Much like the proposals to regulate or eliminate elk shooting enclosures in Idaho, which had much public support, but were defeated anyway, efforts in Montana to secure the right to access the streams of the state, which belong to the people, has been killed in the Montana legislature.

Much-debated stream access bill tabled. By Charles S. Johnson. Billings Gazette State Bureau

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

2 Responses to Much-debated stream access bill in Montana is tabled

  1. Owen James says:

    What seems to be missing here is what the US Constitution has to say which has repeatedly been affirmed by Supreme Court rulings practically since the beginning of the Republic. The waters of the US belong to the people and are “highways” of commerce. No state shall pass any law which limits the rights of the people to use such waterways for any legitimate purpose, nor may any private entity bar such use and/or free passage.
    A landowner can’t step into the road and announce “I own this property and you may not pass.”

  2. Crap. I’m expecting a firestorm over this one, and it’s interesting to see this get tabled so soon after Trout Unlimited’s National body tried to withdraw itself from access issues (that’s been tabled too).


April 2007


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey