Legislative Action Alert February 4, 2021 | Montana Audubon

Montana Audubon

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

Legislative Action Alert February 4, 2021

It’s the first week of February and the legislature is in full swing! Our legislative team has been testifying  on bills and working the state Capitol remotely, and as interesting as this sounds, we are still effective! On January 21st we testified against SB 98, that would have allowed anyone to kill any grizzly bear at any time if livestock were in the area, resulting in the unregulated killing of grizzly bears, still a species listed on the Endangered Species Act, in Montana. After the hard work of ourselves and conservation partners, on January 28th this bill was tabled in committee! This will be the first but not last victory of the 2021legislative session. We need your continued support to keep those victories coming, so here is what you can do this week.


SB 115: Establish acquisitions requiring land board consideration

Status: On the Senate floor this week! – 2nd Reading 

Montana Audubon’s Position: Oppose

SB 115 would add a layer of government bureaucracy into land owners’, and especially ranchers’ decisions on their private property by requiring state Land Board approval for conservation easements under Habitat Montana. While the bill may be amended to only affect easements larger than $1million dollars, this can derail projects that have taken two years or more to work out after extensive planning; including for public recreation and hunting access, and budgeting. This piece of legislation was proposed and vetoed during the 2019 session. 

Contact your local Senate Representative and tell them to vote NO on SB 115. Tell them to support landowners’ private property rights, our farming and ranching economy, wildlife habitat conservation, and hunters’ access through the Habitat Montana program. 



SB 161: Allow certain subdivisions to qualify for an expedited review

Status: Hearing 02/03/2021; 3:00 PM, Rm 405   

Montana Audubon’s Position: Oppose

This bill would allow for certain subdivisions in zoned areas to be permitted without being subjected to the environmental review process. The exemptions would apply in incorporated cities or towns that are zoned and operating under a growth policy. The problem is that the bill would apply to future land areas annexed by a city, would not restrict the exemption to areas zoned as high density (thus allowing more room for wildlife habitat effects), and this exemption does not allow for adequate planning in response to growing communities.

Follow the steps below to contact the Senate Local Government Committee HERE.

  • Fill out the form provided.
  • Select Committees (You may have to scroll down to find this)
  • Select (S) Local Government
  • Select Bill Type (SB) and Bill Number 161
  • Select Against
  • Provide your message

HB 265: Phase out use of styrofoam in food-related businesses

Status: Hearing: 02/09/2021; 08:30 AM, Rm 172        

Montana Audubon’s Position: Support

Decreasing the  consumption of straws, plastic bags, and styrofoam — while seemingly small — have substantial global impacts on wildlife and their habitat, local public health, and local litter issues. It is sensible for us to use alternatives that are more environmentally friendly, and influence people to decrease the amount consumed without limiting their choices. Unfortunately this bill was tabled shortly after the hearing in 2019, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try again!

Contact the House Business and Labor HERE.

  • Fill out the form provided.
  • Select Committees (You may have to scroll down to find this)
  • Select (H) Business and Labor
  • Select Bill Type (HB) and Bill Number 265
  • Select Support
  • Provide your message

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