Guidelines for Visitors

The Owen Sowerwine area is on State school trust land and is governed by all Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) regulations for school trust land. The land is leased from the DNRC by Montana Audubon with support from the Flathead Audubon Society, in order to maintain public access to the area. It is jointly managed  by Montana Audubon and the Flathead Audubon Society according to the OSNA Master Plan.

REGULATIONS  Regulations governing the use of Owen Sowerwine by human visitors are stated in the Owen Sowerwine Master Plan. These regulations include:

Foot Access Only

No Pets

No Littering

No Fires or Camping

No Shelters or other Structures

STATE RECREATIONAL USE PERMIT REQUIREMENT Visitors are required by law to have a State Land Recreational Use Permit to enter Owen Sowerwine unless they are members or staff of Montana Audubon or Flathead Audubon, or are participating in an Audubon-sponsored activity.

PERMISSION FOR GROUP ACTIVITIES Organizations or individuals wishing to hold a group activity at Owen Sowerwine must obtain written permission from Montana Audubon or Flathead Audubon. For more information please see Getting Permission for Group Activities.

NATURAL HAZARDS: It is the User’s responsibility to be aware of and take precautions for all natural hazards. Visitors are advised to not be present in Owen Sowerwine during strong winds. Snags and dead wood provide habitat for birds and other wildlife, but can easily be toppled by high winds. Other natural hazards include, but are not limited to: uneven ground with holes and tree roots, seasonally high water, mud, ice, stinging insects, and free roaming wild animals.

ACCESS There is a walk-in-only gate at each of the three entrances: east end of Treasure Lane; east end of Greenridge Road; southwest corner of Owen Sowerwine.

A portion of Owen Sowerwine is ADA accessible. This includes the gate at the Treasure Lane entrance, an accessible viewing area roughly 700’ beyond the gate, and an accessible trail between the gate and the viewing area. For more information and a map, see “Accessibility at OSNA” in the menu to the right.

PARKING Parking at the three entrances is very limited. Park only within the public road rights-of-way. Please do not block adjoining landowners’ driveways or use them for turnaround or parking. Shuttle vehicle(s) should be used for larger groups.


HUNTING Hunting on OSNA is governed by the state hunting regulations. Note in particular that Owen Sowerwine lies within MFWP Hunting District 170, which is a Weapons Restriction Area.

Because it is on State school trust land, DNRC regulations also apply. In particular, DNRC regulations prohibit the discharge of firearms within ¼ mile of a residence.

The use of tree stands at Owen Sowerwine is restricted. Only portable tree stands may be used, so as that woody vegetation is not damaged. No screw-in steps, pegs, nails, boards, or permanent ladders can be used to access tree stands. Strap-on steps or portable ladders are permitted. For public safety, these temporary steps or portable ladders must be removed from the tree stand when the stand is unattended.  Tree stands can only be erected on the property during an open hunting season, and must be removed at end of that season. Placement must be consistent with other regulations applicable to Owen Sowerwine including no firearm use within ¼ mile of residences (see map at entrances).  Do not cut vegetation to create better visibility or use marking ribbon.

Hunting dogs are allowed at Owen Sowerwine during waterfowl hunting season, and must be under control of a hunter/handler at all times.  Hunting dogs may not disrupt wildlife.

Visitors are advised to wear blaze orange during hunting seasons.

Flathead Audubon Society website or email ( or