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New Fort Owen ranch owner offers to resolve public access issues - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

New Fort Owen ranch owner offers to resolve public access issues

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STEVENSVILLE - The new owner of the historic Fort Owen Ranch offers to work with Stevensville residents to resolve public access issues causing conflicts. But she also says solutions must be reasonable, and respect private property.

Myla Yahraus a successful Las Vegas businesswoman, was introduced at a Stevensville press conference Thursday as the new owner of the 167-acre ranch. That ranch surrounds the historic Fort Owen site, the first permanent, white settlement in Montana territory. 

But the ranch's relationship with Stevensville as been rocky of late, with the present owners shutting down informal public access on the Bitterroot River when they got tired of uncontrolled partying and other problems. 

Yahraus wants to work with locals and state agencies, but also says she's a "strong advocate" of private property rights…

"I'm more than willing to be a good neighbor to the Stevensville community. But the healthiest neighborhoods have streets that run both directions, not one-way streets that lead to a dead end," Yahraus said.

Yahraus plans to keep the property as a working cattle ranch when she takes over Jan. 1.

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