Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.

In the battle for Montana’s Attorney General job, the two candidates staked out very different positions. One presented himself as a champion for public access rights, the other was in favor of keeping land state or privately owned. The candidate who ultimately lost the AG race had suggested setting up a dedicated office of Assistant Attorney General, which would assist people to research their land disputes and get mediation.  The battle between the two candidates shed light on an important aspect of any land access dispute: information and financial resources.

De-Escalating Conflict with Information and Advice

Many people involved in disputes of this kind are concerned about how much money can be spent to maintain the land and cover liability. In many cases, there isn’t a lot to spend. Most of these disputes start with a phone call to a local authority. The outcome of the dispute can be affected by the quality of information available and access to financial resources. When parties are entering into a dispute about land access, they may be unaware of solutions that draw on compromise and fund-raising, perhaps by calling upon interested parties like non-profits who support environmental conservation. They may be stuck in black and white thinking and prone to conflict escalation. The more the dispute can be analyzed and the right information shared, the less likely the dispute is to get out of control.

Risks of Entering into a Dispute Un-Informed

If you are a small landowner, homeowner, recreationalist or environmentalist who wants to pursue a small public access dispute, your small conflict may be a lot more legally complex than you bargained for. Many public access disputes involve questions about federal jurisdiction or historical rights. You can easily misstep and enter into a conflict that is a lot more convoluted and aggressive than you intended, simply because you don’t know your rights, responsibilities or how to pay for the outcome you want.

At BCS, we are West Coast mediators who are based in Bozemann, MT and resolve disputes involving land, water and animal rights throughout the state of Montana and the US. We approach dispute resolution using thorough and proven methods of analysis and dispute resolution. We use Game Theory, which helps parties clarify their separate and common interest and see more clearly how conflict damages both individual and common resources. When land-owners are nervous about public access and recreationalists and environmentalists are passionate about conserving or using the land, disputes can quickly get out of control and end up working their way through the courts.

We have experience mediating environmental disputes of all kinds and work to ensure you don’t have to drag your dispute through the courts. We promptly advise parties of their rights, interests and responsibilities so they are informed about the risks and realities of the conflict. Our mediators are highly experienced in conflict resolution, with legal, environmental, mathematical and financial expertise. In addition we can quickly help parties outline a financial path to resolution, including alternative funding solutions that parties would not have access to prior to the conflict. When parties have more clarity and peace of mind, conflict is much less likely to escalate. Whether your conflict is a large municipal conflict involving multiple parties or a smaller conflict, we do a thorough analysis to expedite the best resolution possible.

Who We Are and How We Can Help

We are well-educated Bozemann MT mediators and negotiators with financial, legal, and psychological backgrounds who can analyze your environmental conflict and provide win-win solution sets, using analysis, consultation, mediation, or negotiation. We recognize that conflicts about land and water rights can have deep historical roots and require a thorough analysis of sustainable solutions, drawing on the knowledge of experts and parties alike. By employing careful scientific, mathematical, and legal knowledge, recognizing the important values and interests of all stakeholders, and utilizing practical techniques informed by game theory, psychology, and solid strategic and tactical techniques, our Montana mediators can help all parties achieve their goals. This approach to conflict avoids costly and protracted litigation, creates sustainable solutions and develops long-lasting relationships that can pave the way for increased co-operation and environmental conservation. We can mediate any and all conflicts involving land access, water rights, animal rights and more, saving money and crafting solutions built to last for both individuals and the community. During the Coronavirus crisis we are offering accessible, safe remote mediations via videoconferencing platforms like Zoom or Facetime. All remote mediations are completely confidential with the added security of a private, encrypted server. We are available 7 days a week and at urgent notice. Please contact us to see how we can help.

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