Crazy Mountain access, trails dispute argued in federal court

The Custer Gallatin National Forest’s rights to access historic trails in the Crazy Mountains “died” because landowners successfully blocked access denying the public for five years, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Smith argued in a Billings federal court on Tuesday.

Under Montana law, a prescriptive easement – in this case public access across private land – requires “open, exclusive, notorious, hostile, adverse, continuous and uninterrupted use” for a five-year period.

“The Forest Service clearly believed prior to the 2006 [travel plan] it had an easement interest, agreed?” questioned U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan.

Read more from The Billings Gazette here...

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