The Owen Sowerwine Natural Area (OSNA) is on state school trust land. It has been designated by law as a State Natural Area. As such, it is governed by all Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) regulations for school trust land. The land is leased from the DNRC by Montana Audubon with support from the Flathead Audubon Society, in order to maintain its status as a Natural Area. It is jointly managed as a Natural Area by Montana Audubon and the Flathead Audubon Society according to the OSNA Master Plan.
REGULATIONS Regulations governing the use of OSNA by human visitors are stated in the OSNA Master Plan. These regulations include:
Foot Access Only
No Fires or Camping
No Shelters or other Structures
STATE RECREATIONAL USE PERMIT REQUIREMENT Visitors are required by law to have a State Land Recreational Use Permit to enter OSNA unless they are members or staff of Montana Audubon or Flathead Audubon, or are participating in an Audubon-sponsored activity.
NATURAL HAZARDS It is the User’s responsibility to be aware of and take precautions for all natural hazards. Visitors are advised to not be present in OSNA during strong winds. Snags and downed wood provide habitat for birds and other wildlife, but can easily be toppled by high winds. Other natural hazards include: seasonally high water, ice, stinging insects, and free roaming wild animals.
ACCESS There is a walk-in-only gate at each of the three entrances: east end of Treasure Lane; east end of Greenridge Road; southwest corner of OSNA.
A portion of OSNA is ADA accessible. This includes the gate at the Treasure Lane entrance, an accessible viewing area roughly 700’ beyond the gate, and an accessible trail between the gate and the viewing area. For more information and a map, see “Accessibility at OSNA” in the menu to the right.
PARKING Parking at the three entrances is very limited. Park only within the public road rights-of-way. Please do not block adjoining landowners’ driveways or use them for turnaround or parking. Shuttle vehicle(s) should be used for larger groups.
HUNTING Hunting on OSNA is governed by the state hunting regulations. Note in particular that OSNA lies within MFWP Hunting District 170, which is a Weapons Restriction Area.
Because OSNA is located on state school trust land, DNRC regulations also apply. In particular, DNRC regulations prohibit the discharge of firearms within ¼ mile of a residence.
The use of tree stands at OSNA is restricted. Only portable tree stands may be used in OSNA, so as to not damage woody vegetation. No screw-in steps, nails, boards, or screw-in ladders can be used to access tree stands. Strap-on steps or portable ladders are permitted. For public safety, these temporary steps or portable ladders must be removed from the tree stand when the stand is unattended. Tree stands can only be erected on the property during an open hunting season, and must be removed at end of that season. Placement must be consistent with other regulations applicable to Owen Sowerwine including no firearm use within ¼ mile of residences.
Hunting dogs are allowed at OSNA while under control of a handler during September 15 – February 1.
Visitors are advised to wear blaze orange during hunting seasons.
TO CONTACT MANAGERS
Flathead Audubon Society