Unlocking Montana's Future Public Access


$ 294 of $8k


Thank you for caring & contributing
to resotoring Public & Wildlife Access in Montana
for Future Generations.

We are all
United PUBLIC Property Owners of Montana

Click to contact EMWH to report an access obstruction,
to volunteer for onsite documentation trips,
or to subscribe to the EMWH Newsletter to receive updates on
Unlocking Montana's Future Public Access projects

(Some access projects are already underway, more info below)

Unlocking Montana's Future Public Access


Wilks Illegal "No Trespassing" Sign on Swimming Woman Rd.,
a public access county road


Wilks N-Bar Illegal
"No Trespassing" Sign
on a public access county rd.


The Swimming Woman Road, is a public access county road, thanks to the work of the Public Lands/Water Access Association a few years ago when flooding washed out part of the road. Through their work, the road was maintained as a county road, ensuring the public had access on it to the Lewis and Clark National Forest, Big Snowy Mountains, our public lands.

While following up on a fencing tip, I decided to drive all the way up to our Forest Service entrance and there on the county road was this illegal private property sign.

The sign, is contrary to MCA 45-8-115 which states that it is illegal to post on state or federal land, to restrict access or use of state or federal land; as well as MCA 45-6-201 which states " (3) To provide for effective posting of private land through which or along which the public has an unfenced right-of-way by means of a public road, a landowner shall: (a) place a conspicuous sign no closer than 30 feet of the centerline of the roadway where it enters the private land, stating words substantially similar to "PRIVATE PROPERTY, NO TRESPASSING OFF ROAD NEXT ___ MILES"; or (b) place notice, as described in subsection (2)(a), no closer than 30 feet of the centerline of the roadway at regular intervals of not less than one-fourth mile along the roadway where it borders unfenced private land, except that orange markings may not be placed on posts where the public roadway enters the private land. "

The Wilks sign is on a post, about 3' from the edge of the cattle crossing grate; from centerline of the road, it is about 12'. This cattle guard is on the border between S22, T10 N, R19E, N2NW4 and S22, T10N, R19E, NE4, NE4SE4.

I already knew this was a public access county road from work done by the Public Lands and Water Access Association, previously, otherwise, by all indications, the Wilks N-Bar Ranch sign makes it appear that by crossing that cattle guard and proceeding forward you are trespassing and will be prosecuted. All other landowners signs beyond this point have them properly on their fences parallel to the road.

I emailed Golden Valley County Sheriff Robert Pallas with the documentation, on the 6th of July, then spoke with him on the phone about this illegal sign (email below). He said that he would get in touch with the owners to have the sign removed. I asked that he would contact me as soon as the sign is removed.


Though I had not heard back from the Golden County Sheriff, that the sign had been moved from the easement portion of the road,
I checked on it on Sat., Aug. 22, 2015 and the sign had been moved.


Site designed and maintained by Kathryn QannaYahu