Montana Audubon

Montana Audubon works at the local, state and national policy levels to protect our natural heritage.

Action Alert: Help Us Stop a Bad Constitutional Amendment

Senate Bill 236, sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Fielder (R-Thompson Falls) is a legislative referendum that would amend the Montana Constitution to insert language guaranteeing the right to hunt, fish, and trap in Montana. The bill took another step forward today when it passed out of the House Judiciary Committee by a single vote. The Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, numerous organizations representing Sportsmen and women, conservation groups, as well as water rights and private property advocates remain opposed to the bill despite yet another amendment aimed at addressing public concerns.

For an excellent explanation of the concerns with Senate Bill 236, you can read this letter of opposition by state Sen. Jeff Welborn (R-Dillon). The bill will be voted on by the entire House of Representatives as soon as Tuesday, April 12. Please contact your Representative and encourage them to Vote NO on Senate Bill 236!  You can find your Legislator using this link. Here are some talking points to consider:

  • Montanans already enjoy the right to engage in lawful hunting, fishing, and trapping opportunities, so this bill is unnecessary.
  • By making hunting, fishing, and trapping Constitutional rights for all people in Montana, it opens the door to litigation challenging the right to discriminate against non-residents who are charged more for hunting and angling licenses, thereby putting important funding for the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks at risk.
  • Creating this new Constitutional amendment would invite litigation challenging water management and water rights, leading to increased conflict among water users.
  • The implications of this change to the Constitution on private property rights and landowners is unclear, which creates uncertainty and invites new legal challenges.
  • This is a solution in search of a problem. Our state Constitution should only be amended when there are serious problems to address.

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