple of limits of pheasants". This is not only a good deal for hunters it is a good deal for the State of Montana.

    Nemont
    "You can observe alot just by watching"
    Yogi Berra

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BigHornRam View Post
    $210 an acre of state tax dollars to provide a hunting access easement seems a very high price to me.
    That's a pretty narrow-minded view of the proposal. The plan is also a perpetual conservation easement that prevents development or subdivision of the property. What is the going rate for conservation easements? How many of them include public hunting access?
    Every day I'm hustlin'....

    Hell is coming to breakfast.

  13. #13
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    Tell me about the 53 acre 1/2 mil parcel Nemont? Why is this access a good deal for the Montana taxpayer's? Maybe 20% of Montanans hunt......you want the rest to subsidize us? Who gets to decided who hunts there? Should non residents be banned since state tax dollars were used to secure access? How about outfitters......their tax dollars were used here. Should they be allowed to outfit on the property now? Why shouldn't the sportsmen who benefit from this deal pay for it? Not too many years ago you could have bought the land outright for $210 an acre. Now with the bad economy, we are looking to buy access for $5,000,000? Sorry guys, not a good use of tax payer dollars IMO.
    Wood is Good treefarmsystem.org

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigHornRam View Post
    Sorry guys, not a good use of tax payer dollars IMO.
    Primary funding source is FWP's Habitat Montana program, with additional funds likely from the upland game bird account, Montana Fish and Wildlife Conservation Trust, North American Wetland Conservation Act, and USFWS State Wildlife Grants.
    So how much of this funding is "state taxpayer dollars"? Zero?
    Every day I'm hustlin'....

    Hell is coming to breakfast.

  15. #15

    Default

    BHR- Considering this is the Sportsman's Issues forum, if a conservation easement and hunter acces is not a good use, what would you consider a good use of tax dollars? IMO, the states SUCK for not jumping on these types of deals with both feet!

    Nemont- Have any NGO's (TNC, Pheasant's Forever, etc) been contacted to see if they could help offset some of the costs? And yes, I'd like to shoot a deer and some pheasants.

  16. #16
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    1 pointer,

    The Pheasant's forever people are just now gearing up for this on. DU has an interest as well especially with the WRP money and the good they could do there. So yes there are some already involved.

    Come on over and shoot pheasants and deer. I have hardly had a chance to get out and chase ducks and geese but have put a good hurting on the rooster population.

    Nemont
    "You can observe alot just by watching"
    Yogi Berra

  17. #17
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    Default

    So it's a West Montana vs. East Montana issue........for the record I didn't vote for Schweitzer, so don't blame me if he nukes this deal. I'll look into it more after hunting season is over, and send my comments after reviewing it better. Thanks for the links Nemont.
    Wood is Good treefarmsystem.org

  18. #18

    Default

    I got a letter in the mail today from Mr. Schweitzer thanking me for my input. He said that the Land Board voted unanimously on Nov. 17th to "reject the proposal and send it back to FWP for further discussion with the landowners."

    Anyone know what they wanted FWP to "discuss" with the landowners?
    Every day I'm hustlin'....

    Hell is coming to breakfast.

  19. #19

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    Anyone know what they wanted FWP to "discuss" with the landowners?
    My guess would be the $$$...

  20. #20
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    Default

    The big issue is that the Govenor thinks the appraisal is over valued. The appraiser who did this appraisal is one of the foremost experts on valuing conservation easements yet the Govenor thinks he know more then the expert.

    If this parcel was anywhere west of Great Falls the land board would have approved it without reading any of the documents.

    Nemont
    "You can observe alot just by watching"
    Yogi Berra

  21. #21
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    Default

    I wonder how the current easements compared to the one offered to Montana in 2008.

    https://www.nature.org/ourinitiative...uggy-creek.xml
    "I'll put some whiskey into my whiskey"

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