The United Property Owners of Montana are all about private property rights — for themselves.
This group of big landowners and outfitters has been pushing its agenda in the state Legislature for years, it includes eliminating the stream access law, allowing lawbreakers to gate off public roads to public land and handing over our big game to landowners and outfitters. They always talk about their deep respect for private property rights.
But then they attack others’ property rights. Last year they came out against a Wibaux ranch family that entered a conservation easement with FWP that included permanent public hunting access and protection of the land. That’s an individual family’s right, but not to UPOM special interests.
Then UPOM drove a resolution against the American Prairie Reserve, a private conservation organization and private property owner, that has generously opened tens of thousands of acres of land in Block Management to Montana hunters. UPOM intentionally doesn't mention the Wilks brothers and how they have changed the Montana we know.
UPOM supports legislation, HB550, to eliminate legal roads to public land, at the behest of landowners along the Crazy Mountains who have, for years, privatized the public land and wildlife there. And UPOM came in against a bill to increase the fine for blocking off public roads to public land. This group is all about special interests, theirs.
This bunch wants it all — public land, water and wildlife — and they do it under the guise of private property rights with a Legislature eager to do its bidding. They’re always for their property rights, just not yours.