Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ (FWP) Public Access Land Agreements (PALA) program seeks to open or improve free public access to isolated parcels of state or federal land for hunting or fishing.
Currently, millions of public land acres in Montana are inaccessible. FWP’s new PALA program encourages landowners to help open up and improve access to these isolated parcels of state and federal land for hunting and fishing. In exchange, landowners can receive a payment and other negotiated improvements.
Similar to the “Unlocking State Lands” program from 2015, landowners who enroll parcels, roads or trails in the PALA program are eligible for an annual payment of up to $15,000 per agreement. Landowners and the department may also negotiate improvements needed to facilitate access. FWP may provide hunter management assistance dependent upon need, property rules and program availability as well as may provide and post signs with associated maps and rules for each property, road or trail enrolled in the program.
To be eligible for a Public Access Land Agreement, private landowners must be willing to provide public access to either inaccessible public lands or improve access to under-accessible public lands, or both. Landowners who wish to enter agreements must also hold the lease for grazing/farming on the public land – if a lease exists.
Potential agreements will be reviewed by the Private Land/Public Wildlife Advisory Committee for a recommendation to FWP. Applications are available year-round and must be received at least six weeks prior to the next upcoming Private Land/Public Wildlife Advisory Committee meeting to ensure adequate time to review the project. The deadline for applications before the July PL/PW meeting is May 29.
For more information and application materials, visit fwp.mt.gov/PALA.
Northern Ag Network – 2020