Guest view: Bills undermine Montana hunting, fishing

Guest view: Bills undermine Montana hunting, fishing

Since winning the Legislature in 2011, Republicans have introduced multiple pieces of legislation undermining Montana’s great hunting and fishing. Fortunately, successive Democratic governors vetoed them. The veto pen now belongs to Gov. Greg Gianforte. The 2021 Legislature is considering a bevy of legislation changing Montana’s hunting and fishing. Montanans who voted for these legislators and who love to hunt and fish, should contact legislators and let them know you do not support these bills. Senate Bill 143 sets aside big game licenses for nonresidents using outfitters and will reduce Montanans’ hunting opportunities. With license certainty, outfitters can lease more land since they know their customers have the licenses necessary to hunt in the fall. Further, SB 143 overturns the will of Montana voters who ended this set aside through an initiative in 2010. This is not a change Montana voters support. Although tabled, HB 241 requires the commission to allow hunting by non-tribal members on fee lands within a reservation. HB 241 will reduce hunting opportunity for Montanans on thousands of acres now accessible to hunters. It threatens our recreational opportunity and, most importantly, our working relationship with sovereign tribes just so a few folks can hunt big game on non-tribal land within the reservation. HJ 5 opposes federal taxation of guns. Federal firearm excise taxes provide significant funding for access and habitat in Montana. The Pittman-Robertson funds have been good for Montana since it was passed 34 years ago. Tax revenues have purchased thousands of acres of public […]

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