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