Minerals Rights Beneath A Highway? - Montana

We own 29 acres, with minerals, in Montana bordering a highway. The highway is being widened, and we soon expect to be contacted about giving up land for the highway expansion. This land is in a prime area being leased and drilled for oil.

Does anyone know if we'll lose mineral acres too? Or do we somehow keep our mineral acres beneath the highway?


Clearly they don’t need your mineral rights to widen the highway. I’m not sure how eminent domain works. If you willingly agree, you probably give a deed to the govt agency for the strip of land? If that is the case, I would think you could insist that the deed contain a reservation of rights in yourself for the mineral rights. Or, you could probably just sever the rights now, and record it. That way, even when you transfer the land, the minerals will not go with it. The foregoing presumes that split estates are allowed in your state.

Dear Ruth,

I do not know if Montana has a strip and gore doctrine like other states, but it is very simple to either grant an easement or reserve the minerals in the transfer.

Thanks very much! I was unaware of this doctrine. –Ruth