In the last several years Montana’s economy has turned really turned around after years of stagnation and growing inequality. During that time too more and more landowners have tried to block off the public from their streams.
Now Gov. Brian Schweitzer has come out strongly in favor of a proposed law that would require landowners who attach fences to county bridges to provide some form of access to the streams they cross, such as a gate, and stated that public access is essential to a strong economy. He is talking about “public property rights,” a word western Republicans are not fond of, and had fallen into disuse in the years of Republican control in Montana.
Governor says strong economy, public access linked. By Walt Williams. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer
More . . . Update from the Denver Post. Unhappy to be stuck with you. Wealthy landowners want to bar fishing on Montana stream. By Charlie Meyers. Denver Post Outdoors Editor.
The stream access controversy has had a big internal impact on Trout Unlimited.