BILLINGS, Mont. - Montana officials say having the state take over management of federal lands is a complicated proposition but they're looking into it.
Gov. Steve Bullock says he doesn't advocate Montana taking over the roughly 25 million acres of federal land within the state's boundaries. However, the Montana Republican Party has endorsed just such a move and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is studying it.
Department spokesman John Grassy says the more the agency looks at the idea, the more complicated it gets.
The Billings Gazette reports state takeover of U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands could be expensive, incurring an annual deficit of $367 million.
State takeover of federal lands also has been discussed in Wyoming, Idaho and Utah.