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representing 250,000-300,000 acres of private ….

representing 250,000-300,000 acres of private land, in addition to access to adjacent public sections.

If landowners move to a pay-to-play model, Spahr expresses support for private property rights and diversified income streams, but he also has a word of caution.

“I think that they need to be very careful of the privatization of wildlife,” he said.

‘Tip Of The Iceberg’

Bayard Black moved back from Minnesota in 2015 to operate his family ranch outside of Gallatin Gateway with his father and brother. They already had a history of providing access for charity hunts. When he found LandTrust, he saw the potential. He currently offers a suite of hunting, fishing, camping, shed hunting, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing packages on the family’s two properties. He said he appreciates that LandTrust allows users to rate each other to build the credibility of both the host and guest.

Black acknowledges the complexity involved in price-setting. On one hand, he cares about the animals and wants to see them around the ranch, so he considers the cost of hunting as a management tool to throttle back the pressure on wildlife, even as he understands that demand might make access cost-prohibitive to some. “There are some folks … who are not going to be able to get into that niche, unless they are making beaucoup bucks. So, it’s kind of bittersweet, but at the same time, I have to make money, too,” he said.

LandTrust isn’t a big part of O’Connor Ranch operations at present, but Ty O’Connor said he could see that changing.

“As time goes on, this part of it will be a part of your operation going forward, where it could help raise a family just by the tourism portion and the hunting portion of your operation. Right now we are just on the tip of the iceberg.”

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