The bureau is responsible for reviewing and processing applications for rights-of-way and easements across surface lands and navigable waterways administered by the state. Rights-of-way are most commonly sought for utility lines, pipelines, and roads. Applications for private driveways continue to increase in volume annually. Pursuant to the State Land Board Private Driveway Policy, DNRC evaluates these roads under the criteria established therein.
During the Legislative Session of 2001, MCA 77-1-130 was amended to provide an easement application process for historic utilities and access roads which were constructed on state trust lands without benefit of a legal easement. Under this statute, utility companies, county government and private individuals may make application through October 1, 2011 for a historic easement for the uses that occurred on state land prior to 1997.