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In Remembrance
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28,242 Posts
From living in colorado for 14 years I'd like to offer this. The influx of 'yuppies' is a very real obstacle to the self sufficient homesteader. They not only drive up the price of real estate, they LOVE homeowners associations and covenants. If you don't go along with their plans for THEIR community, (no matter if you were there first) they will go to any length to force you to comply. Including taxing you out of existance, and reporting you to any and all authorities, and changing the laws. What is ok today may cost you sorely tomorrow, because a law was made against you doing things that make perfect sense to you. Things such as clotheslines, a wood burning stove, raising farm animals and using them for food, having a vegetable garden, compost piles, etc have all been outlawed in some areas. So be very careful when you are looking at a new homestead. I have moved to a remote area and had yuppies move in and make life so miserable I was forced to move elsewhere.
 

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Goshen Farm
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7,271 Posts
Greetings from Montana! Cyn is absolutely right! Stay away from areas prone to yuppieness they will make you nuts and miserable as you try to grow a homestead. The are where we live is all farms and ranches mostly and perfect for homesteading! As far as water I would go with a good spring over a small river. Springs dont flood , seldom freeze if developed right and make great water sources. There are some very good springs around here and I sure wish there was one on my 40! As far as wood heat, that is all we heat with ,we use lodgepole and fir that we cut ourselves. You can also have a semi load of wood (long stuff) delivered for about a grand, makes into about 20 cut cords (for us that is 5 winters worth of wood. Our land is heavily timbered so cutting wood is a good thing as we are slowly trying to get some cleared. We also cut in the state fed areas with a permit costing 25.00 annually.
 

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Hello Travis in Louisiana :)
Yes, we know of the powerplant....They plan on building it "hidden from view" from the road as much as possible but there will be two huge smokestacks. It's supposed to be a clean-burning plant but they admit that air quality will probably be affected at times. Most people here seem to be hopeful that there will be an influx of jobs. The Bull Mtn. coal mine just re-opened (same owners that left a reclamation mess only under another name unfortunately). I know some people are concerned about the water table being depleted by the coal mine but overall jobs are such a big issue it seems people are willing to overlook the potential problems. Another thing going on here is Bush's "healthy forest initiative"~ They say it's to protect the city of Roundup but I wonder. The city of Roundup is not surrounded by forest. The proposed area (five miles out of town) is just down the road from us so we have gotten numerous info packets from the BLM over the last year or so. They plan to restore the land to a "savannah" with pines 30 ft. apart. I'm all for thinning for fire prevention but this seems a little drastic imho. They will be destroying a lot of animal habitat. A local state senator who also owns a lumber mill just happened to get the logging contract...hmm
 

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Greetings from South Central Montana! I have lived here for 3 years, having moved originally from the Baltimore-Washington area. You'd have to shoot me before you could drag me back east! :haha:

Currently I am renting a portion of a small ranch in the Clarks Fork Valley. I raise chickens for eggs, and have geese for the amusement (and aggravation). I have a garden for my own use, but will be putting in a market garden in the spring. Going to try to get a few NG goats in 2005, as well. To pay for everything, I work up in Laurel, about a half hour away.

The trains a mile away sound like they're coming down my driveway, and my neighbor's dogs bark all day. I haven't figured out how to get good production from tomatoes with 90 degree days and 50 degree nights. But I am within eyeshot of two national forests, and just a few hours to Yellowstone Park. Deer, coyotes, bobcats, lions, foxes, wild turkeys, bald and golden eagles, various snakes, and the occasional black bear all make use of the ranch that I live on. Living here is a challenge, but I just love it.

I live about 45 minutes south of Billings, just a few miles north of Bridger. I've never been to Great Falls, but I hear it's pretty up there. I don't consider Billings dirty. It is just the largest city in the state, at just a tick under 100,000 population, and therefore has more commerce and industry (read: jobs) than many other parts of the state. But the crime stats are very low. Yes, there are oil refineries there, but such things are found all over the Rocky Mountain states. Butte has a huge mining industry. Beautiful touristy Cody, Wyoming (couple hours south of here) smells of sulphur... Helena has the tree huggers...The average price of a single-family home in Bozeman is $255,000. Libby is on the super cleanup list with the EPA. Seems like nearly every valley in Montana has trains running through it. And watch out for the survivalists in the northwest! What I am saying is that, although Montana is a gorgeous place, (truly the last, best place) we have our problems just like any where else, and every area you look will have its good points and bad points. It is up to you to decide what you are willing to put up with to get what you need. It seems everywhere in Montana, though, folks are friendly and willing to help out. And just because a piece of land might not have mountains, it doesn't mean that it isn't beautiful. It'll likely be cheaper, too.

The mouintainous land is often the highest priced, and can have the most restrictions on what you can build or how you can use it. Weather patterns depend on where you are in Montana. Where I live, we call it the "banana belt", with an open winter (little snow),winter high temps usually 23-35 degrees, but can go well below zero during brief cold snaps; warm-hot summer (85-101), long, mild autumn. Avg precip is 12-15", so irrigation is absolutely necessary. There are some properties that have no possibility of finding water. In fact many folks use a cistern and have their water trucked in. (uh, NOT good for homesteading).

Hunting is good in most parts of the state, even in eastern Montana, and fishing is wonderful all over the mid-section and west.

Most land in and around the valley where I live goes for between $2500 and $5000/ acre. Some of it has building/use restrictions on it.

My best advice is to come and spend some time here, in the summer AND in the winter. As 3girls said, it takes some time to get to know the "real" Montana.

Good luck!
 

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Just howling at the moon
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6,586 Posts
Travis in Louisiana said:
. Did you know that they were going to build a coal powered powerplant at the bull mountain mine?
they've had it in the works for about 3 years now. My place is about 4 miles from the mine site. In get the haul trucks running past my place all day long. I'm split about it. I do like the mine opening back up, but am unsure about the powerplant. The jobs would be nice, but I bought the because of it's remoteness. The stacks will be far enough away that i won't be able to see them.

Actually i'd rather see a nuceular power plant than a coal plant but that's what's available. P.S. I work at a coal fired power plant too.
 
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