By Crystal Thompson
The Hill County Commissioners met with community members on Wednesday for a strategy meeting about the introduction of Senate Bill 259, which concerns open range and fencing issues in Beaver Creek Park.
Senate Bill 259 will be introduced to the 2001 Montana Legislature by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Big Sandy . The commissioners, along with members of the local area are set to testify in front of the Senate Ag Committee within the next few weeks.
In part, Senate Bill 259 makes amendments to sections 60-7-102, 60-7-103, and 60-7-202, MCA, which address right-of-way fencing through open range areas, including high and low hazard areas.
"We're trying to get a waiver so we don't have to put the fence up," said Kathy Bessette, Hill County Commissioner.
Exceptions to the right-of-way fencing, as listed in section (3) of the bill state that the department would not be required to fence the right-of-way of a secondary highway through open range that passes through a
county park, provided that the department and the board of county commissioners agree that certain criteria has been adequately met and that fencing the portion of the highway under consideration is not warranted or advisable.
The bill further states that the department and the commissioners must cooperate in developing an accident mitigation plan for the portion of the highway that will remain unfenced.