NewsCrime and Courts


MT Supreme Court backs Gov. Bullock in conservation easement case

Posted at 7:11 AM, Dec 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-12 09:11:52-05

HELENA – The Montana Supreme Court overruled an opinion by Attorney General Tim Fox over the governor’s approval of conservation easements.

The case revolves around a 15,000-acre easement east of Glendive. Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks negotiated the proposed easement which then went before the State Land Board, which voted 3-to-2 to delay action.

But Gov. Steve Bullock went forward with the agreement anyway, arguing conservation easements don’t need to be approved the land board because they are not a direct acquisition of land.

Senate President Scott Sales asked for a formal opinion on whether Gov. Bullock followed the law. Fox determined easements must go through the land board.

However, the Montana Supreme Court disagreed and overturned the attorney general’s opinion.