FWP Access Program Offers Tax Credits to Landowners

Landowners have until March 15 to submit applications to Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks for enrollment in a unique public-access program that may qualify them for up to $2,000 in annual tax credits.

Through the “Unlocking State Lands” program, a landowner who enters into a contractual agreement with FWP to allow public recreational access across private land to reach a parcel of otherwise inaccessible state land is entitled to receive a $500 annual tax credit per contract—with a maximum of four contracts per year.

sunsetbirdhunters (2)The innovative Unlocking State Lands program is a product of House Bill 444, introduced in the 2013 Legislature by Representative Tom Jacobson from GreatFalls.

“The concept of offering a tax credit in exchange for public access across private land to reach state land is a first of its kind in the nation, as far as we’ve been able to determine,” said Alan Charles, FWP coordinator of landowner/sportsman relations.

In 2014, the first year of the new program, two landowners in central Montana enrolled in the program, providing access to four separate parcels of isolated state land and qualifying for a cumulative total of $2,000 in tax benefits.

More information about the program, including enrollment criteria and the application form, can be found at on the FWP website; or contact Alan Charles by phone at 406-444-3798 or via email at acharles@mt.gov.