Montana Way

Connecting Current Landowners and New Landowners to Best Practices, Communities, and Each Other 

 (Photo Credit: Matt Bitz)

The Montana Way project began in 2014 in response to the growing number of large properties that were being bought by out-of-state interests.

Large nontraditional landowners are often not aware of all of the complexities and responsibilities of owning a sizeable ranching property and/or the nuances of ranching in Montana.  This lack of awareness often leads to conflicts with neighbors, communities, and state and local agencies.

Therefore, the goals of Montana Way are to help maintain stability when large land transactions occur and to reduce potential conflicts between new, nontraditional landowners and their immediate neighbors as well as the greater community.  By informing those involved in large land transactions – including real estate agents, attorneys and CPAs – about the often unspoken ranching best practices that are not always readily apparent to those who have not previously ranched in Montana, potential and new landowners can more easily join into the fabric of their community. 

The first phase of the project included interviewing large landowners and ranch managers across Montana and cataloguing “best practices” covering community relations, purchase considerations, land management, livestock and range management, water management, wildlife management, and legacy management.  The report from this first phase will guide the second phase, which is to collaborate with professional development groups to create continuing education courses on this topic as well as to develop communication materials and the appropriate distribution channels to best reach nontraditional landowners, ranchers, and land transaction service professionals.   

For more information or to participate in Montana Way, contact Bill Bryan