Montana Audubon

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

Legislative Action Alert: April 4, 2018

The week started out in the right direction with House Bill 279, introduced by Representative Bob Brown (R-Thompson Falls), failing its 2nd reading in the Senate with a vote of 23-27. The bill would have allowed licensed, “ethical trappers”, to trap wolves and then be reimbursed with private money for costs incurred during harvest — It was a bounty on wolves. We have worked hard over the last month to stop this bill and are happy to see it defeated, but we could not have done it all alone. We wish to thank the legislators who voted against out of an awareness of how this bill would have eroded the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. We also want to thank everyone who reached out to their legislators — your help made all the difference!

 

Please take time contact your local Senator to thank them for voting no on HB 279!

 

Amy and Wyatt


A Legislative Attack on American Prairie Reserve

 

HJ 28, introduced by Representative Dan Bartel (R-Lewistown), singles out the non-profit conservation group  American Prairie Reserve (APR) and calls for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to deny its application to change grazing leases to allow year-round grazing of its bison. This bad resolution would set a dangerous precedent that the Legislature can single out individuals or organizations. Plus, the BLM regularly allows applicants to change grazing leases, and even uses a NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) analysis before allowing some changes to go through. A full environmental impact analysis is carried out, including opportunities for public comment.

 

Let your legislator know that it is not their role to be singling out individuals and organizations and that this is a step too far.

 

Find your legislator here

Bill: House Joint Resolution 28 — Joint resolution requesting denial of American prairie reserve grazing permit

Status: Waiting for Committee Executive Action in Senate Agriculture

Montana Audubon Position – OPPOSE

 

Senate Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation

 

Sen. Brian Hoven (R-Great Falls)

Sen. Mike Lang (R-Malta)

Sen. Frank Smith (D-Poplar)

Sen. Kenneth Bogner (R-Miles City)

Sen. Janet Ellis (D-Helena)

Sen. Bruce Gillespie (R-Ethridge)

Sen. Margie MacDonald (D-Billings)

Sen. Albert Olszewski  (R-Kalispell)

Sen. Ryan Osmundson (R-Buffalo)

Sen. Daniel Salomon (R-Ronan)

Sen. Susan Webber (D-Browning)

 


Montana’s Water Quality at Risk

 

SB 48, by Tom Richmond (R-Billings), would allow the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to adopt rules and issue “variances” from water quality standards to water pollution dischargers (i.e., Exxon, Calumet, Cenex, etc.). DEQ claims that this bill is simply implementing Federal Clean Water Act regulations. However, the bill goes much further than federal law. In terms of implementing regulations, there are important differences between SB 48 and the Federal Clean Water Act (some of which are currently before a federal district court in Montana). There are also serious legal conflicts between SB 48 and the Montana constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment. Essentially, SB 48 contains provisions that will weaken Montana’s water quality protections and open the door for abuse.  Finally, this bill would give DEQ authority to make variance adoption rules, and simultaneously act as the final arbiter in disputes (versus the more appropriate Board of Environmental Review).

 

Montana’s water is too important to pass SB 48. Let your House Representative know that this bill shouldn’t be passed.

 

Find your legislator here

Bill: Senate Bill 48  — Revise Variances to Water Quality Standards

Status: Sent to the House Floor

Montana Audubon Position – OPPOSE

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