Search Results for: property rights

Guest editorial by Bonnie Martinell: “Protecting property rights in Montana: You have to do it yourself.”

The following guest editorial by Bonnie Martinell will appear in the Billings Gazette on Tuesday, August 25. It concerns the failure of Montana government agencies to protect landowner property rights, and the efforts of a group of Belfry landowners to secure those rights in the Montana Supreme Court. Continue reading

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You’ve probably never heard of the Wilks brothers. They’re about to take away your property rights.

Will you be surprised when the Wilkses fund a 2017 legislative effort in Montana to strip local communities of their right to regulate what happens on their own land?

You shouldn’t be. Continue reading

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Don’t miss this educational event: Property Rights Forum, Absarokee, May 14

I want to make you aware of what promises to be an outstanding educational event, to be held at the Anipro Event Center in Absarokee on Thursday, May 14 from 9:00am – 4:00pm. It’s a Property Rights Forum, dealing with … Continue reading

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Involuntary pooling: another way oil and gas companies take away your property rights

One of the consistent themes on this blog has been the ways in which uncontrolled oil and gas drilling takes away the rights of property owners. It threatens water supplies, creates noise, traffic and dust for which owners receive no compensation; … Continue reading

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How drilling tramples on property rights and lowers home values

One myth about oil and gas drilling is that it creates riches in a community in the form of increased property values. “With all the new jobs,” the industry says, “buyers will be falling all over themselves to buy your … Continue reading

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ACTION ALERT: Please contact the Stillwater County Commissioners to stop them from taking landowner rights

Not content just to block Beartooth Front landowners from setting regulations that would protect their own properties, the Stillwater County Commissioners have devised a policy that will forever keep any local landowners from using their rights under Montana state law. The policy will be voted on after a public hearing in Columbs at 9:30am on March 6.

The Commissioners tried to sneak this policy past the public on January 24, but were stopped when local landowners forced them to follow their own policy on public notice.

This is not a policy. It is just a way to keep landowners from exercising their rights under the law.

The Commissioners have asked for public comment. This is where you come in. Please click the link and let them know how feel. Continue reading

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Do mineral rights have anything to do with citizen initiated zones in Montana?

While the Stillwater County Commissioners have conceded that zoning petitioners have met the minimum threshold of 60% of landowners in the proposed district, they are now questioning whether the holders of mineral rights in the district should be included in the petitioning process.

By my research, there are at least 110 citizen initiated zones that have been enacted under the law enabling citizens to petition for zoning, and it appears that not a single one required the signatures of mineral owners.

Why is this an issue now? Continue reading

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Action Alert: Prevent the Montana Senate from taking landowner rights

A bill currently being considered in the Montana State Senate significantly reduces landowner rights in protecting property from damage from oil drilling on or near occupied buildings. SB93, currently before the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, would reduce notification requirements approved last year by the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC). Those regulations require oil and gas operators to notify owners of “occupied structures” within a quarter mile of a well before drilling.

The BOGC rule, passed last December, was the result of a 20-month process involving Montana environmental groups, with input from the Montana Petroleum Association. The process grew out of the Legislature’s rejection in the 2015 session of SB177, which would have established a 1000 foot minimum buffer zone, or setback, between wellheads and a home, water well, or surface water. The bill did not make it out of committee.

Following the failure of the bill, Northern Plains Resource Council and others petitioned the BOGC to establish minimum setbacks to protect landowners. After 20 months of hearings, testimony by landowners, and committee meetings, the BOGC passed its new rule last December. The rule requires notification in advance of drilling to any landowner within a quarter mile of a wellhead.

To find out what you can do to keep this bill from passing, follow the link. Continue reading

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Bad news. Your property value is about to go down 22%

Recently we did a three-part series that looked at how increased oil and gas drilling will take away property rights in Stillwater and Carbon counties. The first part looked at the negative impact drilling has on property values, and how … Continue reading

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The deck is stacked against property owners who seek compensation for damages done by oil and gas drilling

Today is the last in a three-part series that’s looked at how increased oil and gas drilling will take away property rights in Stillwater and Carbon counties. On Wednesday we looked at the negative impact drilling has on property values, … Continue reading

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