Attorney presents lecture on Montana stream access law

Montana stream access law helps thousands access public waterways

BOZEMAN — Bozeman attorney Jim Goetz will deliver a lecture, “The Waters Belong to Everyone: The Montana Stream Access Cases,” at 7 p.m. April 7, at the Rialto in downtown Bozeman.

The event is part of the Montana State University Library’s annual Trout Lecture and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.Goetz has litigated a variety of environmental cases over the years, including two seminal Montana stream access cases in the mid-1980s.

He was also instrumental in passing Montana’s Stream Access Law, which protects public recreational use of Montana’s rivers and streams. During the lecture, Goetz is expected to share information about key stream access cases, as well as information about the Montana Stream Access Law; later developments in stream access law; as well as tales of fishing on the Madison River and in the Tobacco Roots as a child.

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“Mark Twain’s famous aphorism, ‘Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting,’ aptly describes our epic fight for stream access in Montana,” Goetz said.

Goetz grew up in Ennis and has a bachelor’s degree in history from MSU and a law degree from Yale Law School. He founded a law firm in Bozeman, Goetz, Baldwin and Geddes, in 1972.Through the annual lecture, the library strives to address all aspects of trout and salmonids and to represent the diversity of angling culture.Event registration is available at Individuals may also register by calling Ann Vinciguerra at 406-994-6857.Questions about the lecture may be directed to MSU Special Collections Librarian Jim Thull at or 406-994-5305.

For information on the MSU Library’s Trout and Salmonid Collection, visit

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