Montana Audubon

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

Legislative Action Alert February 16th, 2021

February has been very busy and will continue until the transmittal break two weeks away. Bad bills we were ready for and expecting are being introduced, so luckily we are ready. Some bad bison bills that were brought forward last session have now been reintroduced and are set for hearings this week. Along with the legislature trying to change nuclear restrictions- a citizen passed initiative. We will need your help! If you can, please contact your legislators and tell them why they should or should not vote for the bills on the action alert. It is imperative that they hear from you.

Join us on ZOOM for a Live Online Legislative Briefing, Thursday, February 25 from 5-6 pm. Learn about the issues and about how you can help us lobby these bills. We will show you exactly how to participate in a remote session. February is a valuable time to participate so please join us and make your voices heard! 

2.25.2021 register here

If you have any questions about ongoing legislation or about our legislative briefing, please — as always — email Amy or Carmen at: [email protected] or [email protected]

 

House Bill 273: Eliminate Restrictions on Nuclear facility development

Status: House Floor

Montana Audubon Position: Oppose

HB 273 would eliminate the current safeguard for nuclear energy development in Montana. It would overturn a citizen-passed initiative that gave voters the right to approve or reject a proposed nuclear facility. Repealing this language eliminates numerous important safeguards for the development of nuclear energy and eliminates the public’s ability to vote on whether or not Montana pursues nuclear energy. There are numerous safety concerns — both in regard to health and environmental — associated with nuclear power. If any developer wants to pursue a nuclear energy project in Montana, then YOU should have the final say.

Action! Send a message to your local Representative and tell them to VOTE NO on HB273 

 

House Bill 302: Require county approval to relocate bison

Status: 02/16/2021; 3:00 PM, Rm 137    

Montana Audubon Position: Oppose

This bill would require approval by a board of county commissioners prior to wild bison or wild buffalo being released into a county. This erodes FWP authority over wildlife, and the bill is written so that prohibiting bison in a county could be enforced by a county growth policy. This would be the only instance when a growth policy has regulatory power. The bill also requires transferred bison to be certified as brucellosis free. If you have a relationship with your county commissioner, reach out and see how they feel about the issue! Find your county commissioner HERE.

Action! Follow the steps below to contact the House Agriculture Committee HERE.

  • Fill out the form provided.
  • Select Committees (You may have to scroll down to find this)
  • Select (H) Agriculture 
  • Select Bill Type (SB) and Bill Number 302
  • Select Against
  • Provide your message, making sure to personalize with your name, hometown and one sentence about your background and concern.

 

House Bill 318: Clarify definition of bison

Status: 02/16/2021; 3:00 PM, Rm 137

Montana Audubon Position: Oppose

HB 318 is a layered bill with a simple outcome. The bill was intended to clarify that a bison could not be managed as wildlife if it had been charged the per capita livestock fee. Montana Audubon knows bison are wildlife, and conserving bison beyond Yellowstone National Park and the National Bison Range depends on wild bison continuing to thrive in our state. Treating bison like livestock has many unintended consequences. Today our state wildlife species are managed for the public trust by Fish, Wildlife, & Parks. Passing this bill would threaten the public wild bison hunt north of Yellowstone and threaten new wild bison herds from being established. Montanans have expressed their desire to restore wild bison to wild lands in our state and this bill would move us in the wrong direction for bison conservation in both Montana, and nationally. 

Action! Follow the steps below to contact the House Agriculture Committee HERE.

  • Fill out the form provided.
  • Select Committees (You may have to scroll down to find this)
  • Select (H) Agriculture 
  • Select Bill Type (SB) and Bill Number 318
  • Select Against
  • Provide your message, making sure to personalize with your name, hometown and one sentence about your background and concern.

House Bill 224: Allow for the snaring of wolves in Montana by licensed trappers

House Bill 225: Establish wolf trapping season dates

Status: Hearing 02/18/2021; 3:00 PM, Rm 422        

Montana Audubon Position: Oppose

HB 225 seeks to set the wolf trapping season to open the Monday following Thanksgiving and close on March 15th.  It allows the Fish and Wildlife Commission to set dates unique to some management units.

HB 224 This bill will allow licensed trappers to use snares, in addition to traps, for killing wildlife classified as “furbearers”. It forces the Fish and Wildlife commission to set a season for snaring. Snares create a much greater risk to non-target wildlife and pets, and runs counter to the “know your target” aspects of fair chase hunting. This bill is an accident waiting to happen that will hurt trapping and create a lot of conflict with the non-trapping recreational community. 

Action! Both HB 224 and HB 225 have passed through the House committee and floor, so this will be one of the last best opportunities to have your voice heard!

  1. Sign up to testify by 12pm on 2/17 HERE, this will be a busy hearing so keep your statements brief and bright!
  2. Follow the steps below to contact the Senate Fish and Game Committee HERE.
  • Fill out the form provided.
  • Select Committees (You may have to scroll down to find this)
  • Select (S) Fish and Game 
  • Select Bill Type (HB) and Bill Number 224 or 225
  • Select Against
  • Provide your message, making sure to personalize with your name, hometown and one sentence about your background and concern.
  1. Send a message to your local Senate representative in the Fish and Game Committee!

Hinebauch, Steve (R) ‑ (406) 365-7967, [email protected]

Chair Brown, Bob (R) ‑ (406) 242-0141, [email protected]

Vice Chair Jacobson, Tom (D) ‑ (406) 868-9814, [email protected]

Vice Chair Blasdel, Mark (R)  – (406) 261-3269, [email protected]

Cohenour, Jill (D) – (406) 227-1144, [email protected]

Ellsworth, Jason (R) – (406) 360-0009, [email protected]

Flowers, Pat (D) – (406) 580-0035, [email protected]

Hertz, Greg (R) – (406) 253-9505, [email protected]

Howard, David (R) – (406) 633-2762, [email protected]

Keenan, Bob (R) – (406) 250-4111, [email protected]

McClafferty, Edie (D) – (406) 490-5873, [email protected]

Secretary: Izmerai Alvarado 

Staff: Joe Kolman, Rm 171B, (406) 444‑3747

 

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