The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation announced two new firearm restrictions on certain State Trust land in Gallatin County. Both restrictions go into effect on November 12.

According to the press release, the implemented restrictions come after issues regarding the misuse of state trust land used for recreational shooting. The firearm restrictions come from concerns that include private property damage, shooting debris and litter left on site, and public safety. 

“While nearly all accessible State Trust Lands are open to the public for recreation with the required license, restrictions on recreational activity are sometimes necessary when the situation becomes unsafe, or lessees are no longer able to use the land in accordance with the terms of the lease,” said Erik Eneboe, acting Bozeman Unit Manager.

Year-round fire restrictions are implemented on all state trust land along the south and east end of Axtell Anceney Road. Temporary firearm restrictions for state trust land south of Logan, Montana, and east of Buffalo Jump Road. The temporary restriction starts November 12 and through November 25 for land evaluations. The area will also have an annual restriction from April 15 until June 30 during management activities. 

“Montana State Trust Lands are working lands managed to generate millions of dollars in revenue annually for Montana students and other beneficiaries,” said Acting Bozeman Unit Manager Erik Eneboe.  

“The ability to generate income from these lands is being jeopardized by the intense recreational shooting taking place. The restrictions allow for the land to generate income through grazing leases while maintaining access for recreation.” 

Eneboe adds that if the misuse of the affected land continues, DNRC can take further action, which could mean further restrictions being implemented. He also asks Gallatin County citizens to report any misuse to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks or contact the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

Seasonal restrictions will go into place in spring 2023. Borth the year-round and temporary restrictions are created to allow lessees to use their lease while keeping access to recreational activities.