Montana Study of Federal-Lands Transfer Dies in Committee

Supporters of the idea argue the state can better manage federal land

By Dillon Tabish

HELENA — A House committee has rejected a proposed bill that would have studied the idea of the state taking over management of federal lands.

House Bill 496, which would have created a “Transfer of Public Land Feasibility Task Force,” failed to pass out of the House Natural Resources Committee on a 9-9 vote Friday.

The panel then decided on a 10-8 vote to table the measure. It’s dead unless the committee revives it or a super-majority of the House votes to bring it to the floor.

The bill would have spent $35,000 over the biennium to study the feasibility of transferring federal land to the state.

Supporters of the idea argue the state can better manage federal land.

Opponents say it is a waste of time and money.

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