We Protect Public Lands
and Public Access

Montana Wildlife Federation ensures your right to hunt, fish, and enjoy the outdoors.

Photo: Outdoor Allie

Hunting & Fishing Are Our Way Of Life

Montana is home to some of the highest quality natural resources in the nation as well as the longest hunting seasons in the West. However, wildlife managers often face pressure to manage wildlife and recreation for private profit. Roughly 1.5 million acres of public land are inaccessible in Montana due to being landlocked by private land or by individuals who illegally block access to public roads and waters. This directly conflicts with the nature and mission of public lands and the public trust doctrine of wildlife. Montana Wildlife Federation fights to protect public access and recreational opportunities for people of every color, creed, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.

Keeping Public Lands In Public Hands

Montana’s public lands provide invaluable habitat for fish and wildlife in addition to unmatched recreational opportunities. Unfortunately, special interests are always pushing to open up these lands for development. MWF works to keep public lands in public hands, not sold off to the highest bidder for unsustainable resource extraction and development.

Keeping Public Roads Open to Public Lands

Montana’s hunters, anglers, and wildlife enthusiasts depend on public roads to access public lands and waters. Unfortunately, cases of public lands and waters being closed off by private interests occur all too frequently. MWF works with our members, affiliates, and local officials to reopen these areas so that this land is open for all.

Protecting Public Ownership Of Wildlife

The public trust doctrine of wildlife management in North America states that wildlife is property of the people of the United States, to be held, in trust, by state governments for the benefit of the resources themselves and the public. That doctrine is a core tenet of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and an essential part of what makes Montana such a great place to live and recreate in. MWF works to prevent special interests from taking ownership of wildlife away from the public while defending the authority of wildlife managers to rely on sound science and not private profits.

Supporting Access Incentives For Private Landowners

The great public lands that Montanans hold in high regard make up only about one-third of our state’s land base. Private land still makes up the largest portion of our state and therefore holds the utmost importance for wildlife management. Additionally, private lands have some of the best hunting and fishing in the state. MWF supports programs, such as Block Management, that give financial assistance to landowners who provide public access and manage for wildlife habitat.


At A Glance

We work to keep public roads open for public access.
We establish programs to give access incentives to private landowners.
We help protect public ownership of wildlife.
Our Work
Please take our Montana elk management survey. These survey results will help inform our elk management efforts.

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Jeff Lukas – MWF Elk Campaign Manager

Jeff Lukas

Elk Campaign Manager

Jeff Lukas is a passionate conservationist who has been fishing and hunting his entire life. Whether it’s floating a small stream chasing trout, pursuing elk in the high country, or waiting in a blind for ducks to set their wings, Jeff is always trying to bring more people afield to show them what we are trying to protect. He loves being in the arena, and he will never shy away from conversations about the beautiful and unique corners of Big Sky country.