I was out hunting with a friend yesterday, and the land we were on borders Montana. We were keeping on the North side of the barb-wire fence we assumed was the border, but then we found one of the border markers, about 25m south of the fence. It occurred to me after that the fence would have been at the edge of the Canadian landowners property, and the land between the fence and the border was a road allowance on crown land for a road that is yet to be built or may or may not be built.
Looking East at the border marker between Toole County, Montana and Warner County, Alberta (48.996723, -111.546241).
Later that day we met the Rancher who owned the land on the Montana side, he was out herding some stray cattle on his quad, rode over to say hi and we had a friendly chat about the Elk herd that crosses back and forth across the border to and from the Sweetgrass hills. I didn't ask him about it, but it was pretty obvious that he didn't have a fence on the border of his land, and instead relied on the fence 25m inside of Canada to prevent his Cattle from emigrating.
Supposing there's a road allowance on the USA side, this guy is potentially ranching on a strip of land up to 50m wide and a few miles long which doesn't belong to him, half of which is in another country.
If the Canadian rancher were to suddenly tear down his fence, it would force the USA rancher to put up one on his side, which would potentially lose him about 20 acres of grazing land per mile of fence (10 acres in Canada, and another 10 in USA if he has to leave room for a road allowance).
What are the legalities here? Obviously the Montana rancher is using Canadian land, but where is his fence supposed to be? Should it be right on the border? Or is there a strip of land there which is national land reserved for border patrol purposes?