Montana's stream access law under fire!! Help is needed! No on HB309!

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by rick matney, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

    Posts: 1,428
    Montana
    Ratings: +214 / 1
    I believe he is also a rancher.
  2. Charles Craumer chuckngear

    Posts: 211
    lander, wyoming
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    nothing wrong with that.

    emails sent.
  3. bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

    Posts: 1,428
    Montana
    Ratings: +214 / 1
    I didn't say there was anything wrong with it, just simply pointed it out. It does, however, raise an eyebrow since the Mitchell Slough decision was ranchers vs. sportsmen.
  4. jeff bandy Make my day

    Posts: 2,269
    Edmonds, Wa.
    Ratings: +294 / 1
    Mitchell Slough, was that him too?
  5. bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

    Posts: 1,428
    Montana
    Ratings: +214 / 1
    I don't believe Welborn was directly involved in the whole Mitchell Slough fiasco, but the Mitchell Slough decision by the Montana State Supreme Court is what precipitated HB309.
  6. riseform Active Member

    Posts: 1,096
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +288 / 0
    If you read Welborn's weekly report, there's a bit of a contradiction with regard to the Mitchell Slough Case.

    He first describes the bill as such:
    And then claims it has nothing to do with the case.

    I can understand being frustrated if I owned property, paid for the permit and development of an irrigation ditch to sustain my farming business and then had the public destroying the structure (at my expense) or holding me liable if they happened to drown in one of my channels. I'd be interested in knowing if either of those two issues are reality. For a rancher, this would be a very reasonable concern. For Huey Lewis, I suspect it's all about having your own private trout stream.

    It seems to me if a "ditch" is navigable with easy entry and exit to a main river without harm to the landowner's structure, the public should not be prohibited from floating/fishing that water.
  7. bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

    Posts: 1,428
    Montana
    Ratings: +214 / 1
    His two statements are not really contradicting each other. He says that HB309 is not meant to overturn Mitchell, but to clarify it. To the best of my knowledge, you cannot recreate on an irrigation ditch in Montana. The question is: Is Mitchell Slough an irrigation ditch? Ranchers say yes, sportsmen say no. A water control device was built on Mitchell Slough back in the 1930's and ranchers say this makes it an irrigation ditch. The court ruled that, water control device or not, it is a natural flowing body of water as is evidenced by the terrain in which it flows, and they ruled in favor of the sportsmen. This pissed Huey off to no end and he wanted the Ravalli County Sheriff to arrest everyone fishing on it for trespassing, which they did NOT. Now HB309 comes along to "clarify" the courts ruling, and that is where the possible slippery slope begins.
  8. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,039
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +738 / 1
    :ray1: DON'T FORGET ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE - PLEASE TAKE TIME TO SEND AN E-MAIL :ray1:

    LET'S NOT ALLOW STREAM ACCESS LAW TO BE TAKEN AWAY DURING OUR WATCH!
    Even if you only send an e-mail with "PLEASE VOTE NO ON H.B. 309" in the subject line, the more traffic they get, the more likely we will defeat this.

    To help make it easier, here is a list of the Montana State Senators e-mail addresses that you can just copy and paste. :thumb:

    Cvvincent@hotmail.com; Ryanzinke@yahoo.com; Tutvedt@montanasky.us; Sonjumt@yahoo.com; vjack@centurytel.net; clarity@cyberport.net; ccwhi@blackfoot.net; Shannonjaugare@aol.com; Ripleys@3rivers.net; Wranglergallery@hotmail.com; "Anders blewett" <Anders.blewett@gmail.com>; tropila@mt.net; ebuttrey@cteq.com; Lcjones@3rivers.net; jpranch@ttc-cmc.net; "Windyboy j" <Windyboy_j@yahoo.com>; hutton4senate@yahoo.com; senatorbrenden@gmail.com; Donstein@midrivers.com; elmoore@midrivers.com; apsaalookewoman@yahoo.com; Taylor@northernbroadcasting.com; Ajolson@midrivers.com; Glonky@aol.com; Kendallvandyk@gmail.com; Lyndamoss@imt.net; Garybranae@gmail.com; Jeff@jeffessmann.com; ewalker@edwalker2010.com; jason@priest2010.com; ronarthun@gmail.com; larry@imt.net; "R hawks" <R_hawks@imt.net>; Joebalyeat@yahoo.com; art@wittich4senate.com; Grt3177@smtel.com; "Steve gallus" <Steve.gallus@gmail.com>; murphter5@yahoo.com; Marycaferro@gmail.com; Kaufmann@mt.net; Davelewisd@aol.com; genev@q.com; Lakemill@montana.com; Cwilliams@montanadsl.net; Nancron@aol.com; "facey tom" <facey_tom@hotmail.com>; daveew@gmail.com; Cliff@larsenusa.com

    Thanks,
    freestoneangler
  9. jeff bandy Make my day

    Posts: 2,269
    Edmonds, Wa.
    Ratings: +294 / 1
  10. rick matney Active Member

    Posts: 1,302
    Bozeman, Montana
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Looks like we got a hearing date.

    HB309, the 'Ditch Bill', is scheduled for hearing in the Senate
    Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation Committee on Thursday, March
    3, in Room 335 starting at 3:00 p.m.

    Download the bill:
    http://cts.vresp.com/c/?FishingOutfittersAss/5a9b9a1358/d270bcdbd4/b4d3791ddc -
    http://cts.vresp.com/c/?FishingOutfittersAss/5a9b9a1358/d270bcdbd4/e3a6b8bd84

    This FLASH is to encourage your participation when we're sure of the
    hearing date; I sent it as soon as I learned the proposed hearing
    date so you'd be prepared.

    I'll check tomorrow to make sure the committee chairman and secretary
    are firm on the hearing date; there's every chance the date can
    change. Once the date is semi-firm, I'll send another FLASH with
    info on how to comment.

    Thanks,
  11. rick matney Active Member

    Posts: 1,302
    Bozeman, Montana
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Ok guys its official......

    HB309, the 'Ditch Bill', is scheduled for hearing in the Senate
    Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation Committee on Thursday, March
    3, in Room 335 starting at 3:00 p.m.

    I talked with committee chairman Sen. Steinbeisser today and he
    confirmed the hearing date, so it looks llike we're good to go!

    Because the committee members are very busy now with hearings and
    their own legislation, plus the fact that they're all headed home for
    'Transmittal Break' (Friday, Feb. 24 thru Monday, Feb. 28), if you
    send comments now, they'll probably just get lost in the press of
    other details and the break.

    PLEASE WAIT UNTIL TUESDAY, MARCH 1, TO SEND YOUR COMMENTS. They will
    have greater effect if they're received by the committee members just
    before the hearing.

    I'll send out another FLASH with more details late this week or over
    the weekend so you can be prepared to help FOAM express it's concerns
    about HB309.
  12. Abomb Active Member

    Posts: 399
    In the skinny
    Ratings: +30 / 0
    THanks for the persistance on this Rick!
  13. Greg Armstrong Active Member

    Posts: 1,035
    Pugetropolis
    Ratings: +347 / 0
    Here's a real easy link to write the Governor directly as well;

    http://governor.mt.gov/contact/commentsform.asp

    I just wrote him and said I wont be making any trips to Montana to fish anymore (and spend my money there) if HB309 passes, and asked him to veto it if it does.
    I said I'd be going to Idaho and Alberta instead.

    Try the link, it's easy!!!
  14. Mike T Active Member

    Posts: 853
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Ratings: +54 / 1
  15. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,645
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,669 / 0
    Somebody is blowing smoke up somebody asses. I just read the regs for this year and in my area which is area 3 the Irrigation ditch's are open for fishing. Unless they are closed in as written in the regs.

    Most in my area 3 which I fish are open. The ones that run year around have some big browns in them.
  16. jeff bandy Make my day

    Posts: 2,269
    Edmonds, Wa.
    Ratings: +294 / 1
    OMJ, would not this law close those irrigation ditches?
  17. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,645
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,669 / 0
    Hell, I don't know. But the regs for this year are set in stone.

    On another note I asked a land owner if I could fish his ditch and I got a hell yes. Some ditches have running water in them all year.around.
  18. jeff bandy Make my day

    Posts: 2,269
    Edmonds, Wa.
    Ratings: +294 / 1
    They don't do "emergency closers" in Montana?
  19. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,645
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,669 / 0
    Well yes, but most of them are from low warm water. Like in the middle of a very hot summer. Like two years ago and then they come out and post it at all the FAS.

    Kind of hard to put it on the internet as this is Montana and there are lot of stubborn people here that don't own a computer.
  20. fredaevans Active Member

    Posts: 3,116
    White City, Oregon, USA.
    Ratings: +118 / 0
    Interesting you should bring up the above. Over a lot of years I've asked, can only think of one occasion where I was 'refused.' Had to do NO PROBLEM ..... BUT... To get to the river you had to cross through a pasture and the fellow had a new young Bull ....... Not something I'd want to test out.
    :>)
    fae