4th Annual
Montana Property Rights Conference

August 1-2, 2018
Northern Hotel
Billings, Mont.


The objective of the Montana Property Rights Conference is to educate Montanans about the important issues impacting private property rights across the state. We feature premier speakers from across the United States to share their expertise and insight. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn more about property issues in Montana from the foremost experts on emerging topics.

  • The latest on the ongoing effort to impose free-roaming bison on Montana landowners.
  • New developments in sage grouse management, and the implications for landowners.
  • Information on a big property rights case headed to the Supreme Court, an update from the state Land Board, and much, much more.


Christina Martin Goldwater Institute Logo

Christina Martin
Knick v. Scott Township, PA and the Endangered Species Act (Weyerhauser Co. v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Christina Martin is an attorney at PLF’s Florida office in Palm Beach Gardens. She litigates cases around the country to protect individual rights, property rights, and the rule of law. She is admitted to the state bars of Florida and Oregon, as well as various federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

Since graduating law school in 2008, Christina has dedicated her career to advancing liberty and limiting the reach of government. She started by working at a think tank, developing and advocating policies to limit state government and promote educational options for K-12 students.

During this time, she met a PLF client who faced significant fines and whose small moving business would have been shut down without PLF’s help. Oregon law effectively gave competitors the power to ban new moving businesses. A PLF lawsuit challenged the law and swiftly ended the unfair regulation. From that time on, she was a huge PLF fan.

In 2012, Christina joined PLF to litigate for liberty. Since then, she has sued the government for stealing from individuals, violating free speech, and ignoring the very rules that the government is charged to uphold.

She still enjoys developing policy ideas for laws that better recognize and protect unalienable rights, but now she sues the government to protect individuals when the government violates those rights.

Christina earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Washington in Seattle. She earned her J.D. from Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and was an editor of the Ave Maria Law Review.

When not working, Christina enjoys painting landscapes and traveling with her husband.

Brian Yablonski PERC Logo

Brian Yablonski
The role of private propery owners in wildlife management

Brian Yablonski is the executive director of the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC). Previously, he was a PERC board member as well as an adjunct fellow since 2003. In his work for PERC, he has published research articles on wildlife as well as public and private land management.

Brian recently served two terms as chairman of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the state agency charged with conserving and managing Florida’s wildlife and marine resources and overseeing the state’s hunting, fishing, and boating activities. He served as a commissioner on the FWC for more than 14 years.

In 2009, the Florida Wildlife Federation named Brian “Florida’s Wildlife Conservationist of the Year” for his work advancing private land stewardship. And in 2016, he was presented Florida Audubon’s “Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Award,” their highest honor, for his work on coastal bird species conservation.

Prior to coming to PERC, he was the director of external affairs for the Gulf Power Company, the Florida subsidiary of the Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest energy companies. He was also vice president of public affairs for the St. Joe Company, one of Florida’s largest private landowners at the time.

Early in his career, Brian served as director of policy and deputy chief of staff for Florida Governor Jeb Bush, where he helped craft the administration’s major policy initiatives, including K-12 education reform, civil service reform, the elimination of $9 billion in taxes, and Everglades restoration. He was policy director for Governor Bush’s successful 1998 gubernatorial campaign, and in 1996 co-authored a book with Mr. Bush, Profiles in Character.

From 1989 to 1990, Brian worked in the West Wing of the White House as a personal staff assistant to President George H.W. Bush, providing support directly to President Bush and the immediate office of the president. President Bush named him White House Horseshoe Commissioner. He graduated with honors from Wake Forest University and the University of Miami School of Law.

He is married to his wife of 23 years, Kimberley, and has two children, Madison and Connor. An avid outdoorsman, Brian splits his time between Bozeman and a cabin in Emigrant, Montana, where he enjoys hiking, hunting, fly fishing, and mountain biking.

Kristen Juras

Kristen Juras
Conservation Easements: Traps for the Unwary

Kristen Juras received a B.A. in languages from the University of Montana in 1977 and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1982. From 1982 through 2000, she practiced with private firms in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Montana, specializing in agricultural, property, business, natural resource, and tax law. She also served for two years as in-house counsel for a publicly traded corporation in the crop insurance industry. In 2000, Kristen accepted a position as a professor at the University of Montana School of Law, where she has taught classes in business, contracts, property, tax, agriculture, estate planning, and international law. In the summers of 2006 and 2007, she taught international law courses at Xiamen University Law School in China. She has authored several textbooks ranging from contract law to international law.

Kristen has served as chairperson of the Legislative Committee of the Montana State Bar Section on Business, Estates, Trusts, and Real Estate. She has been very active in drafting and sponsoring several pieces of legislation pertaining to Montana property, trust, and business statutes. She has served as a director of several non-profit organizations. She received the Robert P. Goff Pro Bono Award in recognition of her commitment to pro bono legal services. Kristen lives in Great Falls with her husband, John Juras. They have three grown sons, Mark, Luke, and Evan.

Green Decoys Logo

Will Coggin
Green Decoys in Montana

Will Coggin is the Director of Research at the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) where he focuses his research on animal rights and environmental issues. Coggin is a frequent critic of radical activists who seek to take choices away from Americans and put farmers out of business, such as the deceptively named Humane Society of the United States or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In particular, he is irked by the arrogance of loud-mouthed ideological activists who claim to know animals’ interests more than veterinarians, farmers, and others who have spent their entire lives around these animals.

Coggin has been a contributor to numerous print and broadcast media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, the Mark Levin Show, and others. He grew up in Northern Virginia and graduated from the College of William & Mary. As a spokesman on animal issues, he would like to state he is a cat person.


Grizzly Bear near Yellowstone Park

Grizzly Bears

With grizzly bear range expanding across Montana, more conflict between bears and humans is inevitable. In this panel discussion, experts from the field will cover current policies regarding grizzlies, including the current state of delisting, the Grizzly Bear Management Plan, and what's being done to mitigate predation.

Panelists include:

  • Hilary Cooley - Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Dave McEwan - Immediate Past President of the Montana Woolgrowers Association
  • Kraig Glazier, Western District Supervisor for USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services

Sage Grouse

Montanans have been faced with two options when it comes to sage grouse—put in place a state plan to manage and protect the bird or allow it to be listed on the Endangered Species List. Attend our panel to get an update on the status of the state sage grouse mitigation efforts and learn the latest about how Montana's sage grouse plan could impact your private property rights and natural resource development in Montana.

Panelists include:

  • Dave Galt - Energy Industry Representative
  • Glenn Marx - Executive Director of the Montana Association of Land Trusts
  • Moderated by Prairie County Commissioner Todd Devlin
Sage grouse in their natural habitat, by USDA, CC2.0


Wednesday, August 1
11:30 am - Registration opens
1 pm - Program begins
4:30 pm - Social hour & dinner program

Thursday, Agust 2
7:30 am - Breakfast
8:00 am - Program resumes
Noon - Conference concludes

Check back soon for additional topics that will be added to the conference program.


FREE for Students and Elected Officials

The form below is for payment processing only— no need to fill it out if you're a Student or Elected Official. To let us know you're coming, please just give us a call, send an email to info@upom.org, or download the registration form and mail it in. You can also give us a big boost by being a PATRON SPONSOR of the conference—see below for options.

Registration for UPOM members is $35, for non-members $50 (rates will increase after July 20th)

Not a member, but would like to be? Please visit UPOM.org to see membership options. Landowner Memberships start at $50 annually, or be a Lifetime Member for just $250.

Consider being a Conference Patron Sponsor for
$100, $250, or $500

Hotel Accommodations

  • A room block is now available at the Northern Hotel in downtown Billings—call (406) 867-6767 for reservations. If making reservations by phone, ask for the United Property Owners of Montana room block.

Register by Phone

Call Chuck Denowh 406.239.5952
or Shelby DeMars 406.660.1969

Register online:

The Montana Property Rights Conference is a project of United Property Owners of Montana.
Click here to learn more about UPOM.

United Property Owners of Montana
1820 N Last Chance Gulch
Helena, MT 59601


Tel 406.495.8383

© United Property Owners of Montana, Inc. 2016

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Affiliated Sites:
Landowners for Montana PAC