The Last Best Place under attack
Posted by Bill Mac (+67) 6 years ago
While we may not agree with all that the Montana Department of Fish and Wildlife does they play a vital and very professional role in ensuring a viable future of outdoor recreational opportunities and the economic benefits they bring. They are under attack. You should pay attention to how our elected Representative voted. It was certainly not in the best interest of the recreating public

3. HB 403 - the Republican answer to the portions of FWP that were contained in HB 5.

House Approps amended the original HB 403 to remove FWP spending authority similar to the LRB Subcommittee recommended amendments to HB 5. The sponsor (Rep. Hagstrom) of HB 403, as he amended the bill to remove FWP spending authorities, stated it was appropriate to remove the authority at this time because the intent is to eliminate these habitat programs in the 2017 Legislature. These programs were established by previous legislatures and are heavily supported by sportsmen. HB 403 has passed out of Appropriations and should be on the House floor shortly. The programs and eliminated authority are listed below:

Habitat Montana (eliminated all spending authority)

Upland Bird Habitat Enhancement Program (eliminated all spending authority)

Migratory Bird Program (reduced spending authority by 25%)

Bighorn Sheep Habitat Program (eliminated all spending authority)

Fishing Access Site Acquisition Program (eliminated all spending authority)

4. HB 234 - shooting range program – Rep. Ballance is carrying this bill on behalf of the Montana Shooting Sports Association and it has passed out of House Appropriations committee on a party line vote and should be on the House floor shortly. The bill as currently amended requires FWP to dedicate $350,000/year to shooting ranges. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has indicated this bill will create a diversion of FWP funds and render the agency ineligible for Pittman/Robertson and Dingell/Johnson funds. FWP is currently eligible for $27 million of these funds annually that support about 1/3 of all fish and wildlife management programs in the state. The sponsor and supporter indicated that this legislation will make the shooting range program the agency’s highest priority program (above any and all others – the Block Management Program was specifically mentioned) and if all directed money is not spent on spent on shooting ranges, the overseeing officials are subject to fines and/or jail time. The shooting range program over the past 25 years has funded 93% of all grant requests through the established grant program and there is not a need to force more money into it and jeopardize the significant PR/DJ funds now received.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11447) 6 years ago
FWP is not in charge of shooting ranges! They are in charge of fish, wildlife and parks. What is it with these guns nuts?
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Posted by Elizabeth Emilsson (+790) 6 years ago
What is it with these gun nuts?


They are nuts!!!
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Posted by Bridgier (+8990) 6 years ago
Montana decided to send these people to the legislature, knowing full well they were nuttier than bag of nutty nuts. I guess Montana's going to get what it wants.
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Posted by Bob Netherton III (+2778) 6 years ago
The whole procreateing state is already a shooting range!
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Posted by Bob Netherton III (+2778) 6 years ago
Not to mention...Many Fishing Access Sites are open to hunting.
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Posted by Steve Allison (+974) 6 years ago
I strongly suspect that what is going on, veiled by gun rights rhetoric, is that many ranchers use, by leasing, government lands and they are hoping if it is taken over by the state they fell they may be able to better control hunting and fishing on these lands, meaning sell hunting and fishing rights on this land, and make money on it. They are not trying to assure hunting fishing and gun rights, they are trying to sell them.
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