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(1) The department may not purchase a tract, easement, or improvement pursuant to 77-2-361 , 77-2-362 , 77-2-363 , 77-2-364 , 77-2-365 , 77-2-366 , and 77-2-367 , MCA, without preparing a financial analysis. The analysis must include:

(a) the annual return calculated over a 20-year accounting period;

(b) a 20-year average annual rate of return;

(c) a comparison with the current annual rate of return of the parcel or parcels sold, the proceeds of which are used to fund this transaction;

(d) a prudent determination that the acquisition is likely to produce more net revenue for the affected trust or trusts than the revenue that was produced from the land sold, and a greater or equal average annual rate of return as may be reasonably expected over a 20-year accounting period, with an acceptable level of risk for the affected trust or trusts; and

(e) the expected classification of the tract under 77-1-401 , MCA.

(2) Before acquiring a tract, easement, or improvement, the board shall determine that the financial risks and benefits of the purchase are prudent, financially productive investments that are consistent with the board's fiduciary duty as a reasonably prudent trustee of a perpetual trust. That duty requires the board to comply with the requirements of 72-34-114 and 77-2-364 (3) , (4) , (5) , MCA.

(3) The department shall prepare a description of each proposed acquisition. The description must include the following elements:

(a) an inventory of soils, vegetation, wildlife use, mineral characteristics, public use, recreational use, aesthetic values, cultural values, surrounding land use, zoning, planning information, weeds, floodplain information, water resources, fisheries, wetlands, and riparian characteristics;

(b) whether the tract is isolated. On a nonisolated tract, the department shall describe the existing level of access;

(c) the extent of infrastructure, such as roads, utilities, power, telephone, water, or sewer availability;

(d) whether and to what degree the purchase of the tract would affect access to other public lands;

(e) whether the tract is adjacent to other public land or private land under conservation easement, as documented in current information in the Montana natural heritage program database or similar source; and

(f) the status of subsurface mineral rights.

(4) Before acquiring any interest in land, the department shall conduct a due-diligence review as follows:

(a) conduct or review a current appraisal compliant with the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisition of the tract to determine fair market value by using comparable sales for like properties;

(b) review the title to the property proposed for acquisition and confirm that the seller is presenting a marketable title. Should the department identify any defects or encumbrances, the seller shall take steps to cure any title defects or remove the encumbrances to satisfy the department;

(c) if necessary, require a survey of the tract; and

(d) determine any limiting factors for future uses or development of the real property or the presence of toxic or hazardous materials. This may include, but is not limited to:

(i) phase I assessments, such as searches of government agency records and chain-of-title searches for evidence of property history and regulatory compliance, a review of permit applications, environmental health records, environmental compliance data, and other relevant information available from federal and state administrative agencies, discussions with former property owners and employees, and preliminary site visits;

(ii) phase II assessments, such as sampling of soils, water, and structural materials, well drilling, chemical analysis of samples, geotechnical survey, and a toxicological risk assessment.

(5) The department shall notify the appropriate board of county commissioners and adjacent landowners of the proposed acquisition.


History: 77-2-362, MCA; IMP, 77-2-364, MCA; NEW, 2004 MAR p. 2399, Eff. 10/8/04.

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