Montana Audubon

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

Legislative Action Alert: February 14, 2019

The word of the month is transmittal. As we approach that deadline in two weeks, the tension growing at the capital is a palpable. Bills are being introduced continuously, but we are continuing to fight potential legislation that would be devastating to wildlife, habitat, and environment generally in our state. However, there is only so much we can do alone: please join us for our second citizen lobby day on March 8th. If you are planning to join, please RSVP by contacting Amy Seaman ([email protected]) or Wyatt Smith ([email protected]).

Thanks for your support, and remember, we are better when we flock together!

Amy & Wyatt


Politics and conservation easements

HB 265 introduced by Representative Kerry White (R-Bozeman) would insert politics into the decision making process of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Park’s (FWP) purchase of conservation easements. This bill would add an unnecessary layer of government to conservation easements for fish and wildlife habitat protection and public hunting access. It would require state Land Board approval for conservation easements under the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Habitat Montana program if such easements are larger than 100 acres or valued over $100,000. This directly conflicts with a 2018 state Supreme Court ruling that found easements were not intended to require Land Board involvement, and are final, once approved by the state Fish and Wildlife Commission. Please call the House Fish, Wildlife & Parks committee and ask them to vote NO on HB 265.

Bill: House Bill 265- Revise laws related to approval of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks easements

Status: Sent to House Floor

Montana Audubon Position – Oppose

House Fish, Wildlife, and Parks

Rep. Ross Fitzgerald (R-Fairfield)

Rep. Zac Perry (D-Hungry Horse)

Rep. Seth Berglee (R-Joliet)

Rep. Neil Duram (R-Eureka)

Rep. Robert Farris-Olson (D-Helena)

Rep. Zach Brown (D-Bozeman)

Rep. John Fuller (R-Kalispell)

Rep. Rhonda Knudsen (R-Culbertson)

Rep. Joel Krautter (R-Sidney)

Rep. Denley Loge (R-Saint Regis)

Rep. Tyson Runningwolf (D-Browning)

Rep. Bridget Smith (D-Wolf Point)

Rep. Sharon Steward Peregoy (D-Crow Agency)

Rep. Mark Sweeney (D-Philipsburg)

Rep. Sue Vinton (R-Billings)

Rep. Marvin Weathermax (D-Browning)

Rep. Kerry White (R-Bozeman)


Wolf “bounty” bill

House Bill 279 was introduced into the House Fish, Wildlife & Parks Committee on January 31st. This bill would allow licensed trappers to trap wolves and then be reimbursed with private funds for costs incurred during harvest. This bill amounts to a bounty on wolves, commercializes wildlife, and won’t solve elk or wolf management challenges. Wolves are an ecologically important native species with a liberal, well-regulated harvest season. Reimbursing trappers for costs incurred is a slippery slope and has no place in Montana, a state with sound wildlife management policies already in place.

Let the House FWP Committee know that you will not stand for the commercialization of Montana’s wildlife. Please call members of the House Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee, and ask them to VOTE NO on HB 279.

Bill: House Bill 279 – Allow for wolf trapper expense reimbursement

Status: Sent to House Floor

Montana Audubon Position – OPPOSE

 

House Fish, Wildlife, and Parks

Rep. Ross Fitzgerald (R-Fairfield)

Rep. Zac Perry (D-Hungry Horse)

Rep. Seth Berglee (R-Joliet)

Rep. Neil Duram (R-Eureka)

Rep. Robert Farris-Olson (D-Helena)

Rep. Zach Brown (D-Bozeman)

Rep. John Fuller (R-Kalispell)

Rep. Rhonda Knudsen (R-Culbertson)

Rep. Joel Krautter (R-Sidney)

Rep. Denley Loge (R-Saint Regis)

Rep. Tyson Runningwolf (D-Browning)

Rep. Bridget Smith (D-Wolf Point)

Rep. Sharon Steward Peregoy (D-Crow Agency)

Rep. Mark Sweeney (D-Philipsburg)

Rep. Sue Vinton (R-Billings)

Rep. Marvin Weathermax (D-Browning)

Rep. Kerry White (R-Bozeman)

 


 Federal Greenhouse Gas Regulations

Representative Joe Read (R-Ronan) has introduced  HB 415, a bill which would prohibit the state from implementing any federal regulations limiting greenhouse gas pollution.

This bill also prohibits state employees from participating in any national discussion of greenhouse gas regulatory programs, meaning Montana’s opinion will not be considered when the federal government crafts a regulation on climate change.

Please call your legislators and remind them that climate change is a global issue that requires action from all states in the nation.

Bill: House Bill 415 – Prohibit the state from implementing any federal greenhouse gas regulations

Status: Hearing in Federal Relations, Energy, and Telecommunications

Montana Audubon Position – OPPOSE

 

Federal Relations, Energy, and Telecommunications

Rep. Daniel Zolnikov (R-Billings)

Rep. Christopher Pope (D-Bozeman)

Rep. Geraldine Custer (R-Forsyth)

Rep. Derek Skees (R-Kalispell)

Rep. Alan Doane (R-Bloomfield)

Rep. Neil Duram (R-Eureka)

Rep. Wylie Galt (R-Martinsdale)

Rep. Denise Hayman (D-Bozeman)

Rep. Andrea Olson (D-Missoula)

Rep. Alan Redfield (R-Livingston)

Rep. Sharon Steward Peregoy (D-Crow Agency)

Rep. Katie Sullivan (D-Missoula)


The CKST water compact 

Take Action NOW – Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) Compact is at a critical juncture. Lack of Federal action on the CSKT water compact is moving Montana toward great uncertainty.  Montana’s tourism, agricultural and real estate economy is predicated on an unabiguous right to water. From irrigators to sportsmen and municipalities to commercial interests – ratification of the CSKT Compact in Congress is critical to Montana’s future.  Please reach out to the Montana Congressional Delegation and express your support to ensure that the CSKT Water Compact, as passed by the Montana Legislature, is ratified in Congress. It is the only sensible solution that will benefit all Montanans.

Please click on THIS LINK to make a toll free call or send an email to Senator Daines, Senator Tester, and Congressman Gianforte. Keep the message simple. Montanan’s haven’t forgotten the hard work it took to pass the compact, and congress shouldn’t hold up implementation.

Read a Missoulian editorial regarding the water compact here

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