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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Perplexing. And here we thought it was only the R's that dabbled in such tom foolery. There has been repeated efforts to restrict the ability of FWP's to procure more fishing access sites. The FAS system in Montana is a gem, a program that has secured over 300 river and lake properties affording the states residents (poor old common Joe Public) the opportunity to access our states best treasures. I'm certain many of you have used these in your trips to MT.

I'm all about the state buying more of them... not less. As key, unique river areas become available, we should secure even more public access IMO. This bill is a wolf in sheep's attire - a backdoor rule change that will take the administrative control away from FWP.

If you care about maintaining these, spend a few minutes and send an e-mail to the legislators listed. Hearing from non-residents will get their ear insomuch as they know full well the revenues generated from activities using these sites.

Legislative Alert from Montana Trout Unlimited

Tell your legislators to oppose HB 324, which removes
the Parks Division from Montana FWP
and jeopardizes angling and hunting license dollars


Rep. Brad Hamlett (D-Cascade) is sponsoring HB 324, which removes state parks from oversight of the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Director while creating an executive director to oversee Parks who answers only to a volunteer state parks board. This poorly conceived bill is essentially a power grab by the parks board. It:

  • Allows the Parks Division to be independent with little oversight, but still allows it to benefit from fishing and hunting revenues and FWP property by tying it "administratively" to the rest of FWP.
  • Gives the parks board and executive director 100 percent control of federal Land and Water Conservation dollars, which historically have funded many important FWP land and easement acquisitions for fishing accesses and wildlife habitat.
  • Muddies ownership of a number of parks that were purchased with federal dollars from sources funded with excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment, and could potentially jeopardize Montana's abilities to tap those sources in the future.

Tell the Legislature that HB 324 is completely unnecessary and that it will only result in increased costs to government - estimated at $1.8 million - while producing redundant government services and staffing.

The House Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee is considering this bill, so if the following represent you, CONTACT THEM NOW AND TELL THEM TO OPPOSE HB 324. E-mail them or leave a message at the Capitol switchboard at 444-4800

Sharon Stewart-Peregoy, [email protected]
Bridget Smith, [email protected]
George Kipp, [email protected]
Tom Jacobson, [email protected]
Virginia Court [email protected]
Zachary Brown [email protected]
Jean Price, [email protected]
Bob Brown, [email protected]
Kelly Flynn, [email protected]
Kerry White, [email protected]
Matt Regier, [email protected]
Denley Loge, [email protected]
Adam Rosendale, [email protected]
Casey Knudsen, [email protected]
Sue Vinton, [email protected]
Tom Welch, [email protected]
Ray Shaw, [email protected]
Wylie Galt, [email protected]

Switchboard: Information Office: (406)444-4800
 
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I've been a part time resident of Montana for 17 years (have been going to Montana for 40 years) and have probably used, and appreciate, the state's fish access sites, and state parks more than most do.

However, I'd like to hear and understand the other side of this issue before contacting anyone to say " Lets keep things as they are now."

Many states already have a separate organization from fish and wildlife organizations to manage, and oversee, their state parks. Are they doing it wrong, and Montana is doing it right? I don't know enough about one way or the other to know if there is a better or more efficient way. Also, isn't Montana already quasi-separately managing its parks now from fish and wildlife? (There is already a Parks and Recreation board separate from the Fish And Wildlife Commission which report separately to the Governor). No?
 

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I'm curious to know whether MT legislators pay any attention to input from out of state. I recently learned that here in WA state, a lot of state legislators don't even accept emails or input from anyone outside the district they represent. They require address information on all input so they can determine if it's from a district constituent or not.

Sg
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm curious to know whether MT legislators pay any attention to input from out of state. I recently learned that here in WA state, a lot of state legislators don't even accept emails or input from anyone outside the district they represent. They require address information on all input so they can determine if it's from a district constituent or not.

Sg
Good point. While in WA, I noted some legislators don't even accept e-mail from residents outside of their districts and that may be the case here in MT as well. Personally, I think that's bullshit. That said, I still will make the attempt to let them know my thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've been a part time resident of Montana for 17 years (have been going to Montana for 40 years) and have probably used, and appreciate, the state's fish access sites, and state parks, as much as most do.

However, I'd like to hear and understand the other side of this issue before contacting anyone to say " Lets keep things as they are now."

Many states already have a separate organization from fish and wildlife organizations to manage, and oversee, their state parks. Are they doing it wrong, and Montana is doing it right? I don't know enough about one way or the other to know if there is a better or more efficient way. Also, isn't Montana already quasi-separately managing its parks now from fish and wildlife? (There is already a Parks and Recreation board separate from the Fish And Wildlife Commission which report separately to the Governor). No?
I've always subscribed to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of thought. But then, I'm a deplorable right of center relic, steeped in tradition. And, yes, based on my observations between MT and other western states, Montana is head and shoulders better than WA when it comes to fish, wildlife and parks management.
 

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I don't often agree with FSA, but I agree that the MT FWP system of access sites is pretty special. I stumbled upon their riverside campgrounds quite by accident, since they are not publicized or marked on commonly distributed maps. But without more information I stop short of saying that this bill would make things either worse or better. In other states, campgrounds are managed by parks departments, not fish and wildlife programs. Here in WA, we have access sites that are managed by DFW, but they are little more than boat launches and parking lots. That is true of many MT sites, but many are more elaborate.

However, this is NOT about transferring public lands to private hands or anything like what the GOP is trying to do to public lands.
 
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