How To Privatize a Mountain

Source: In These Times
by Joseph Bullington

“We had followed the trail for a half mile when it ran headlong into a fence. Signs nailed to the trees blared messages of unwelcome: ​’Private Property’ and ​’No Forest Service Access.’ They were emphatic: The trail ends here. Our map — the official map of the Custer Gallatin National Forest — said different: The trail continued for another seven or eight miles, a substantial orange line winding through the foothills of Montana’s Crazy Mountains. The signs, though, had the desired effect. On the other side of the fence, the trail grew faint. … like many trails in the Crazies, it crossed private land to reach the National Forest. And, like many trails here, landowners had taken to putting up ‘No Trespassing’ signs, fences and padlocked gates at those crossing points.” (02/12/24)