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

We have a serious issue involving the 26 year old stream water rights law. It needs our attention as soon as possible. I Know this is WASHINGTON fly fishing but I am sure a lot of you fish in Montana and if not would like to, so this affects all of us Please take the time to write E-mails to the legeislature to help put a stop to this bill. Heres a link to look up representatives a legislator.asp This is Montana's version of serving Wild Steelhead so I am asking for everyones help in this matter.

What you should send your representative on HB309:

•The bill sponsor and supporters the Montana Farm Bureau and Montana Stockgrowers Association NEVER contacted anglers before this bill was introduced.

•This bill is NOT necessary. It fixes nothing and will result in needless division and lawsuits. Montana's stream access law is clear, the public is not allowed to recreate on bona fide irrigation ditches nor do we want to.

•Montana’s 26-year-old stream access law works just the way it is.

•This bill is Anti-Small Business and will negatively impact thousands of jobs in the state of Montana and will lead to job loss not creation in what is already a difficult business climate.
The Link on the bottom is a news link regaurding the bill. Helps let you know whats going on. According to this bill the entire Bitteroot and Big hole rivers could be classified as a "ditch" and not be open to the public anymore. Hopefully this strikes a nerve with you guys.
Thanks for the heads up. You could do a favor for those of us not from Montana. We don't have a representative.

So, for us out-of-staters, please do a little more research and tell us WHO we should send emails to so as to have the maximum impact from our efforts.

Larry Jent is the senate seat for my voting district of Gallatin county. Since it looks like it passed the house we need to focus energy on the senate. If you click the link I posted above and go to "current legislature" and then "senate roster by name" This will give you the list with links to thier offices and phone #. I am going to call or E-mail all of them. I suggest that you do the same. I am trying to find out which ones are the supporters of the bill to focus on them. Most of the supporters are republicans (very ironic since they are the ones that are usually very protectant of the sportsman laws historically) So again lets focus on the senate and if you don't want to take the time to do all of them I suggest the republicans for now untill I can get more information on which individual senators are supporters.

Thanks guys


Love vintage graphite!
Bob Lake & Jim Shockley are both from the Bitterroot Valley area and are Republicans. That would be a good place for folks to start.
62nd Legislative Session
2011 Regular Session

DATE: February 10, 2011 SEQ. NO: 382
TIME: 01:43 PM BILL NO: HB 309
Agenda--Third Reading SPONSOR: Welborn, Jeffery

Do Pass

57 43 0 0

Y Ankney, Duane Y Flynn, Kelly N MacDonald, Margaret (Margie) Y Reichner, Scott
N Arntzen, Elsie N Furey, Timothy N MacLaren, Gary N Reinhart, Michele
Y Bangerter, Liz Y Gibson, Steve N Malek, Sue N Roberts, Don
N Barrett, Dick Y Greef, Edward N McChesney, Bill Y Rosendale, Matthew
Y Beck, Bill Y Hale, Alan N McClafferty, Edith (Edie) Y Salomon, Daniel
N Belcourt, Tony N Hands, Betsy Y McGillvray, Tom N Sands, Diane
Y Bennett, Gerald (Jerry) Y Hansen, Kris N McNally, Mary N Schmidt, Trudi
N Bennett, Bryce Y Harris, Bill Y McNiven, Jonathan N Sesso, Jon
Y Berry, Tom Y Hendrick, Gordon Y McNutt, Walter Y Skattum, Dan
Y Blasdel, Mark N Hill, Ellie Boldman N Mehlhoff, Robert (Bob) Y Skees, Derek
Y Blyton, Joanne N Hiner, Cynthia N Menahan, Mike Y Small, Sterling
N Boland, Carlie Y Hollandsworth, Roy Y Milburn, Mike Y Smith, Frank
Y Brodehl, Randy N Hollenbaugh, Galen Y Miller, Mike Y Smith, Cary
N Burnett, Tom N Hoven, Brian N More, Michael (Mike) N Squires, Carolyn
Y Clark, Christy Y Howard, David N Noonan, Pat Y Stahl, Wayne
N Connell, Pat N Hunter, Chuck Y O'Hara, Jesse N Swanson, Kathy
Y Cook, Rob Y Ingraham, Pat Y O'Neil, Jerry Y Taylor, Janna
N Court, Virginia N Kary, Douglas (Doug) Y Osmundson, Ryan Y Vance, Gordon
Y Cuffe, Mike Y Kennedy, Dan N Pease-Lopez, Carolyn Y Wagner, Bob
N Driscoll, Robyn Y Kerns, Krayton Y Peterson, Ken Y Warburton, Wendy
N Edmunds, Champ Y Klock, Harry N Phillips, Mike N Washburn, Ted
Y Ehli, Ron Y Knox, James N Price, Jean Y Welborn, Jeffery
Y Esp, John Y Knudsen, Austin Y Randall, Lee N Williams, Kathleen
Y Evans, Lila Walter Y Lavin, Steve Y Read, Joe N Wilmer, Franke
N Fitzpatrick, Steve Y Loney, Cleve Y Regier, Keith N Yates, Max

Here's a list of the supporters from the representatives that voted yes on it.
Ok I have several guys on investigative duties to find out who in the senate will be supporting it. So untill tomorrow I won't have specific names. Since it has already passed the house we need to focus on the senate. SO AGAIN I am writing all of the senate especially the republicans. Stand by for further updates


Not to be confused with Freestone
Thanks for the call to arms. I was notified by my TU chapter (Lewis & Clark) on Tuesday. Also from Public Waters & Land Association (PLWA). I sent an e-note to every single MT state legislator on Tuesday (except Rep. Wellburn, the dip-shit who authored the bill).

Regrettably, I just got a response back from one of the Representatives that the bill passed 55-45.
Not sure whether there is an opportunity to thwart it at the next level in the process or not, but will certainly re-issue letters if it will help.

This is a bad piece of legislation that once again attempts to undermine Montana's Stream Access Laws. Montana, as most know, is one of only a few states that have clear public access to high-water mark on navigable streams -- truely a gem and part of Montana's heritage. 'Paid for politicians' are continuing to advance the agenda of private land owners who feel god's wonderful creations should be the exclusive domain of those who can afford them.

I would encourage all WFF members who feel public access to streams should be protected, take the time to help derail this and future actions which undermine stream access laws.

If we don't help do some of the heavy lifting, we'll loose.