Access to Your Public Lands
Access to Your Public Lands

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"Access Guide to State and Federal Lands in Montana" is available for free distribution

Most public lands administered by BLM are open year round to public use. The public can use these lands for recreation unless the lands have been officially closed to fire danger or other emergency hazard.

Public roads, thoroughfares or waterways may be used to gain access to public lands. The public cannot cross private lands to reach public land if no public thoroughfare exists. The landowners permission must be obtained before crossing private lands to reach public lands.

Leasing does not alter or restrict authorized public use; therefore, lessees cannot maintain locked gates, signs, or other devices on public lands. Some lessees participate in a formal program in which BLM lands can be closed to public use IF a corresponding amount of private land is made available to the public. Such lands must be clearly posted with open and closed signs. Any questions should be referred to the appropriate field office.

Access Information for Montana

Surface ownership patterns in Montana are highly fragmented, and access to public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management can be difficult in some cases. Where there is legal access, lands are open to the public. BLM field offices across Montana have copies of maps, information on specific recreation opportunities such as camping, fishing, snowmobiling, or hunting, and information on land ownership and laws regarding land use.

Download Montana Recreation Guide

Access Information for North and South Dakota

The Bureau of Land Management manages nearly 60,000 acres of public land in North Dakota and some 274,000 acres in South Dakota.  These public lands are concentrated in the western portions of both states.

Download North and South Dakota Recreation Guide

Other Links

Enhancing Access to BLM-managed Public Lands, By Jamie E. Connell, State Director - BLM Montana/Dakotas

Accessibility Program (Access for Persons with Disabilities)

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Outdoor Recreation Opportunities

North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks