Agricultural Protection in Montana: Local Planning, Regulation, and Incentives

The State of Montana has a unique constitutional provision that reflects our state’s agricultural heritage, requiring that the Montana Legislature “protect, enhance, and develop all of agriculture.” The Montana Code is filled with a myriad of legislative enactments aimed at this very goal, including provisions in our planning and subdivision statutes. Within the parameters of these statutes, local governments work on the difficult task of shaping development opportunities while protecting valuable agricultural lands and heritage.

This report starts by explaining that local governments are both required and empowered by state law to mitigate impacts to agriculture during subdivision review. This report also recognizes that a robust agricultural protection program must include incentives that can be used alongside mandatory agricultural mitigation.

Michelle Bryan Mudd
Nathan Stone
Michael Bybee
Zaal Ramhormoz
Brad Dickson
Missoula, MT: University of Montana School of Law
Page Numbers: 
Publication Date: 
September 1, 2012
Literature Category: 
Reports and Studies