I will be writing more about this in the near future, but want to pass along this update from the Beartooth Front Oil and Gas Committee. This has been a long battle, slowed to a crawl by the Stillwater County Commissioners, who have raised delay to a fine art.The Good News: The Stillwater County Clerk & Recorder has completed the signature verification for our Citizen Initiated Zoning District (CIZD) Petition and declared we have achieved over 60% of required landowner signatures within the proposed district. As you know, this was a huge effort, which took over a year to accomplish and many hurdles cleared along the way. Remember, our petition is not to stop oil and gas development, but to ensure it is done in a responsible manner to protect our water, air, property rights and county infrastructure. We could not have reached this milestone without your continued support – thank you!
The Bad News: Although we have achieved this important milestone, the County Attorney has now presented a new legal issue questioning whether mineral right holders should have been included in the total signature count. This was unexpected, and we have never seen a zoning petition with that requirement in Montana’s history. Until this issue is settled, the County Commissioners will not hold a public hearing to determine if our petition is “in the public interest and convenience.” We are frustrated, once again, by this eleventh-hour delay, and are pursuing a quick resolution by working with legal counsel.
What you can do: As soon as all legal issues are resolved, we will contact you again when the date for the public hearing is scheduled. This hearing is where the County Commissioners will determine the future of our Petition. Our Petition must be found by the Commissioners to be in the public interest and convenience and YOUR support is needed to make this happen!!!
Beartooth Front landowners present hundreds of signatures to Stillwater County Commissioners to set up oil and gas zoning district (with video) (11/11/2015)
Stillwater County Commissioners ignore County residents on issue after issue. This has to change (2/9/2016)
Watch the Preserve the Beartooth Front video:
Mineral rights owners are not land owners. By definition a landowner owns all rights to property and pay taxes for those rights! Mineral rights owners do not pay taxes. Bob
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