Quivering Livers

It’s one of those weeks were you look at the roster of bills coming forward and think to yourself: Are you serious? Have you people nothing better to do with your time and our tax dollars?

The war on wildlife continues, and gathers steam.
These bills defy common sense and logic. Here they are in all their resplendent glory:

SB 249: Senator Debby Barrett (R-Dillon) has a great idea: Let’s put wolves back on the Endangered Species List and never allow Grizzly Bears to come off of the list by altering the way that Montana manages wildlife. Science and common sense aren’t good enough for Senator Barrett; she wants to allow the County Commissioners to decide wildlife management issues. Because that’s what we elected them to do.

SB 256: Senator Eric Moore wants to undermine 140 years of wildlife management in Montana over the overblown fear that a Buffalo might eat a blade of grass or look askance at Hereford. We’re not sure why, other than politics, this bill is even in the hopper.

HB 396: Representative Mike Lang wants to take away the freedom of Tribal nations and private property owners to allow transplants of wildlife on their lands. Frightened by having a couple dozen head of buffalo on someone else’s land, Representative Land thinks that the County Commissions should decide for you what you can do with your private property.

HB 376: Representative Nancy Ballance doesn't seem to understand what a County Commission is supposed to do. Rather than focus on the jobs we elected Commissioners to do like ensure roads are graded, Representative Balance thinks that County Commissions should be deciding wildlife management issues. That’s right: The same folks who just laid off 12 people in Ravalli County need to spend countless hours and thousands of dollars of tax payer money writing statements about wolves that bear no credible facts. This bill gets the Bat-Crap Crazy award of the week.

HB 375 is another anti-wildlife bill from Representative Ballance. This one wants you to pay for crops eaten by wildlife. Representative Balance must be a transplant, because she clearly doesn't understand the over 100 year history of Landowners and Sportsmen working together to deal with wildlife issues. This bill furthers the divide between hunters and landowners, and does nothing to stop the war on wildlife we’re experiencing in Helena. Perhaps if Rep. Balance would have advocated a little less development of winter range in her adopted Bitterroot Valley, she wouldn't have to make a mockery of our Wildlife Management

And then there’s HB 440: Representative Doug Kary thinks we should completely gut Habitat Montana so that no new conservation easements or fee title acquisition could ever happen again. Seriously, no more Fish Creeks, no more Marias River WMA’s – just purchasing easements to allow people to corner cross.

While there are a few good bills coming up this week, like HB 401 and SB 123, the vast majority of bills are designed to undermine your ability to hunt and fish, eliminate the North American Model of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, and generally monkey around with a system that has worked for over 100 years.

There is a war on wildlife this session. That’s not hyperbole. It’s a fact.

Show up to the Rally for Access on February 18th and show these Legislators that we’re sick and tired of being pawns in their ridiculous games. Show them that the voters of Montana who hunt and fish value our native wildlife and that we demand they stop the shenanigans and do the work that they were sent to Helena to do.

Stand up, fight back, and kick some ass.

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Hellgate Hunters and Anglers
Our Mission is to conserve Montana's wildlife, wild places, and fair-chase hunting and fishing heritage.