The Sheer Amount of Public Land in Montana May Surprise You
Last month, I talked about who owns the most land in Montana. I thought it was an interesting look into our land, however, one other major factor that wasn't really talked about too much was public land. In the United States, most public land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. There's also a lot of things you're allowed to do on BLM land, but how much of it exists in Montana?
Public Land is Extremely Common in Montana
The Bureau of Land Management operates Montana combined with the Dakotas in its own territory. Across the Montana-Dakota BLM territory, they operate over 8 million acres of federal land, as well as over 47 million acres of federal mineral estate, 27 million of which is purely in Montana. That's such a massive amount of land, and it's all public access.
Out of Montana's 150,000 square miles of land, these public lands represent about 30% of the total land in the entire state. The rest, as we discovered in my previous article, is either privately owned, or managed by the federal government. However, even though it represents less than half the land in Montana, it's still an insane amount of land; 27 million acres is over 42,000 square miles.
What Are You Allowed to Do on Public Land?
In 99% of cases, the BLM allows you to hunt, fish, or do recreational shooting on their land, as long as you're not causing damage to the environment. The BLM also requires people to clean up after themselves, so make sure to clean up all your casings, and have all the necessary licenses to hunt or fish; you may get in severe trouble if you don't.
Public land in Montana is extremely important. If you decide you want to have some fun on public land, keep it gorgeous, and clean up after yourself. There's plenty of it to go around!