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

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No Summer Break for Wildlife Policy

FWP Accepting Comments on 2021 Legislative Changes

Those of you that followed along with the work of Montana Audubon during this winter’s 67th Montana Legislature know that a barrage of bills were signed into law undermining fair-chase ethics and negatively impacting wildlife conservation. New regulations greatly liberalize hunting and trapping, move to commercialize the taking of wolves, move to reduce the number of wolves in the state, and threaten native wildlife species like the grizzly bear, Canadian Lynx, and even the American Bison. 

While we could not stop bills like SB 267, that allow private money to reimburse wolf trappers for their expenses, from being signed, we also cannot stop taking the time to comment publicly on these new laws’ implementation going forward. This summer, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the Montana Fish & Game Commission have a number of major issues to tackle that all include the opportunity for public comment. 

On June 24th, the Commission introduced options for the new wolf season that include the use of snares and other liberalized hunting techniques, especially on private land. They also accepted a first round of public comment on the issue at a June 30th zoom meeting. Public written comment will be open on wolf regulations from June 26 – July 26th. So there is still a lot of time to participate!

And wolves are not the only important issue on the docket this summer. At issue are also elk hunting shoulder seasons, Ring-necked Pheasant releases, Wild Turkey management, and a slew of other furbearer and general hunting regulations.

Visit Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website to comment and stay connected throughout the summer:   https://fwp.mt.gov/hunt/public-comment-opportunities

https://fwp.mt.gov/homepage/news/2021/june/0629-fwp-seeks-comment-on-several-wildlife-related-proposals – (this one has a little more information)

You can listen to the recorded commission meetings here: https://fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/commission

To follow up specifically with wolf issues, visit: https://fwp.mt.gov/wolfproposal


Virtual Legislative Briefing!

Thursday, February 25, 2021 from 5pm-6pm.  Join our legislative team for a briefing on this year’s legislative session so far. This legislative session is different than any other as we’ve been lobbying and testifying on bills remotely. This virtual briefing will highlight the issues Montana Audubon is focusing on this session. You’ll also learn about how you can get involved to advocate for our priority bills. We’ll show you exactly how to make your voice heard by participating remotely and taking our action alerts. February is a crucial time to get involved in this process, so please join us for this virtual briefing. Hosted by Montana Audubon’s Legislative Team: Amy Seaman and Carmen Borchelt.

 


Flock Together for Conservation!

Montana Audubon invites you to “Flock Together for Conservation” at Giant Springs State Park in Great Falls, October 5th, 2019.

The public is welcome to attend this fun, free, and family-friendly educational event to celebrate the Land and Water Conservation Fund: a bipartisan conservation program begun in 1964 that has protected millions of acres of habitat, watersheds and recreational opportunities across the nation.

The event will offer free guided bird walks around the Giant Springs area from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Live music will follow featuring the Missoula-based Lochwood Bluegrass Band. Martha Williams, Director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, will give a brief address on the history and significance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund from a Montana perspective. Food and beverages will be served afterward at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and its impact on Montana over the decades: thousands of acres of habitat have been protected across the state via the program, in addition to the establishment of state parks, fishing access sites, local playgrounds and more. Funding from the program has aided National Parks, National Forests and Wildlife Refuges in Montana. Giant Springs State Park, the most visited unit in Montana’s state park system, was established with significant funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

To learn more about the event, please call 406.443.3949


Citizen Lobby Day

Come join Montana Conservation Voters, Montana Environmental Information Center, Montana Audubon, Montana Wildlife Federation and other conservation community partners to lobby on important bills related to climate change, wildlife and other conservation issues.

Citizen lobby training will be held on Friday, March 22 from 9:30 to 11:30 am, at the Lewis and Clark library (120 S Last Chance Gulch St, Helena, MT). Coffee and breakfast pastries will available.

Our citizen lobby team will then head up to the Capitol to meet and greet with legislators over pizza in the Old Supreme Court Room from noon to 1:00 pm.

Following that, we will head over to watch either the House or Senate floor sessions, and then proceed forward to committee meetings from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Please contact Alex Rich at [email protected] to RSVP or ask any questions!


Land and Water Conservation Fund Authorized by Congress

The U.S. House passed S.47 with a huge margin of 363-62! This is great news for Montana, and an important step forward as we will never have to lobby for re-authorization for the Land Water Conservation Fund again! Thank you Congressman Gianforte for your vote and your positive remarks. Now on to our next campaign – full funding for the LWCF!

Keep up to date on LWCF matters here


2019 Public Lands Rally at Montana’s Capital Draws Hundreds

Hundreds of Montanan’s gathered in the state capitol rotunda on January 11, 2019 to rally in support of public lands in the state and across the nation.

Check out the Helena Independent Record’s coverage of the event here.

Bills are expected to emerge from the current Montana legislative session which could weaken protections on public lands in the state. Follow Montana Audubon’s legislative issues here.


Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA)

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 4647, S. 3223) is the bipartisan product of decades of conversations and hard work by dedicated sportsmen, conservationists and business leaders who have long shared an interest in securing the funding needed for state fish and wildlife agencies to reverse population declines for at risk species.

Montana Audubon is part of a nationwide coalition (the Alliance for America’s Fish & Wildlife) to support this visionary conservation bill.

RAWA would redirect $1.3 billion of existing revenue annually to state-led wildlife conservation efforts, effectively allowing the states to more fully implement their State Wildlife Action Plans: 30 million dollars annually would be conveyed to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks for wildlife and other conservation uses. This legislation follows the recommendation of a diverse group of energy, business, and conservation leaders and has over 100  co-sponsors from both parties. However, Montana Representative Greg Gianforte has yet to sign on to the bill.

Speak up for Montana’s wildlife and for conservation across the nation!

Click here to let congressman Gianforte know he should support the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act! (sample language included)


Support Initiative 186: Protect Montana’s Clean Water!

Ballot Initiative 186 would require new mines (NOT existing ones) to prove they would not require “perpetual treatment” once operations come to a close. Approximately 2500 miles of Montana’s rivers and streams are contaminated with heavy metals and other toxic substances from “closed” mines, with cleanup and mitigation costs mostly paid by taxpayers. If enacted, “I-186” would not allow such risky mines to become permitted in the first place, which would protect water quality, fisheries, riparian habitat and Montana’s taxpayers from the burden of cleaning up toxic mine waste for generations.

Click here to learn more about I-186, and here for a powerful guest editorial from Lewistown-area rancher Stephanie Shammel.

Paid for by Montana Audubon, 324 Fuller Ave, N-#5, Helena, MT 59601


Land and Water Conservation Fund Hangs in the Balance

One of America’s most important conservation programs, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is set to expire at the end of September. Established in 1965, the program annually contributes millions in funds and matching grants to states and local government for direct conservation of lands and waters as well as recreation opportunities for all Americans. #saveLWCF

To learn more about what you can do as well as other efforts to permanently reauthorize the LWCF, click here!

Click here to read a recent guest editorial by Montana Audubon Executive Director Larry Berrin about the LWCF.


The Migratory Bird Treaty Act turns 100 this year. This Act has been the cornerstone of bird conservation, essentially prohibiting the killing of migratory birds without a permit — but the Act is now facing an unprecedented attack.

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