Question: Will State Scenic-Historic Byway designation impose additional restrictions on private property owners and highway users?
Answer: Other than the additional Federal outdoor advertising restrictions that apply to scenic byways, scenic byway designation does not provide any Federal, State, or local government with any additional authority to pass or enforce laws or regulations that limits private property use or the activities of vehicles. However, because of concerns raised with earlier legislation, Montana's scenic byway statute specifically states that the designation will not affect property owners, highway users, or the activities of the agency responsible for the highway.
Question: Will Corridor Management Plans restrict land and highway use?
Answer: The Corridor Management Plans required for Federal and State scenic byway designations do not have any legal standing themselves. However, they do provide the public, adjacent property owners, local governments and highway agencies with an opportunity to document exactly what the designation does and does not do prior to deciding whether they support the designation. Without such a document, some individuals or organizations could forever point to the designation as justification for their efforts to impose restrictions or prevent highway improvements.
Question: Will State Scenic-Historic Byway designation force MDT to change project designs and maintenance practices?
Answer: There are no Federal or State design requirements tied to scenic byway designations. Although a corridor management plan may identify some special design or maintenance requirements tied to a specific route, MDT would have to agree to these requirements before it approved the plan.
Question: Will State Scenic-Historic Byway designation give Federal agencies such as the Forest Service more control over State highways?
Answer: MDT has a separate memorandum of understanding with the Forest Service that describes roles and responsibilities for the two agencies for MDT highways that cross US Forests throughout Montana. Four of the National Forest Service Scenic Byways in Montana are on MDT owned and maintained highways. The Forest Service has not attempted to use this designation to impose additional requirements on MDT since the designations occurred in the late 1980's and early 1990's.