The 67th Montana Legislature is setting up to be like no other. Marching towards the session’s January start date with an increasing Covid-19 pandemic and a major shake-up in the make-up of our elected officials makes it hard to know what to expect. And while the current situation means that our physical presence in the Capitol halls may be limited, we are not backing down from the challenge. This summer gave us a crash course in running citizen science programs remotely and helping activate our organization’s voices will be no different. We are ready to research, organize, testify, and lobby, remotely or not, to defend Montana’s wildlife, wildlife habitat, and bedrock environmental laws.
We do know that a number of state-level challenges to our primary conservation issues are coming. Like challenges we saw in 2019, this includes efforts to limit Habitat Montana (a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks habitat protection program) and challenges to the state Greater Sage-grouse conservation program, conservation easements, keeping public lands in public hands, and increasing clean energy and climate change solutions.
Affecting state policy in a normal year isn’t easy. And we won’t be able to rely on tactics like packing the Capitol halls to show our support for important issues. But, we are ready for the challenge! Fortunately, heading into this year’s session we are bolstered by our new Conservation & Legislative Assistant, Carmen Borchelt. Carmen will join us December through April after a short, well-deserved, break following the completion of her term as our 2020 Big Sky Watershed Conservation Corps member.
Together we are going to fight challenges to conservation, support sufficient budgets needed protect our wildlife, support our access to public lands, and support our right to a clean and healthful environment. We will work tirelessly to bring you, our fellow advocates, the information you need to raise your voice. During the session we will maintain an active “Action Alert Network” and make sure to help you navigate all of the logistical challenges we are sure to encounter this session.
As always we will need your help to succeed with the important legislative work that lie ahead. And you can start today in three primary ways:
With January approaching we will be in contact more, preparing to charge forward with our legislative motto “Go, Fly, Win!” We hope you join us!