Legislative Action Alert: April 12th 2021 | Montana Audubon

Montana Audubon

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

Legislative Action Alert: April 12th 2021

SB 379: Generally revise coal-fired generation laws

Status: Passed the Senate (27-21), Headed to House Energy, Technology and Federal Relations Committee – keep your eyes open for the hearing date to be scheduled!

Position: Oppose

SB 379 is a radical corporate bailout bill that would force NorthWestern Energy’s customers to be a giant money printing machine for the company and its shareholders. In short, it would force customers of NorthWestern Energy to pay more than $1 billion for Colstrip Unit 4 – an astronomical sum for a 35-year-old coal-fired power plant that keeps breaking down. This puts the costs of remediation and environmental impacts on the ratepayers too, ignores the habitat costs of burning fossil fuel, and doesn’t even require that NorthWestern use the Colstrip plant to produce electricity!


1.If you are a Business owner or Ratepayer we need you to sign on and OPPOSE NorthWestern’s Billion Dollar Bailout. 

  1. Message the House Energy, Technology and Federal Relations Committee here, tell them to vote NO on SB 379.
  2. Contact the House Energy, Technology and Federal Relations Committee directly!

Skees, Derek (R) ‑ Chair, (406) 212-5493, [email protected]

Zolnikov, Katie (R) ‑ Vice Chair, (406) 690-1684, 

Hayman, Denise (D) ‑ Vice Chair, (406) 587-7229, [email protected]

Binkley, Michele (R), (406) 375-0291, [email protected]

Brewster, Larry (R),  (406) 670-0929, [email protected]

Custer, Geraldine (R), (406) 351-1235, [email protected]

Duram, Neil (R), (406) 471-2356, [email protected]

Kassmier, Joshua (R), (406) 781-5386, [email protected]

Kortum, Kelly (D), (406) 404-6643, [email protected]

Olsen, Andrea (D), (406) 543-2666, [email protected]

Phalen, Bob (R), (406) 939-1187, [email protected]

Sullivan, Katie (D), (406) 616-3914, [email protected]

Clerk: Brittany Bury, Rm 468, 406-444‑4876

Staff: Trevor Graff, Rm 171A, 406-444‑4975


HB 599: Generally revise opencut laws

Status: Headed to senate floor

Position: Oppose

HB 599 is a radical rewrite of gravel pit laws to cut the public out of the permitting process in most instances. The bill eliminates dozens of requirements for gravel pit operators, prohibits DEQ from: limiting the hours of operation of pits; requiring range or wildlife “fire prevention and control” measures; and consideration of acid mine drainage or sedimentation on adjoining lands or waterways. Finally, it completely excludes notification and involvement of neighboring landowners in most gravel pit permitting processes and extends reclamation timelines for any pit permitted since 2010 (before the passage of the Sage Grouse Stewardship Act). This bill is bad for Montana’s wildlife habitats, water quality, and overall quality of life.


Search here to find your local senator and contact them here. Tell them to vote NO on HB 599!


SB 284: Generally revise county gravel pit permitting

Status: Second reading on the senate floor 4/12

Position: Oppose

This bill would remove the requirement for cities, towns, and counties to pay permit application fees to DEQ for gravel pits, and would exempt them from paying for mitigation through the state sage-grouse conservation program for pits developed in general sage grouse habitat. Though the creation of gravel pits can have a number of long-term habitat impacts, this exemption chips away at a strong state conservation program that requires the participation of all stakeholders. Under this bill, 24 million acres of General Sage-grouse Habitat would be open to impacts without mitigation.


Search here to find your local senator and contact them here. Tell them to vote NO on SB 284 for the third reading!


HB 302: Require county approval to relocate bison

Status: Heading to the Governor!

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 gives too much regulatory authority to county commissioners.


Mail the Governor at 

Montana State Capitol

1301 E. Sixth Avenue

Helena, MT 59601

Or call and leave a message: Phone: 406-444-3111 FAX: 406-444-5529. 


HB 701: Generally revise marijuana laws

Status: 04/14/2021; 3:30 PM, Rm 405

Position: Oppose

This bill would go against the voter’s will, as demonstrated with the passage of Ballot Initiative I-190 that passed in November of 2020, by not allocating the full promised amount to public lands, wildlife, outdoor opportunities. This includes not increasing the funding available for our state’s premiere habitat conservation program, Habitat Montana. 


Sign up to testify to the Select Committee on Marijuana Laws Wednesday 4/14 here. Be sure to sign up by NOON on 4.13. Tell them to boost conservation funding allocated in HB 701.

Montana Audubon depends on your financial support

New on Montana eBird: Studying the Effects of Mine-Waste Contamination on Songbirds

New on Montana eBird from our partners at the University of Montana Bird Ecology Lab (UMBEL)-…

Truman Creek Restoration Continues on Montana Better Beef Ranch

Last fall, Montana Audubon and Audubon-Certified Montana Better Beef Ranch, in Kila, MT, received a…

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 2024 All Rights Reserved