(1) Except as provided in (2) , the
following state lands are closed to general recreational use by the public:
(a) all lands leased for cabinsites or
(b) all lands on which growing crops, as
defined in ARM 36.25.145, are located;
(c) military leases while military
activities are taking place;
(d) active commercial leases; and
(e) lands on which the department has
proclaimed the threat of wildfire to be extreme pursuant to ARM 36.10.119 or
for which the governor has made such a proclamation pursuant to ARM 36.10.120.
(2) (a) Any person, corporation,
organization or agency of local, state, or federal government may petition to
exclude a specific tract from a categorical closure imposed pursuant to (1) .
(b) The petition must be submitted in writing to the area or unit office, must be signed by the petitioner, and must
contain the following information:
(i) name, mailing address, and telephone number of petitioner;
(ii) description of lands to which the petition applies by legal description, lease number, or description of the
(iii) the reason that the categorical closure should be terminated for that tract and supporting documentation; and
(iv) duration of period for which
termination is sought.
(c) The department may summarily dismiss a petition with a brief statement of the reasons for dismissal whenever:
(i) the petition is unsupported by specific
substantial factual allegations, data, or documentation; or
(ii) a petition requesting substantially the same exclusion has been denied within the preceding 365 days.
(d) To be considered during a particular calendar year, the petition must be submitted by April 1 of that year. Upon
receipt of a valid petition, the department shall notify the lessee that a
petition has been filed and he or she may submit an objection or have an
informal hearing, or both, on the petition at the area or unit office on or
before May 1. The petitioner may also request an informal hearing.
(e) If an informal hearing is requested,
the department shall notify the petitioner and the lessee of the informal
hearing and they may attend and participate. The informal hearing must be
conducted by the area manager or his designee.
(f) The area manager or designee may
conduct further investigation and shall, on or before July 1, make a written
decision whether to grant the petition. The written decision must contain the
reason for granting or denying the petition. Copies of the decision must be
mailed to the petitioner and the lessee.
(g) The lessee or petitioner may appeal the
decision to the director or his designee by filing a written notice of appeal
with the area office within 15 days of receipt of the decision. The area office
shall immediately forward the appeal to the departments main office in Helena.
The appeal shall, in the discretion of the director, proceed by written
argument, oral argument, or both at the main office of the department in Helena
or other location designated by the director. The opposing party is entitled
to notice of the appeal and the opportunity to respond, including the right to
appear at any appellate hearing. Neither party may submit evidence or
information that was not submitted at the informal hearing. The director or his
designee shall issue a written decision affirming, reversing, or modifying the
decision on or before September 1.
(3) Except for closure for fire danger
pursuant to (1) (e) , the lessee shall post categorically closed lands at all
customary access points with signs provided by the department or
duplicated from signs provided by the department.