Legislative Update, Bills in the 2013 Legislative Session that will affect Sportsmen. Most are aimed at screwing us
HB 235, Corner Crossing Bill, would open access to 886,000 acres of public land. Corner crossing allows a person to step diagonally from public land to public land. HB 235 was defeated in the House Judiciary Committee on Jan. 30th on a straight party line vote with only democrats supporting the bill. The sponsor is going to try to “blast” the bill out of committee. This “blast” motion is going to take place on Monday, Feb. 18th, President’s Day. Sportsmen are planning a rally. They will wear hunter orange and rally in the capital gallery, showing support for HB 235.
HB 147 Revising Penalties for Failure to Obtain Land Owners Permission for Hunting, co-sponsored by Jeff Welborn. This bill sets the fines for trespassing, for the first offence $135 and the second offense at $500. And the offender may be subject to forfeiting current hunting, fishing, or trapping license for 3 years. And this bill requires restitution to the property owner for damages.
SB 249, Revising Laws Related to Wildlife Management, sponsor Debby Barrett.
This is a bill to revise the management of wolves which is OK, but hidden in this bill are significant things pertaining to the management of elk, deer and antelope. FWP would be required to consult with county and tribal governments for any change in predator and large game management. FWP shall manage elk, deer, and antelope to populations at or below population estimates. This goes beyond wolf regulations and severely ties FWP hands when developing elk management plans and regulations. Senate Fish and Game Committee.
SB 151, This bill will eliminated Limited Archery Elk Permits in the Missouri Breaks and the Other 22 Hunt Districts. This bill will open up the Missouri Breaks to unlimited archery elk permits and return the other 22 hunt districts to a general archery elk license. The limited archery elk permits limit nonresidents to 10% of the number of permits. The limited archery elk permits are a great deal for residents. Residents have a 99% change of drawing a trophy archery elk permit. Senate Fish and Game Committee.
SB 178, Retains 10% of Class B-10 Nonresident Elk License Fees, when licenses are returned because the nonresident was not successful for a limited draw elk permit (HB 607 by Jeff Welborn). This bill is co-sponsored by Jeff Welborn. Thanks Jeff. This bill will help to correct the loss of funding to FWP and funding for block management because of returned nonresident elk license. Senate Fish and Game Committee.
SB 250, SB 155 and SB 237 restricts Fish, Wildlife and Parks from acquiring additional lands for recreation or fishing access. Senate Fish and Game and Senate Resource Committees
HB 274, revising Laws relating to Licensing of Outfitters and Guides. This bill removes requirements for outfitters and guides to keep records and report to the Montana Board of Outfitters. Senate Appropriations Committee.
Of all these bills, only HB 235 and SB 178 are good for Montana Sportsmen. The remaining bills are bad for Montana Sportsmen.
Debby Barrett is on the Senate Fish and Game Committee. Jeff Welborn is on the House Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee.
Get engaged; contact your legislature and committees. You can call 406 444 4800 and leave a message for a legislator, or a committee, or go on line at
http://leg.mt.gov/css/sessions/63rd/leg ... essID=4178