2020 State Guide to Scattering Ashes - Montana Edition

Learn About Ash Scattering Services in Montana

This twenty-ninth edition of state-by-state guides to scattering ashes focuses on Montana, also known as Big Sky Country! This beautiful state is home to unmatched mountain scenery, stunning lakes and rivers, and some of the most picturesque National Parks in the country.

Montana has one of the highest cremation rates in the nation (at over 70%) and this number continues to grow (mainly due to a much lower cremation cost vs. burial and that many families are less traditional than they once were). Along with the large number of people in Montana choosing to be cremated, many are also electing to have their ashes scattered.

Funeral homes in Montana and many other states are frequently asked questions about scattering cremated ashes. This includes if it is allowed, where in Montana people scatter, and what urn is recommended to be used to scatter ashes. In this state guide we provide important information related to scattering ashes in Montana to help educate families on this beautiful memorial option.

Rules in Montana for Scattering Ashes

scattering ashes montana

Montana has no state laws that restrict scattering ashes, however, before scattering it’s always a good idea to check with city or county government offices to find out if any local regulations are in place. As for storing ashes in Montana, this can occur in a grave, niche, crypt, urn, or other container of your choosing. Through the cremation process, the resulting ashes are harmless and pose no health risks.

Where in Montana Can You Scatter Ashes?

Many people in Montana will opt to scatter the ashes of a loved one or pet at a place that has special meaning to them or their family, or another beautiful outdoor location. In addition, many families will also choose to hold ceremonies around the scattering event. This can be as formal or informal as the family chooses and is a good time to get family and friends together to reflect on a loved one. Many ceremonies will include letting the people who attend participate in the scattering.

There are many amazing places in Montana to scatter a loved one or pet’s ashes. Below we highlight a few of the more popular locations where people scatter in the state.

  • Public Land – Montana is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. Even without state laws restricting scattering, if you’re interested in scattering ashes on public land in Montana, it’s recommended to check with the city or county government offices where you plan on scattering to find out if there are any local rules or regulations in place.
  • Private Property – Similar to most other states, there are no state laws in Montana that restrict you from scattering ashes in your yard or on other private property. If you’re interested in scattering ashes on private property owned by somebody else, you should get their permission first.
  • Federal Land – Montana is home to 8 amazing National Parks that attract more than 5 million visitors each year. These beautiful parks are common places where people prefer to scatter ashes. As every National Park has its own rules and regulations related to scattering, it’s a good idea to check with the park ranger’s office where you want to scatter to find out if it is permitted there and what rules and regulations you need to follow. Keep in mind that some parks require a permit, and the process to receive one can take weeks or even months – so be sure to plan ahead.
  • Scattering Gardens – with the large and growing number of people in Montana being cremated and looking to have their ashes scattered, many cemeteries, memorial parks, and churches within the state now have designated areas on their property where you can scatter loved one’s ashes. If this is of interest, with a quick internet search or call to your local funeral home, you can typically find one or more options in your area.
  • Water Burial – many families throughout the country are opting to do a water burial with their loved one’s ashes. With its growing popularity, a number of new urns have been developed for this purpose, including the Eco Water Urn. Federal law states that a water burial needs to take place at least 3 nautical miles from shore and the EPA needs to be notified within 30 days of a water burial occurring.
  • Aerial Scattering – In Montana, as with most other states, there are no laws that restrict you from scattering ashes from the sky. Just avoid doing this over populated areas and be sure to hang on to the urn or container used to scatter – federal aviation law prohibits dropping anything from the sky that could damage property or injure people.

How to Scatter Ashes?

With the large and growing amount of people in Montana choosing to be cremated and then have their ashes scattered, there a number of new urns available in the state that are designed to scatter.

Below we highlight a few of the most popular scattering urns offered by funeral homes in Montana and nationwide.

Bamboo Scattering Urns

Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on earth is also one of the strongest building materials available! The Eco Scattering Urn is the only scattering urn on the market that’s made from bamboo. This patented urn includes a proprietary locking mechanism that allows you to securely transport your loved one’s ashes in the urn without the risk of spilling and also gives you the ability to scatter with control and ease. The Eco Scattering Urn can be engraved with your loved one’s name, date of birth and death, and a symbol for a reasonable price.  Starting at $49, this unique biodegradable scattering urn is an affordable option for most families.

Paper Scattering Urns

There are a number of scattering urns options that are manufactured from paper. These typically have a nature scene or other design printed on the outside and are known as a low-cost option to other urns on the market. These types of scattering urns do require an added step of gluing part of the urn together during the process of loading the ashes.

Water Urn

Water burials are becoming more and more popular among people from Montana and others throughout the country. The Eco Water Urn is a leading new patent pending urn that gives families the ability to do a water burial with ease. This unique all-natural urn is constructed from recycled plant materials with only heat and pressure (no glues or chemicals). It floats upright (like a buoy) for up to a few minutes time until the bottom dissolves and the ashes are gracefully scattered in the water. The Eco Water Urn comes packaged in a protective bamboo case – this is commonly used in ceremonies and is also used to protect the urn while it is being transported to that special place on the water to scatter.

Can You Have Multiple Memorials?

With the increasing number of people choosing cremation in Montana, and in most other states throughout the country, new memorial options that incorporate a person or pet’s ashes have recently been made available. With so many new uplifting options, many families are finding it to be a challenge to only choose one memorial and decide to honor their loved one with multiple memorials. This can include scattering a portion of their ashes at a special place and including the remaining ashes with a Living Urn bio urn to grow a beautiful living tree memorial, in a glass decorative piece that displays an array of color, or in a stunning stone or jewelry that can be worn with pride, among many other interesting and uplifting options.