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Support Idaho Legislature

Postby goosepond » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:19 am

Hey, morning folks, I was just reading this article in the Idaho Falls Post Register. I think we all knew about the Govenors Tags, but WOW to me the first one on adding hunting to part of the Idaho Constitution is great. Put our support behind that one and protect it all the way. ... 2000:00:00

OOOPS sorry it wont load without account so here it is:

Senate panel advances 2 hunting bills


BOISE -- A state senator from Twin Falls on Monday introduced a proposed amendment to the Idaho Constitution that backers say will preserve the rights of hunters and other sportsmen.

Republican Sen. Lee Heider's bill would recognize hunting, fishing and trapping as a "valued part of the heritage of the state of Idaho (that) shall forever be preserved for the people."

It was one of two hunting-related proposals from the Legislature on Monday.

Heider said the three-sentence long amendment is necessary, is included in other states' constitutions and has been vetted by the office of Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.

"I was surprised this wasn't part of the constitution when Idaho became a state over 100 years ago," Heider said. "This is a right enjoyed by the people of Idaho and has been throughout that whole amount of time."

Members of the Senate Resources and Environment Committee voted unanimously to introduce the bill and advance it for a hearing. Because the proposal involves amending the Constitution, the measure would need to be approved by a supermajority of both houses of the Legislature.

Although the measure advanced without opposition, Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, questioned whether the language of the amendment was strong enough. Cameron said he supports an amendment but worries that a passage stating that hunting practices "shall be subject to the laws, rules and proclamations of the state" could open the door for future lawmakers to outlaw or restrict the actions of sportsmen.

"To me it seems unusual to put the constitution subject to laws of the state of Idaho," Cameron said. "Usually, it's the other way around."

Committee members also advanced a proposal from Republican Sen. Steve Bair of Blackfoot that would create Governor's Big Game Auction Tags to raise money for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Bair's bill would allow Fish and Game commissioners to issue special hunting tags that could be auctioned in fundraising situations, such as the annual Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation banquets.

Up to three each of elk, antelope and deer tags would be created under the bill, along with one moose tag and one bighorn sheep tag, depending on wildlife population levels.

Under the proposal, 65 percent of the proceeds from auctions would go to the department for research and management of wildlife habitats. Thirty percent of the money would go to improve sportsmen's access, and 5 percent of the selling price could be kept by the nonprofit agency organizing the auctions.

A similar bill died last year in the Senate.

"When we saw it (last year), we saw some minor technical problems with the bill," Bair said. "In my opinion, those have been rectified."

Mike Keckler, Fish and Game's communications chief, said commissioners and department leaders had yet to read the new bills Monday. He said officials planned to review the bills and conduct an analysis of the proposals before meeting with commissioners Thursday. At that point, officials could develop a position on the proposals, but until then, Keckler declined to comment on either bill.
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