In less than a month, the 66th Montana Legislature will convene, launching Montana Audubon into a four-month frenzy of researching, strategizing, testifying, and lobbying on bills that affect Montana’s wildlife, habitat, and critical environmental laws. With a federal backdrop of attacks on the Endangered Species Act, Sage Grouse conservation plans, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Clean Water Rule, we are likely to see similar efforts against state-level regulations at home. We know that a number of challenges to our primary conservation issues are coming. This includes challenges to the continuation of the Habitat Montana program (a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks habitat protection program), challenges to the state Greater Sage-grouse conservation program, challenges to conservation easements and keeping public lands in public hands, and challenges regarding clean energy and climate change solutions.
Affecting state policy is not easy. That’s why we are excited to announce the Montana-raised and educated (as a recent University of Montana graduate) Wyatt Smith, as our 2019 Legislative Assistant. With this added capacity, you can be sure that our Montana Audubon team will be in the halls every day fighting challenges to conservation, and supporting proactive legislation and sufficient budgets to protect our wildlife, our access to public lands, and to keep our outdoor heritage intact. As always, one of our priorities will be preventing the rollback of existing public safeguards and state environmental standards. Unfortunately, we have to work hard each session to prevent these rollbacks, by defeating or weakening dozens of bills that would lessen protections for our state’s water, air, wildlife habitat, and public participation and transparency in government. Our team will also do our best to bring you the information you need to make your voice heard. During the session, we will host a handful of citizen lobby days (usually one per month), and we will maintain an active “Action Alert Network” to deliver weekly updates on legislative priorities and how you can help.
You can support Montana Audubon’s valuable legislative work in three primary ways:
And, don’t forget, you can do all three!