Rule: 36.11.403 Prev     Up     Next    
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Subchapter: State Forest Land Management
Latest version of the adopted rule presented in Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM):

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36.11.403    DEFINITIONS

Unless the context otherwise requires, the words defined shall have the following meaning when found in these rules:

(1) "Abandoned road" means a road that is impassable to motorized vehicles and is restricted by a non-passable barrier or vegetation but has drainage structures that have not been removed. An abandoned road will not receive motorized use, including low-intensity forest management activities or commercial forest management activities.

(2) "Active bald eagle nest" means any bald eagle nest that either:

(a) is known to be occupied by a breeding pair; or

(b) has been occupied by nesting bald eagles within the past five years.

(3) "Adjacent wetland" means a wetland located within a streamside management zone established under ARM 36.11.302. Adjacent wetlands are located immediately adjacent to streams, lakes or other bodies of water.

(4) "Administrative" unit means the full set of lands managed and administered by an individual field office.

(5) "Administrative use" means any activities associated with project preparation, planting, pre-commercial thinning, project administration, forest inventory, monitoring, salvage, prescribed burning, slash disposal, on-site license or lease administration, and maintenance activities.

(6) "Bald eagle home range" means a circular area having a radius of 2.5 miles around all nest sites that have been active within five years or as defined in a bald eagle site-specific plan.

(7) "Bald eagle nest site area" means a circular area having a radius of 0.25 mile around active or alternate nests that have been active within five years or as defined in a bald eagle site-specific plan.

(8) "Bald eagle primary use area" means the circular area extending from 0.25 mile to 0.5 mile from active and alternate nests or as defined in a bald eagle site-specific plan. The exact configuration of this area may be altered upon consultation with a department biologist, if geographic conditions allow. The intention is to best approximate the area frequented by nesting eagles. Lacking other data or consultation, the 0.25 to 0.5 mile area shall be used.

(9) "Bald eagle site-specific plan" means a site-specific plan for isolated breeding areas or unique situations that are developed for resolution of conflicts. Such plans are completed only after an intensive research effort designed to determine home range, activity patterns, perch and roost areas, food habits, foraging areas, and responses to human activity of specific pairs.

(10) "Best management practices or BMPs" means a practice or set of practices adopted and prescribed by the state of Montana to minimize non-point source water pollution from forest practices.

(11) "Biological infestation" means any situation where animals, insects, or diseases are present in sufficient amounts to threaten mortality to 25 percent or more of the standing live trees at the stand level.

(12) "Black-backed woodpecker habitat" means fire-killed stands of trees greater than 40 acres, less than five years since disturbance, and with greater than 40 trees per acre that are greater than or equal to nine inches DBH.

(13) "Broadcast burning" means spreading fire through a continuous fuel cover. The fuels consist of slash resulting from forest practices, surface litter, and duff. Fuels are left in place, fairly uniform, and ignited under certain conditions with the intent to meet planned management objectives in the desired area.

(14) "Categorical exclusion" refers to a type of action that does not individually, collectively, or cumulatively require an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement unless extraordinary circumstances occur.

(15) "Channel migration zone" (CMZ) means the width of a flood prone area at an elevation twice maximum bankfull depth.

(16) "Class I stream segment" means:

(a) a portion of stream that supports fish; or

(b) a portion of stream that:

(i) normally has surface flow during six months of the year or more; and

(ii) contributes surface flow to another stream, lake or other body of water.

(17) "Class II stream segment" means a portion of a stream that is not a Class I or Class III stream segment. Two common examples of Class II stream segments are:

(a) a portion of stream that:

(i) does not support fish;

(ii) normally has surface flow during less than six months of the year; and

(iii) contributes surface flow to another stream, lake or other body of water; or

(b) a portion of stream that:

(i) does not support fish;

(ii) normally has surface flow during six months of the year or more; and

(iii) does not contribute to another stream, lake or other body of water.

(18) "Class III stream segment" means:

(a) a portion of a stream that does not support fish;

(b) normally has surface flow during less than six months of the year; and

(c) rarely contributes surface flow to another stream, lake or other body of water.

(19) "Coarse filter" means an approach that supports diverse wildlife habitat by managing for a variety of forest structures and compositions, instead of focusing on habitat needs for individual, selected species. A coarse filter approach assumes that if landscape patterns and processes similar to those species evolved with are maintained, then the full complement of species will persist and biodiversity will be maintained.

(20) "Coarse woody debris or CWD" means dead woody material such as stems or limbs, generally larger than three inches in diameter.

(21) "Connectivity" means:

(a) the extent to which conditions exist or should be provided between separate forest areas to ensure habitat for breeding, feeding, or movement of wildlife and fish within their home range or migration areas; or

(b) regarding management of lynx and fisher habitat:

(i) stand conditions where sapling, pole, mature, or old stands possess at least 40 percent crown canopy closure, in a patch greater than 300 feet wide provide connectivity; and

(ii) when managing within forest stands associated with riparian and streamside management zones, ARM 36.11.425 shall also be considered to provide habitat connectivity for wildlife, including fisher and Canada lynx.

(22) "Cover type" means a descriptor of forest stands based upon tree species composition.

(23) "Denning period" (grizzly bear) means the period from November 16 through March 31.

(24) "Department" means the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

(25) "Desired future condition" means the land or resource conditions that will exist if goals and objectives are fully achieved. 

(26) "Diameter at breast height or DBH" means the diameter of the stem of a tree measured at 4.5 feet from the ground.

(27) "Equipment restriction zone or ERZ" means a discrete management zone where wheeled or tracked equipment is restricted to operational periods such as dry, frozen, or snow-covered conditions to avoid excessive compaction, displacement, or erosion.

(28) "Facultative plants" means plants that are equally likely to occur in wetlands and non-wetlands (34 to 66 percent estimated probability).

(29) "Facultative wetland plants" means plants that usually occur in wetlands (67 to 99 percent estimated probability) but are occasionally found in non-wetlands.

(30) "Fire or other damage" means damage to the trees by fire or other natural agents that threaten mortality or cause tree damage.

(31) "Flammulated owl preferred habitat types" means regionally accepted climax vegetation classifications denoted by the following acronyms:

(a) PIPO ( Pinus ponderosa ) - all types;

(b) PSME ( Pseudotsuga menziesii )/AGSP ( Agropyron spicatum );

(c) PSME/FEID ( Festuca idahoensis );

(d) PSME/FESC ( Festuca scabrella );

(e) PSME/SYAL ( Symphoricarpos albus );

(f) PSME/PHMA ( Physocarpus malvaceus );

(g) PSME/VACA ( Vaccinium caespitosum );

(h) PSME/CARU ( Calamagrostis rubescens );

(i) PSME/SPBE ( Spiraea betulifolia ); and

(j) PSME/ARUV ( Arctostaphylos uva-ursi ).

(32) "Forest composition" means the presence and proportionate amounts of tree species occurring within a forest stand.

(33) "Forest improvement fees" means fees collected for the forest improvement program.

(34) "Forest management activities" means activities or operations normally associated with the management of department-administered forest land including:

(a) timber harvest;

(b) salvage harvest;

(c) thinning;

(d) control and disposal of slash;

(e) prescribed burning;

(f) site preparation;

(g) reforestation;

(h) weed control;

(i) road construction;

(j) road maintenance;

(k) road use;

(l) road reconstruction;

(m) installation, removal, maintenance, and replacement of stream structures;

(n) inventory;

(o) monitoring;

(p) fertilization;

(q) gravel quarrying; and

(r) grazing of classified forest lands.

(35) "HCP" means the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Forested State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan.

(36) "Hiding cover" means vegetation that provides visual screening capable of obstructing from view 90 percent of an adult grizzly bear at 200 feet.

(37) "Human activity (high intensity)" means any human use or activity associated with:

(a) frequent and/or intensive public recreation;

(b) heavy equipment use;

(c) aerial yarding;

(d) blasting;

(e) logging;

(f) log hauling;

(g) pre-commercial thinning;

(h) road construction;

(i) site alteration; or

(j) site development.

(38) "Human activity (low intensity)" means any minor human use or activity associated with:

(a) dispersed and/or infrequent public recreation;

(b) project preparation;

(c) short-duration activities associated with site alteration or site development; and

(d) planting.

(39) "Hydric soils" means soils that are formed under conditions of:

(a) saturation;

(b) flooding; or

(c) ponding long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic conditions in the upper soil horizons.

(40) "Investments" means the department's internal investments in forested state trust lands. These investments may include items such as:

(a) silvicultural prescriptions;

(b) road construction and maintenance;

(c) plantation establishment and maintenance;

(d) wildlife habitat structures; and

(e) public recreation.

(41) "Isolated wetland" means a wetland that does not intercept or lie within a SMZ boundary.

(42) "Lake" means a body of water:

(a) where the surface water is retained by either natural or artificial means;

(b) where the natural flow of water is substantially impeded; and

(c) which supports fish.

(43) "Low-intensity forest management activities" means non-commercial forest management activities, including:

(a) timber inventory;

(b) timber sale preparation;

(c) road location;

(d) road maintenance;

(e) bridge replacement;

(f) mechanical site preparation;

(g) tree planting;

(h) pre-commercial thinning;

(i) prescriptive and hazard reduction burning;

(j) patrol of fall/winter slash burns;

(k) heavy and non-heavy equipment slash treatments;

(l) monitoring;

(m) data collection; and

(n) noxious weed management.

(44) "Lynx habitat" means forest lands consisting of subalpine fir or hemlock habitat types where:

(a) forest types may be mixed-species composition of:

(i)  subalpine fir;

(ii) hemlock;

(iii) Engelmann spruce;

(iv) Douglas-fir;

(v) grand fir;

(vi) western larch;

(vii) lodgepole pine;

(viii) hardwoods; and

(ix) stands dominated by lodgepole pine; or

(b) moist Douglas-fir, grand fir, western red cedar, and Engelmann spruce habitat types are intermixed with subalpine fir habitat types.

(45) "Lynx management area (LMA)" means delineated areas containing department lands of notable importance for lynx, where records indicate lynx are likely currently or recently present, or are lands considered important for maintenance of resident lynx populations, where increased levels of lynx conservation commitments are applied.

(46) "Management subzone" means five administratively defined areas approximating the size of a female grizzly bear home range on the Swan River State Forest where commercial activities are allowed during 3-year active windows followed by at least six years' rest on a rotational basis.

(47) "Mechanized activity" means all activities associated with:

(a) chainsaw operation and timber felling;

(b) pre-commercial thinning;

(c) motorized vehicle trips, including snowmobiles, associated with administrative uses;

(d) skidding and ground-based yarding operations;

(e) aerial yarding;

(f) mechanized road construction and maintenance;

(g) log loading;

(h) log processing; and

(i) log hauling.

(48) "Minimum asking price" means the lowest purchase price per unit of wood the department will accept on a timber sale.

(49) "Moderately stocked" means forest stand density described by crown closure of 40 to 69 percent.

(50) "Motorized trails" means any route longer than 500 feet that does not qualify as a "road," including those routes that conventional four-wheel drive vehicles could negotiate.

(51) "Non-denning period" (grizzly bear) means the period April 1 through November 15.

(52) "Non-recovery occupied habitat (NROH)" means the fixed land area outside the boundaries of established grizzly bear recovery zones where one would reasonably expect to find grizzly bear use occurring during any year/most years, as further clarified in ARM 36.11.432.

(53) "Obligate wetland plant" means plants that possess a greater than 99 percent probability of occurring in wetlands under natural conditions.

(54) "Old growth" means forest stands that meet or exceed the minimum criteria for number, diameter, age of large trees, and stand basal area as noted in "Old-Growth Forest Types of the Northern Region" by P. Green, J. Joy, D. Sirucek, W. Hann, A. Zack, and B. Naumann (1992 and subsequent revisions, USFS Northern Region, internal report).

(55) "Old growth maintenance" means silviculture treatments in old growth stands designed to retain old growth attributes, including large live trees, snags and CWD, but that would remove encroaching shade-tolerant species, create small canopy gaps generally less than one acre in size, and encourage regeneration of shade-intolerant species. This type of treatment is applicable on sites that historically would be characterized by mixed severity fire regimes, either relatively frequent or infrequent.

(56) "Old growth network" means an area consisting of more than one forest stand designated or deferred by license or easement from treatment for old growth related reasons, especially for spatial considerations.

(57) "Old growth restoration" means silviculture treatments in old growth stands designed to reduce stand risk to loss by natural disturbance agents and return them to historic levels of stocking, and/or species composition. Generally, it involves removal of shade-tolerant species, reductions in stand density, and retention of most large shade-intolerant species.  This type of treatment is applicable on sites that historically would be characterized by frequent non-lethal fire regimes.

(58) "Old growth set-aside" means an old growth stand(s) designated or deferred by license or easement from treatment.

(59) "Open road" means a road without limitation on motorized vehicle use, but also includes those accessible to the general public during any portion of the grizzly bear non-denning season where visual screening must be retained.

(60) "Other body of water" means ponds and reservoirs greater than 0.1-acre that do not support fish; and irrigation and drainage systems draining directly into a stream, lake, pond, reservoir or other surface water. Water bodies used solely for treating, transporting, or impounding pollutants shall not be considered surface water.

(61) "Other suitable habitat (lynx)" means forested habitat within lynx habitat with total stocking reflecting at least 40 percent crown closure in any combination of seedling/sapling, pole, or sawtimber size classes as identified in the department stand level inventory database, and also includes stands of saplings that contain at least 180 stems per acre that are greater than or equal to 6 feet tall.

(62) "Patch" means a contiguous area of vegetation similar in characteristics of interest, such as tree height, stocking, species composition, or age class. The patch can be composed of a stand, a part of a stand, or many stands.

(63) "Pileated woodpecker preferred habitat" means live, mature cottonwood stands and mature conifer forests patches greater than 40 acres with overstory canopies dominated by large-sized western larch or ponderosa pine, and containing Douglas-fir, large snags, and CWD.

(64) "Poletimber" means trees with a DBH from 5.0 to 8.99 inches.

(65) "Pre-commercial thinning" means the removal of trees not for immediate financial return but to reduce stocking to concentrate growth on the more desirable trees.

(66) "Preferred fisher cover types" means cover types occurring at elevations below 6000 feet that include:

(a) western larch/Douglas-fir;

(b) western white pine;

(c) mixed conifer;

(d) western red cedar;

(e) Engelmann spruce;

(f) Douglas-fir cover types where the species of secondary abundance is:

(i) Engelmann spruce;

(ii) grand fir; or

(iii) western red cedar.

(67) "Project level" means within the analysis of a proposed action under the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA).

(68) "Reclaimed road" means a road that is impassable to motorized vehicles, but has been stabilized, and drainage features, if present, have been removed. The road prism may remain but is restricted to motorized vehicles by a non-passable barrier or vegetation. A reclaimed road will not receive motorized use, including low-intensity or commercial forest management activities.

(69) "Restricted road" means a road that is managed to limit motorized vehicle use seasonally or yearlong, and shall typically have:

(a) a physical barrier, which may be man-made or naturally occurring and include, but are not limited to:

(i) gates;

(ii) barricades;

(iii) earthen berms;

(iv) vegetation;

(v) rocks; or

(b) access controlled by another landowner(s) in a manner that, at a minimum, restricts the use of motorized vehicles by the general public.

(70) "Riparian area" means greens zones associated with lakes, reservoirs, estuaries, potholes, springs, bogs, fens, wet meadows, and ephemeral, intermittent, or perennial streams. The riparian/wetland zone occurs between the upland or terrestrial zone and the aquatic or deep water zone.

(71) "Riparian management zone (RMZ)" means an additional area of streamside buffer established when forest management activities are proposed on sites with high erosion risk or on sites that are adjacent to fish bearing streams or lakes.

(72) "Road" means all created or evolved routes that are greater than 500 feet long, which are reasonably and prudently drivable with a conventional passenger car or pickup.

(73) "Road closure" means gates, berms, debris, or other facilities necessary to close existing roads to motorized public use and/or administrative uses. Road closure types are classified as:

(a) Class A road closures can be easily opened and made passable for periodic administrative or seasonal public use;

(b) Class B road closures are not easily passable as they are intended to effectively restrict public and periodic administrative motorized use by the department for extended periods of time, and can typically be removed with the aid of heavy equipment to allow access for future management or emergencies such as wildland fire;

(c) Class P road closures are associated with private lands where access to a department parcel(s) is restricted by a neighboring private landowner(s), and are assumed to be restricted to public, commercial, or agency use unless use levels are specifically known.

(74) "Road construction" means cutting and filling of earthen material that results in a travel-way for wheeled vehicles.

(75) "Road maintenance" means maintenance and repair of existing roads that are accessible to motorized use, including but not limited to:

(a) blading;

(b) reshaping; or

(c) resurfacing the road to its original condition;

(d) cleaning culverts;

(e) restoring and perpetuating road surface drainage features; and

(f) clearing the roadside of brush.

(76) "Road reconstruction" means upgrading road to accommodate proposed use.

(77) "Sale-scoping announcement" means the initial public notification of the department's intent to develop a timber sale.

(78) "Salvage" means the removal of dead trees or trees being damaged or killed by injurious agents other than competition, such as fire, insects, disease, or blowdown, to recover the economic value that would be otherwise lost.

(79) "Saplings" means trees with DBH from one to 4.99 inches.

(80) "Sawtimber" means size class comprised of trees greater than or equal to nine inches DBH.

(81) "Security zone" means seven administratively defined areas comprising 22,007 acres on the Stillwater block where, to provide security for grizzly bears during the annual non-denning season of April 1 to November 15, the following is prohibited:

(a) motorized administrative use;

(b) motorized public use; and

(c) construction of additional permanent roads.

(82) "Seedling" means trees with DBH less than one inch.

(83) "Silvicultural systems" means treatments applied to forest stands to accomplish specific goals.

(a) This term includes, but is not limited to:

(i) even-aged regeneration treatments;

(ii) uneven-aged treatments; and

(iii) commercial thinning.

(84) "Silviculture" means the art and science of managing trees and forests for specific objectives. Silviculture entails the manipulation of forest and woodland vegetation in stands and on landscapes to meet the diverse needs and values of landowners and society on a sustainable basis.

(85) "Simple linear calculation" means road mile distance divided by the number of 640 acre sections in a given analysis area.

(86) "Site index" means the height of free to grow trees at a specific base age of 50 years.

(87) "Site potential tree height" means the average height of the dominant or co-dominant trees of a stand for a given age based on site index.

(88) "Sites with high erosion risk" means sites located on highly erodible soils or subject to conditions that result in higher risk of erosion.

(a) Examples of highly erodible soils are non-cohesive sands such as:

(i) granitics; and

(ii) silts with low rock content.

(b) Conditions leading to high erosion risk include:

(i) those areas that are susceptible to mass wasting;

(ii) those areas already exhibiting high levels of erosion; or

(iii) severely burned areas where:

(A) bare mineral soil is exposed; or

(B) hydrophobic conditions occur.

(89) "Slash" means the woody debris that is dropped to the forest floor during forest practices and consists of:

(a) stems;

(b) branches;

(c) twigs; and

(d) leaves.

(90) "Spring habitat" (grizzly bear) means:

(a) areas associated with roads possessing restricted status during the spring period on the Stillwater block;

(b) all habitat below 5,200 feet elevation in the Swan River State Forest; and

(c) all habitat below 4,900 feet elevation on scattered parcels within grizzly bear non-recovery occupied habitat and recovery zones.

(91) "Spring period" (grizzly bear) means:

(a) April 1 through June 15 for non-spring habitat and April 1 through June 30 for areas within spring habitat for the Stillwater block;

(b) April 1 through June 15 for lands within the Swan River State Forest and scattered parcels in recovery zones and NROH.

(92) "Stand structure" means the vertical distribution of forest components which include tree height and crown layers of a forest stand.

(93) "Stillwater Block" means the blocked portions of the Stillwater and Coal Creek State Forests.

(94) "Stream" means a natural watercourse of perceptible extent that has a generally sandy or rocky bottom or definite banks and that confines and conducts continuously or intermittently flowing water.

(95) "Streamside management zone or SMZ" means the stream, lake, or other body of water and an adjacent area of varying width where management practices need to be modified if they might affect wildlife habitat, water quality, fish, or other aquatic resources. The SMZ encompasses a strip at least 50 feet wide on each side of a stream, lake, or other body of water, measured from the ordinary high-water mark, and extends beyond the high-water mark to include wetlands and areas that provide additional protection in zones with steep slopes or erosive soils.

(96) "Suitable lynx habitat" means forest stands within habitat types considered to be preferred by lynx that possess a total stocking level reflecting at least 40 percent crown closure in any combination of various stand size classes and combinations as defined by the department's lynx habitat map classifications and descriptions, which include the subsets of summer foraging habitat, winter foraging habitat, and other suitable habitat categories.

(97) "Summer foraging habitat" means dense sapling stands and moderately to densely stocked poletimber stands within suitable lynx habitat that possess abundant horizontal cover.

(98) "Temporary non-suitable lynx habitat" means recently harvested or naturally disturbed (e.g., burned) areas that have fewer than 180 saplings per acre at least 6-feet tall, or less than 40 percent total stand canopy cover, but have the potential to be suitable lynx habitat over time.

(99) "Temporary road" means a road built using the minimum standard necessary for the anticipated use, and which is reclaimed following use. Drainage structure(s) must be removed at the end of the temporary use period. Applicable BMPs will be implemented on these roads.

(100) "Total road density" means the percentage of a defined grizzly bear analysis area that exceeds two miles of:

(a) open roads;

(b) restricted roads; and

(c) motorized trails per square mile.

(101) "Urban/forestland interface" means lands managed by the department where proximity to human habitation warrants special consideration.

(102) "Unique and rare habitats" means a designation applied to areas of wetlands, caves, archeological sites, patches of threatened or endangered plants, or as required by state or federal law.

(103) "Visual obstruction" means that at least 90 percent of an adult grizzly bear is hidden from view.

(104) "Visual screening (grizzly bear)" means vegetation and/or topography capable of hiding a grizzly bear from view.

(105) "Water quality limited water body" means a water body considered by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to be impaired, and included on the most recent version of the Montana 303(d) list.

(106) "Well stocked" means stands with:

(a) seedlings up to 0.99 inch DBH occurring at densities greater than 600 trees per acre;

(b) sapling trees one to 4.99 inches DBH occurring at densities greater than 300 trees per acre;

(c) pole trees five to 8.99 inches DBH providing crown canopy densities of greater than 69 percent; or

(d) sawtimber trees greater than or equal to nine inches DBH providing a crown canopy density of greater than 69 percent.

(107) "Wetland management zone or WMZ" means a specified area adjacent to and encompassing an isolated wetland or adjacent to a wetland located next to a stream, lake, or other body of water where specific resource protection measures are implemented.

(108) "Wetlands" means those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions.

(a) Wetlands include:

(i) marshes;

(ii) swamps;

(iii) bogs; and

(iv) similar areas.

(109) "Windthrow" means trees blown to the ground or damaged by wind.

(110) "Winter foraging habitat" means sawtimber stands within lynx habitat that possess multi-layering of moderate or well stocked coniferous vegetation and horizontal cover, and must:

(a) occur on habitat types preferred by lynx;

(b) have one or more of the following species present:

(i) subalpine fir;

(ii) grand fir; or

(iii) Engelmann spruce; and

(c) have at least ten percent canopy closure in trees greater than or equal to nine inches DBH; and

(d) have a minimum of 40 percent total stand crown density in understory and overstory combined.


History: 77-1-202, 77-1-209, 77-5-201, 77-5-204, MCA; IMP, 77-5-116, 77-5-204, 77-5-206, 77-5-207, MCA; NEW, 2003 MAR p. 397, Eff. 3/14/03; AMD, 2020 MAR p. 2239, Eff. 12/12/20.


MAR Notices Effective From Effective To History Notes
36-22-203 12/12/2020 Current History: 77-1-202, 77-1-209, 77-5-201, 77-5-204, MCA; IMP, 77-5-116, 77-5-204, 77-5-206, 77-5-207, MCA; NEW, 2003 MAR p. 397, Eff. 3/14/03; AMD, 2020 MAR p. 2239, Eff. 12/12/20.
3/14/2003 12/12/2020 History: 77-1-202, 77-1-209, 77-5-201, 77-5-204, MCA; IMP, 77-5-116, 77-5-204, 77-5-206, 77-5-207, MCA; NEW, 2003 MAR p. 397, Eff. 3/14/03.
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