Legislative Action Alert: April 20th, 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 20th, 2021

Final Chance to stop these bills! HB 318 and HB 599 are both returning to the house with amendments, which means they will once again be on the House floor, contact your local representative today and tell them to vote no.

HB 318: Clarify definition of bison

Status: Headed to the house floor

Position: Oppose

This bill amends the definition of “wild bison” or “wild buffalo” to include “has never been reduced to captivity, never has been subject to a per capita fee under 15-24-921, has never been owned by a person, and is not the offspring of a bison that has been subject to the per capita fee.” The changes are not necessary, negatively impact private landowners and public wildlife trustees alike, and reduce opportunities for bison conservation in Montana. HB 318 greatly impedes any efforts in Montana to restore wild bison herds, intentionally managing all of Montana’s bison as livestock, and as such threatens Montana’s special role in conserving our national mammal. It goes against the Department of Interior’s and FWP requirements to manage wildlife on behalf of all people, and puts a black eye on Montana around the country for treating native wildlife in this way.


1.Search here to find your local representative and contact them here. Tell them to vote NO on HB 318!


HB 599: Generally revise opencut laws

Status: Headed to the house 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. It allows operators with existing permits to mine new areas of 10,000 cubic feet or less with NO permit, and it allows operators to easily delay their site reclamation. Finally, it completely excludes notification and involvement of neighboring landowners in most gravel pit permitting instances.


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


HB 367: Revise constitutional language regarding harvest heritage

Status: Headed to the Senate floor

Position: Oppose

This referendum would put it to the voters of Montana to adopt a constitutional right to “hunt, fish, trap, and harvest wild fish and wildlife, including the right to use current means and methods, which does not create or imply any right of public trespass on private property or diminish in any way vested private property rights. The state shall give preference to hunting, fishing, and trapping by citizens as the primary but not exclusive means of the state’s management of wild fish and wildlife populations”


1.Search here to find your local representative and contact them here. Tell them to vote NO on HB 367!


SB 379: Generally revise coal-fired generation laws

Status: Waiting committee action in House Energy, Technology and Federal Relations 

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! This bill had a hearing today!


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


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