Old Yellowstone Trail road dispute continues

DUNCAN ADAMS The Montana Standard

DEER LODGE — Neighbors against neighbors.

Disputes about the status of an old road that hosts sections of the recently-opened Old Yellowstone Trail continue among neighbors Powell County, the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site and the Rock Creek Cattle Co.

All three are involved in a federal case initiated months ago by plaintiff Powell County against defendant Grant-Kohrs. Powell County asserts that County Road No. 9, also known as the West Side Road, is a public county road. Rock Creek Cattle Co. has intervened in that U.S. District Court case as a party arguing that County Road No. 9 is not a public road.

Separately, Rock Creek Cattle Co. has sued Powell County in District Court, alleging that the Old Yellowstone Trail’s passage through the ranch on the disputed road poses risks to the ranch’s cattle operations.

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Rock Creek Cattle Co. operates a ranch of about 35,000 acres, but the exclusive and secluded community near Deer Lodge also caters to the wealthy.  

In early July, District Court Judge Ray Dayton denied Rock Creek’s request for a preliminary injunction that would have halted trail construction on

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