Billionaire Wilks brothers buy ranch in southeastern Montana; take it out of block management
In September of this year, the billionaire Wilks brothers, notorious for buying up hundreds of thousands of acres of ranch land in central and eastern Montana, purchased the 24,500 acre Diamond Ranch in Rosebud County in southeastern Montana. The Diamond Ranch is located west of the Tongue River and Rosebud Creek flows through it. It's quite spectacular country, you can see some pictures of it here. The Billings Gazette reported in October of 2014 that the Wilks brothers own more than 341,845 acres in Montana.* From what I can tell, this is their first ranch purchase in southeastern Montana. After buying the ranch, they promptly removed the property from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks block management program, a program I am quite fond of. As most of you know or have heard, hunting along Rosebud Creek for mule deer, elk, and pronghorn is pretty amazing and Region 7 is the flagship block management region boasting over 2.4 million acres of private land that has been opened for public hunting. It's sad to see good ranch land being bought up by billionaire absentee landowners especially when they take away the ability of the public to access the land for hunting. Although, one can't get too upset about a situation that has a willing buyer and a willing seller unlike in the case of the Tongue River Railroad where billionaires are threatening to condemn private ranch land for private profit so they can ship the public's resources overseas. I digress. If you are interested, this is the 2013 block management map for the Diamond Ranch. If you'd like to see for yourself, you can go to the Montana Cadastral website here and then click on search in the top left corner, pick Rosebud County and search using their last name. *Correction: The original blog reported the 2012 acreage owned by the Wilks brothers. I have updated it to reflect the 2014 acreage as reported in the Billings Gazette by Brett French in October of 2014, which includes the Diamond Ranch.