- Action alert: Stillwater County Planning Board meeting, Wed, 9/4, 7pm
- Must attend! Stillwater County Planning Board: Wednesday, August 7, 7pm
- Stillwater County News: “Workable framework” adopted for potential southern county zone
- Action alert: Your attendance needed at Stillwater County Planning Board meeting, July 3, 2019
- Action alert: New developments in landowner lawsuit against Stillwater County; what you can do to help
Click to see the Preserve the Beartooth Front video
Tag Archives: Stillwater County Commissioners
The Stillwater County Commissioners have retained a high-priced out-of-state law firm to defend a lawsuit filed against them by Beartooth Front landowners. Over 60% of the landowners in the area have petitioned the County to set up a citizen-initiated zone to regulate oil and gas drilling, in accordance with Montana law.
Why would they hire a firm from out of state? And why would they hire a firm with rates much higher than would be charged by an expert Montana firm? It’s impossible to tell for sure. There has been no public notice of any contractual relationship with an outside firm. A look at recent Commissioner agendas and meeting minutes makes no mention of a contract.
But a look at the facts shows that the Commissioners have gone out of their way not only to deprive local landowners of their rights, but to establish a precedent that will end citizen-initiated zoning in Montana. In doing so they will pave the way for the oil and gas industry to operate without regard for local communities. This agenda dovetails perfectly with the national agenda of the oil and gas industry.
To find out more about this law firm, click the link. Continue reading
The efforts of landowners in southern Stillwater County to guarantee long-term protection of their land has generated a lot of media coverage locally and across Montana over the last several weeks. The reason is clear — the landowners’ lawsuit against the County has long-term implications not only locally, but for landowner rights across the State.
In addition to this coverage, local residents deluged the Commissioners with dozens of letters opposing their position on citizen-initiated zoning.
This post provides links to published articles and letters. Continue reading
Writing letters makes a difference.
We saw it last week when the BLM backed off on a decision to sell oil leases on the Beartooth Front because of public opposition.
The Stillwater County Commissioners have decided to rewrite Montana state law to keep landowners from establishing reasonable protections from drilling. They need to hear that you think that’s a bad idea.
Tuesday, March 13 is the last day they will accept email comments.
Please click the link to find out what to do. It will only take a few minutes. Continue reading
What occurred yesterday in Columbus is what happens when elected officials ignore the people who pay their salaries.
After four years of stonewalling the hundreds of landowners who petitioned to set up a citizen initiated zone along the Beartooth Front, the Commissioners held a public hearing on Tuesday on a proposed policy that would forever block any group from doing the same thing.
As you would expect, people took the opportunity to express their indignation, not only about the proposed policy, but about the pattern of excuses, inaction, and delay that had brought them to this point.
To read more and watch video of the hearing, click the link. Continue reading
Make your voice heard TODAY. Tell the Stillwater County Commissioners how you feel about landowner rights
Please make your voice heard. The Stillwater County Commissioners will be holding a public hearing to consider their proposed policy for citizen initiated zoning. The proposed policy is not a policy at all, but a thinly-veiled attempt to keep any … Continue reading
The Beartooth Front landowners who have been working since 2014 to set up a citizen-initiated zone in southern Stillwater County have filed a legal action against the Stillwater County Commissioners and the County Clerk and Recorder.
The landowners made the decision to sue reluctantly, but felt they had no choice because the Commissioners have for years ignored the will of the overwhelming majority of landowners in the proposed zone. Over 550 of them petitioned in November, 2015 to set up a zone in accordance with Montana law.
To find out more and read the lawsuit click the link.
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
Stillwater County Beartooth Zone: The Commissioners’ position is not only illegal, it is completely undemocratic
The Stillwater County Commissioners seem dead set on fighting County taxpayers in court to protect the rights of outsiders. No county in the history of Montana has ever taken their position, it is untested in court, and it is completely undemocratic and unfair.
To see how undemocratic the Commissioners’ position is, this post looks at two actual properties in the proposed zone.
No matter how County Attorney Nancy Rohde and the Commissioners try to spin it, there is no principle of law or justice in the United States of America in which a vacation cabin on a half acre should have 33 times the voice of a 1500-acre ranch that has been owned by the same family for 108 years.
To find out how to contact the people responsible for this nonsense, read the post. Continue reading
Beartooth Front zone update: Stillwater Commissioners turn their backs on locals who pay their salaries; support unknown outsiders
A portion of this post will appear in the Opinion section of the Stillwater County News on Thursday, February 1.
By rejecting a petition of over 550 landowners to establish the Beartooth Front Zoning District, the Stillwater Commissioners this week, after three years of inaction, delays, and excuses, have decided to turn their backs on the people who pay their salaries to stand up for unknown outside interests.
To do this they had to make up new law that has never been used in a single one of the 111 existing citizen initiated zones that have been established in Montana over the last 65 years.
It’s hard to imagine why they would want to spend precious County resources to defend this fantasy law in court against local landowners who have spent three years coming up with a plan that has received the overwhelming support of their neighbors. But that’s what they’re going to have to do unless they come to their senses pretty quickly.
To find out more, and to learn what you can do to help, click the link. Continue reading
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. Continue reading