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Montana Governor Steve Bullock - Increasing Access to Your Public Lands

December 19, 2017View for printing

Today, I announced a collaborative and innovative effort to increase access to public lands through the new Montana Public Land Access Network, or the MT-PLAN.

Public lands are our history, our heritage, and our birthright. We are blessed here in Montana to have access to millions of acres of public lands, but there's always more we can do to increase that access. Access to public lands is essential for present and future generations of Montanans from all walks of life, and it's essential for our economy. The MT-PLAN provides an opportunity for Montanans to help us gain access to even more of Montana's public lands.

In Montana, we have a rich history of coming up with collaborative and innovative ways to conserve, protect, and open up access to our public lands. During the 2017 Legislative Session, I signed House Bill 597 in to law which created a voluntary contribution account and grant program, known as the MT-PLAN.

This account will be administered by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) to pursue public access easements to open up public lands for recreational purposes and complete projects that enhance existing public access sites across Montana.

The MT-PLAN is widely supported by a diverse range of landowners and sportsmen groups for its innovative approach to provide incentives to private landowners for increasing public access across private land to otherwise inaccessible public lands.

This grant program is fully funded by private donations to DNRC and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Individuals or organizations can make a donation when buying a wildlife conservation or combination license online or at their locally authorized vendor. All donations are tax deductible, and payments to landowners are exempt from taxation.

To find out more about the MT-PLAN or to make a donation, please visit DNRC's website HERE http://dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/trust/mt-plan

Outdoor recreation is a powerful economic engine and we should be doing everything we can to expand and protect public access to our public lands, clean air and water, wildlife, and the jobs and growing economy that rely on them. Thank you for your commitment, every day, to Montana's public lands, to our economy, and to the values we share as Montanans.

Sincerely,

STEVE BULLOCK Governor
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