Montana Audubon

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

Legislative Action Alert March 23th 2021

Last week ended on a strong note, with the failure of HB 281, revised laws related to E bikes. Thank you to everyone who took action! This bill would have been one step closer to getting e-bikes in the backcountry. For many reasons this bill would create conflict over trail use, access, and with wildlife, all of which is very concerning! Though we support bringing a definition of electric bikes to Montana, and recognize their distinction from “off-road-vehicles”, we know there are great risks to considering e-bikes non-motorized. Defining e-bikes as bicycles is problematic because it would have created the need to change non-motorized trail designations to accommodate e-bikes. Reach out to your Senate Representative and tell them Thank you for supporting responsible trail access for bicycles.

But there are still many issues we need you to speak out against this week.

A number of bills will have executive action, while others will have their second hearing. For just a few bills that affect hunting license fees and funding for aquatic invasive species, the first hearings are just coming up this week. When it comes to fighting back against the bad General Environmental Protection proposals below we are close to victory! 

 

Energy – These bills seek to undermine the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard in two ways: repealing the act that helps drive renewable energy development and making the RPS essentially useless by including all hydropower resources as renewable. Further, HB 273 tries to open Montana up to nuclear power development through repealing portions of the Major Facilities Siting Act that allows voters to approve or disapprove of a proposed nuclear facility. 

HB 576Repeal the Renewable Portfolio Standard- Oppose

Action! Hearing: 03/23/2021; 3:00 PM, Rm 317, Sign up here

HB 475Revise Renewable Portfolio Standard to include hydropower- Oppose

Action! Hearing: 03/25/2021; 3:00 PM, Rm 31, Sign up here

HB 273Eliminate restrictions on nuclear facility development- Oppose

Action! Hearing: 03/25/2021; 3:00 PM, Rm 317, Sign up here

General Environmental Protection – We have a chance to stop these bills in committee!These bad bills remove barriers to developing gravel pits while removing the public from the planning process, allow more nitrate pollution into our waters, and try it more difficult to pass environmental regulations and rules, if they cost more than $1 million, by amending the Montana Administrative Procedure Act.

HB 599Generally revise open cut laws- Oppose

Action! Contact Senate Natural Resources Committee here tell them to vote NO

SB 164- Revise non-degradation standard for nitrates- Oppose

Action! Contact House Natural Resources Committee here tell them to vote NO

SB 323- Generally revise Montana Administrative Procedure Act- Oppose

Action! Contact Senate Finance and Claims Committee here tell them to vote NO

 

Wildlife/Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) – Unfortunately, like the other categories, we mostly have opposition to the bills below, with the exception of supporting the new funding structure for the Sage Grouse Stewardship Act as presenting in SB 249. This bill also allows MT Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to share financial authority of the program with the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. As far as AIS, both SB 382 and SB 384 seek to change the current funding structure for AIS prevention programs. SB 382 seeks to excuse hydropower from paying any fees towards prevention programs, while  SB 384 sets a standard hydro fee and takes a further step of moving $1million in funding from marijuana taxes held by MT Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to the program. Finally, SB 267, SB 314, and HB 468 are bad wildlife take bills that we have been fighting for some time now!

SB 382- Repeal hydroelectric AIS fees- Oppose

Action! Hearing: 03/25/2021; 3:00 PM, Rm 422, Sign up here

SB 384- Revise laws related to Aquatic Invasive Species hydroelectric fee- Oppose

Action! Hearing: 03/25/2021; 3:00 PM, Rm 422, Sign up here

SB 249Revise funding for the Montana greater sage-grouse stewardship act- Support

Action! Contact House Natural Resources Committee here tell them to vote YES

SB 267- Authorize reimbursement for wolf trapping and hunting- Oppose

Action! Contact your House Representative lookup and message, tell them to vote NO

SB 314- Baiting, night hunting and no bag limits for hunting wolves.- Oppose

Action! Contact your House Representative, lookup and message, tell them to vote NO

HB 468Allowing hound hunting and chase seasons for black bears- Oppose

Action! Hearing: 03/23/2021; 3:00 PM, Rm 303, Sign up here

Montana Audubon depends on your financial support

BBCU Surveys on the Missouri River

Black-billed Cuckoo and avian surveys along the Missouri and Madison Rivers are in full swing…

Iinnii Days with the Conservation Ranching Team

We were incredibly grateful for the opportunity to attend Iinnii Days in Browning in June….

View All Articles

Join Our Online Network

By joining our online network, you will receive timely conservation updates, action alerts, legislative news, our monthly eNews, information about upcoming events and more.

Make an Online Donation & Support Our Efforts

Montana Audubon depends on your financial support to continue our ambitious conservation work around the state.

Take Action

Take action on timely conservation issues Montana Audubon is engaged with. Your help will protect Montana’s birds and other wildlife into the future.

Montana Audubon - © Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved