By Tim Ravndal
In this series we are taking a look at the Regulatory Takings Process that is used against the rights of the people of Montana. Randy Adams, along with many other landowners are in battle for the future of their families and the people of Montana, against government overreach.
Access to both public and private property is under siege in Lyons Creek. Land ownership in Lyons Creek near Wolf Creek Montana has been in dispute since the turn of the century.
In the early days of Montana, the race for property ownership and control of access to natural resource development was on. 132 years later, that same battle continues.
The need to provide protections for the rights of property owners and to balance access for mineral development was front and center. The needs of the people brought forward the 1866 Mining Act that was amended in 1872. That new law provided for a process to ensure public access to public lands and the development of minerals for the benefit of the people.
Over the next multiple decades more new laws were added to control and manage public lands, including the beginning of The United States Forest Service, The Bureau of Land Management and The United States Fish Wildlife Service. These agencies were established to manage the development and enhancement of natural resources and wildlife across America.
In many areas across the west, the quest for mineral development brought challenges requiring the intervention of law to mitigate disputes between land owners while protecting the right of the people to access public lands.
Here in Montana federal agencies have teamed up with Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks (MFWP), Montana Department of Natural Resources (DNRC), and Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). In addition, many of these decisions are heavily influenced by an alphabet of eco~extremist organizations from across America.
Entry into public lands have undergone a traditional change from a right, to a permission slip. The above sign used to be regularly posted at most all entry points into Montana State Trust Lands. In Lyons Creek, this sign is no longer there because DNRC and MFWP no longer support public access to these public lands according to many sportsmen, loggers, miners or property owners we spoke to.
Lyons Creek like many here in Montana has a special lure for development. In this particular land setting, elected government officials have been tasked with providing private property access along with public land access. A couple of large landowners in the area have historically taken steps to maintain exclusive control of both land and access.
Access to Lyons Creek begins in Wolf Creek Canyon North of Helena. That access is the only route into the box canyon where Lyons Creek and Bear Creek join together forming a perennial stream. The road was created accessing this area before Montana became a state.
With many legal challenges placed before the court, Randy Adams and his partner have been seeking resolution since 2018 when they bought property in Lyons Creek. The control instituted through a mirage of regulatory actions adopted by the multitude of government agencies has brought the rights of the people before the Montana Supreme Court.
We are working to provide the truth regarding the rights of the people in this land access series. Enter Conservation Easements and we have another chapter in the regulatory takings actions that commence with local government. Stay tuned for part 2.
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Great startup, looking forward to this area being opened backup to public access to enjoy 1000’s of acres of Public Lands.