Final Update: the 2019 Legislature is nearly over.
We’ve been looking back and evaluating what transpired over the course of the 2019 Legislative Session. This session focused a great deal on predators, far more than any in recent history. Fortunately, only a few negative bills were passed. With our conservation partners, Montana Audubon helped stop the three worst “wolf bills”, which would have been highly damaging to wildlife and our ethical hunting culture.
While predators were our focus much of the session, we also engaged with two outdoor and lands bills: HB 161 and HB 265 which would have negatively impacted our wildlife, wildlife habitat, and the Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP). Fortunately, HB 161, a bill which would have removed consideration of “human dimensions” from wildlife management, was tabled in committee and Governor Bullock will likely veto HB 265, a bill that requires land board approval for FWP land acquisitions. On the energy side, it was a mix of bills we followed for their impact, including the infamous “Colstrip bill” SB 331, a bill that garnered significant media attention. Unfortunately, it did pass second reading on April 15 and it is unclear what will happen next. Lastly, we tracked two Sage-Grouse conservation bills; HB 752, a bill that would require predator mitigation that was defeated, and HB 299, a bill that presents slight roll-backs to our state Sage-grouse conservation plan. While HB 299 is challenging to support, there is still a chance that good conservation amendments are added to it.
None of this would have been possible without all of the help that we received from you; whether is was calling, emailing, or attending lobby days we want to thank you for all of your help. It may not always seem 100% effective, but each message makes a big difference for us at the Capitol. Again, thank you!
Amy and Wyatt