Addressing Horse Creek false statements

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Addressing Horse Creek false statements

Dear Editor,

Mr. Dahl’s recent editorial regarding the Horse Creek Easement is full of incorrect statements which I would like to correct.

Dahl states that no elected official should have to power to spend tax payer dollars so casually without checks or balances. The money for this easement came from Habitat Montana dollars which comes from sportsmen’s licenses, NOT taxes. The easement was approved by the F&W Commission, NRCS at both state and federal levels, and FWP staff at all levels.

Dahl states that the Land Board exists to ensure that big, expensive land deals are handled properly. This does NOT include easements on PRIVATE land.

According to the Land Board web page, “State trust lands are managed by the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) Trust Lands Management Division. Timber, surface, and mineral resources are managed for the benefit of the common schools and the other endowed institutions in Montana, under the direction of the State Board of Land Commissioners.”

(http://dnrc.mt.gov/landboard). The Stensons will continue to pay property taxes the same as any other landowner so it won’t affect schools.

Dahl claims the appraisal value on the land was too high, but the value of land went up substantially with the Bakken oil boom, not because of mineral speculation, but because many individuals made a lot of money and invested it in Eastern Montana property. Nine of the ten comp sales used in the appraisal had no mineral transfer and the one that had a partial interest transfer was adjusted accordingly.

I think that Mr. Dahl should know what he is writing about before sending a letter full of falsehoods to be published.

Thank you for letting me try to get the truthful facts out about the Horse Creek Easement.

Sara Taliaferro, Wibaux, MT