36.25.115 ISSUANCE OF LEASE OR LICENSE ON UNLEASED OR UNLICENSED AND RECLASSIFIED LAND
(1) A person who desires to lease or license unleased or unlicensed state land may apply on the standard application form prescribed by the department. The application form must be returned to the department and must be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee. Such application shall be deemed an offer to lease or obtain a license on the land described therein at a rental rate which reflects the fair market value of the lease or license.
(2) When the department receives an application to lease or obtain a license on an unleased or unlicensed tract of land, or on a tract which has been reclassified, it shall advertise for written bids on the tract according to the procedures set forth in (4), except in the following circumstances:
(a) where grazing land is reclassified to agricultural land upon application of the existing lessee; or
(b) where land is reclassified and a licensee applies for a lease on the land for the same use for which he was formerly licensed, or a lessee applies for a license to use the land for the same use for which he formerly leased the land.
(3) The department may advertise for bids according to the procedures set forth in (4) in any of the above circumstances where such procedures are deemed by the department to be in the best interests of the state.
(4) When advertisement for bids is called for under this rule, the department shall advertise for written bids on the tract once a week for two weeks in the official county newspaper of the county in which the tract lies. The tract will be leased or licensed to the highest bidder unless the board determines that the bid is not in the best interests of the state.
(a) All bids shall be sealed bids and will not be opened until a specified time and place.
(b) If the high bid is rejected, the board will issue its reason for the rejection in writing. The lease or license shall then be issued, at the fair market value determined by the board, to the first bidder willing to pay the board-determined rental whose name is selected through a random selection process from all bidders on the tract.
(5) The lessee or licensee shall sign and return the lease or license to the department within 30 days of receipt of the lease or license. If the lease or license is not signed and returned to the department within 30 days, the department may readvertise the lease or license.
(6) When a lease or license is cancelled by the board or department or surrendered by the lessee or licensee, the department shall attempt to release or relicense the land. The department shall:
(a) advertise for written bids on the tract, and application and bid forms will be mailed to all persons who have expressed in writing an interest in leasing or licensing the land; and
(b) receive applications and bid forms from potential lessees or licensees for a reasonable time after the date on which the first such application and bid form is mailed. The land will be leased or licensed in accordance with (1) through (4).
(7) Any person who has had a lease or license cancelled and not reinstated by the board or department for any reason except nonpayment of rentals shall not be allowed to bid upon the lease or license or upon any lease or license for land managed by the department.
(a) If no other bids are received, the former lessee or licensee may be allowed to bid; however, the board may reject any or all bids from a lessee or licensee who has had his lease cancelled in the past.
History: 77-1-209, MCA; IMP, 77-6-202, MCA; NEW, 1987 MAR p. 17, Eff. 1/16/87; TRANS, 1996 MAR p. 2384; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 1293, Eff. 5/28/10.