Sitka Mountain Gear
A must read for Western Hunters
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
standswittaknife 26-Oct-17
Grasshopper 26-Oct-17
SBH 26-Oct-17
Brotsky 26-Oct-17
Z Barebow 26-Oct-17
hoytshooter1 26-Oct-17
Missouribreaks 26-Oct-17
AndyJ 26-Oct-17
Z Barebow 26-Oct-17
SixLomaz 26-Oct-17
Missouribreaks 26-Oct-17
Z Barebow 26-Oct-17
coelker 26-Oct-17
coelker 26-Oct-17
Z Barebow 26-Oct-17
SBH 26-Oct-17
Beendare 26-Oct-17
bighorn 26-Oct-17
Buyse 26-Oct-17
Franklin 27-Oct-17
Irishman 27-Oct-17
IdyllwildArcher 27-Oct-17
Burt 27-Oct-17
elkstabber 27-Oct-17
Don K 27-Oct-17
Brotsky 27-Oct-17
Lost Arra 27-Oct-17
Missouribreaks 27-Oct-17
Dave 27-Oct-17
AndyJ 27-Oct-17
Missouribreaks 27-Oct-17
26-Oct-17

standswittaknife's Link
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-10-25/this-land-is-no-longer-your-land

From: Grasshopper
26-Oct-17
Here in Colorado, We need to get a funding mechanism to improve public access before it is gone here too.

From: SBH
26-Oct-17
That area has been in use by the public through an easement for over 100 years. When the FS guys told people to keep using it under the active easement....suddenly he was removed from his post. Where was Zinke on that?

From: Brotsky
26-Oct-17
This is the single largest issue facing western hunters today IMO. If we don't do something now we will continue to lose access at an ever increasing rate until even more millions of acres are lost to us. Join BHA or other public access groups and contact your legislators. This impacts all hunters. Even those in the east, you may want to travel west someday and find that your dreams of chasing big bulls or bucks has turned to dust because all you find is locked gates.

From: Z Barebow
26-Oct-17
I have been following this story closely. I reeks of political collusion. Zinke should have stood up for the public on this, but I have heard nothing. (But his actions/inaction indicate he is supportive of the landowner steps)

From: hoytshooter1
26-Oct-17
It's a serious problem here in Wyoming as well....but how do you fight it when the politicians are in the pockets of the big money ranchers? There is sooooo much public ground that can't be touched by the public because of access or the no corner jumping laws here. What can be done?

26-Oct-17
The real question is, is there another access, or is this just the most convenient one the hunter preferred? Corner access is an entirely separate issue. Each trail access issue has to be fought individually as circumstances and previous ownership varies. You can always sue the landowner if you feel you have data to support it. Just because people have trespassed for years does not make it right. As I mentioned, circumstances vary, hire a lawyer specializing in land and access and take these landowners on.

From: AndyJ
26-Oct-17
I’ve been following Zinke’s actions since he got confirmed and really don’t think sportsman are going to get any help from him. His actions as Secretary interior have ,in my opinion, been disappointing. His actions are lock step with this administration: say he’s all for keeping public lands to your face while reducing it and offering to the highest bidder behind your back. Keep in mind management has at least as big of an effect as ownership. Anyone that believes our public land access isn’t still under threat, hasn’t been paying attention. But hey, at least we can use lead bullets and shot again... Unbelievable

From: Z Barebow
26-Oct-17

Z Barebow's Link
"The real question is, is there another access, or is this just the most convenient one the hunter preferred? Corner access is an entirely separate issue. Each trail access issue has to be fought individually as circumstances and previous ownership varies. You can always sue the landowner if you feel you have data to support it. Just because people have trespassed for years does not make it right. As I mentioned, circumstances vary, hire a lawyer specializing in land and access and take these landowners on. "

Respectfully disagree. The big picture is losing access via Forest Service trails to public land. Your approach is divide and conquer.

What has changed over the years? The commercialization of hunting. The landowners no longer solely rely upon ranching as a livelihood.

And corner crossing is a related issue. When you look at the checkerboard of ownership in the Crazy Mountains, do you think landowners would block trail access if the public could legally cross at section corners? Where possible, trails would be shifted to corners and gates would look like this video clip.

From: SixLomaz
26-Oct-17
Use a helicopter to drop off and pick up. Problem solved.

26-Oct-17
Corner crossing is related, but from a standpoint of making headway you have to break down the battles and focus. You cannot take on all Montana access issues with a broad brush. Corner crossing is not the same as deciding if a specific road is public or private, two totally different court cases.

From: Z Barebow
26-Oct-17
SixLomaz- Unfortunately that is only legal when accessing BLM. Forest Service land- No can do.

From: coelker
26-Oct-17
If it is a road, the hunting groups would do themselves a huge favor by partnering with ATV and Jeep groups to keep roads open...

Often times hunters and hunting groups like to stand alone, but there is power in numbers...

From: coelker
26-Oct-17
If it is a road, the hunting groups would do themselves a huge favor by partnering with ATV and Jeep groups to keep roads open...

Often times hunters and hunting groups like to stand alone, but there is power in numbers...

From: Z Barebow
26-Oct-17
x2 AndyJ

From: SBH
26-Oct-17
This is not a corner crossing issue.

This is a public easement that has been in place hundreds of years. It is literally THE only access to the entire north half of the range on the east side.

From: Beendare
26-Oct-17
Tricky question.

I can understand a landowner not wanting some of these slobs on their property, even just as a right of way.

As a DIY bowhunter, it ticks me off that a rancher can lock off a huge chunk of public ground to use as his own little preserve.

From: bighorn
26-Oct-17
Any rancher who pastures his cattle on BLM land or any public land should not be allowed to block off any public access. I know they pay fee but it's not that much. I raise beef cattle around all private property, if we don't get rain and my pastures dry up I pay a premium for hay to feed my cattle. There using public land they should not stop anyone from using public land. But anyone crossing private property on a designated route should respect the landowners and his property.

From: Buyse
26-Oct-17
I would encourage Montana folks and others to join PLWA to help fight these very issues. They are truly amazing. Backcountry Hunters and Anglers are also fighting the good fight. We need to join together to save out public lands. "Keep public lands in public hands!"

From: Franklin
27-Oct-17
IF it was a public access for so long and was up for sale, the govt. should of purchased the property to guarantee the access remain. IMO the Federal govt. owns way too much property in the west. A lot of this property should be returned to the states. The problem is so many states are poorly managed fiscally and many are afraid the broke states will sell off the land. National Parks have almost doubled their fees to enter the park to pay for infrastructure repairs.

From: Irishman
27-Oct-17
I'm actually going into the Crazy mountains this weekend. Have never been there until a few weeks ago. This is some really impressive and beautiful country, never mind the fact that it has one of Montana's largest mountain goat populations, which we are going in to hunt. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that there is any public land cannot be accessed by the public. How is it that in a checkerboard land situation, that the private landowner can stop the public from passing through, but the public land owners cannot in turn stop the private landowner from passing through public land to get to their land? If the government can take your land to build a highway, surely they can require that the public have access to all public land.

27-Oct-17
Says the guy from Wisconsin. I'm not making any recommendations about your backyard, please don't make any about mine. You urbanites are completely out of touch with our culture and way of life.

EDIT: My post was in response to this: "IMO the Federal govt. owns way too much property in the west. A lot of this property should be returned to the states."

From: Burt
27-Oct-17
I acknowledge that I don't live in the western states, but I have heard from plenty of friends who own land or travel regularly there with their horses. Part of the issue is hardening of stances due to a more favorable legal landscape for certain types of easements. Scenic easements (ie hiking, fishing, hunting) are generally not granted without long term previous use as noted in the article. However land owners are being assaulted by mandatory revenue related easements for oil and gas projects across the west. For the past decade or so, those types of easements have been pushed through regularly since the Kelo decision. If a mineral lease is sold on public lands the developer is highly likely to win an easement of their choosing - a convenient straight line through private ground on which a temporary road for equipment carried on semi trucks can pass. This activity has greatly increased animosity of land owners to any easements to reach federal lands for any purpose. The last thing these folks want is more case law decided in favor of public access. Keep in mind all it would take is one or two lawsuits going the way of hunters, fisherman, or whoever else to throw the doors open wide. Personally I would love the prospect of reaching many of these areas, but my suspicion is once they become accessible and known a big group of local outdoor enthusiasts would be none too happy with the influx of folks from abroad also using these easements.

From: elkstabber
27-Oct-17
I live in the east and support my brothers in retaining access to public lands in the West. We are not asking for a free-for-all right to trespass on private land. We just want to retain access through commonly used access points to the vast tracts of land that belong to the public.

From: Don K
27-Oct-17

Don K's Link
If one wants to really read the whole story on this it started on a forum off a different site. Lots of information to be had on this....

From: Brotsky
27-Oct-17
I don't think you can say you've really experienced western hunting until you've had a conversation with a rancher about what you are doing on their public land. :)

From: Lost Arra
27-Oct-17

Lost Arra's embedded Photo
Lost Arra's embedded Photo
Maybe I haven't read enough but it seems that this access issue happens more frequently with new ownership that comes from a different part of the country where there is little public land and a landscape of "No Trespassing" signs is the norm (Texas). No offense to Texans but private land and pay to hunt is the standard there and may become the standard in the west which I guess is better than being totally locked out.

Too bad that Mr Roosevelt isn't around to weigh in on this issue since we lack real visionary leaders today.

27-Oct-17
The guys from the east know all to well what too many public roads do to once wilderness areas. They shake their heads and drive west to hunt and escape the public madness. Some of you support the Prairie Foundation, the very people who in time will eliminate roads and create ferret, bison, wolf and prairie dog seclusion.

File a lawsuit against any landowner who cheats, Bowsite will not solve access problems for you. The resident hunter vs landowner hatred cannot get much worse.

From: Dave
27-Oct-17
Bottom line here is prescriptive easement law clearly states that if access on a road, trail, or other way of access into another neighboring property has been used for several years, you can't take it away. That's what they're referring to and the Forest Service is using as their defense. Now, landowners in MT who live adjacent to Forest Service land want to change Federal law and receive special treatment that other private landowners would not be privy to. Too bad it will likely end up in the courts and I'd bet the landowners will lose. Just another waste of taxpayer dollars to fight greedy Montanans who think the law doesn't apply to them.

From: AndyJ
27-Oct-17
Franklin-Why do you think the govt owns to much land in the west and how would State ownership solve this issue? Take a bad fire season such as the one right now. If any one State had to foot the bill and fight those fires without federal aid, it would bankrupt a state in one year. Furthermore, I have been very unimpressed with state owned land. Colorado I’m talking about you. The regulations and fees make it almost totally prohibitive for backcountry hunting.

+1-Lost Arra. Roosevelt was a remarkable man. It is doubtful we will ever have another president that could even stand in his shadow. If he was alive today and saw the assault on public lands by the party he once called his own, he would literally knock Zinke out cold -even as a 159 yo!

27-Oct-17
It needs to get sorted out, happened many years ago in most of America. Yes, there will be lots of taxpayers dollars spent, and most are not hunters and many do not like hunting or trapping. Will be interesting to say the least.

  • Sitka Gear