Exposing the truths in trapping & promoting ethics, modern science & responsible stewardship for trapping reform.

2017 Legislation

If you haven't already, please sign up for our ACTION ALERTS to learn more and help us stop anti-wildlife bills!


SB 236



"Montana Lawmakers Reject New Constitutional Protections for Hunting, Fishing and Trapping"   (COLE GRANT) Montana Public Radio

SB 236 Bill Information with amendments

THE CITIZENS OF MONTANA HAVE THE RIGHT TO HUNT, FISH, TRAP, AND HARVEST WILD FISH AND WILDLIFE, INCLUDING THE USE OF CUSTOMARY MEANS AND METHODS. HUNTING, FISHING, AND TRAPPING BY CITIZENS IS THE PREFERRED MANNER OF MANAGING WILD FISH AND WILDLIFE AND IS SUBJECT TO NECESSARY AND PROPER MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION STATUTES ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE AND REGULATORY AUTHORITY DELEGATED BY THE LEGISLATURE TO A DESIGNATED PUBLIC AGENCY OR COMMISSION. THE RIGHT TO HARVEST WILD FISH AND WILDLIFE IS A HERITAGE THAT SHALL FOREVER BE PRESERVED TO THE INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS OF THE STATE AND DOES NOT CREATE A RIGHT TO TRESPASS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY OR A DIMINUTION OF OTHER PRIVATE RIGHTS."

Why is this a Trapping Bill?

One, because Montanans overwhelmingly voted in 2004 to preserve forever the opportunity to hunt and fish into our constitution. The words hunting, fishing, to hunt, fish, were used over 90 times in prominent literature such as the voter handbook. In contrast, the words trap, trapping, trapper, were never ever used!  This was intentional and for good reason. SB236 is trying to gain support by unnecessarily creating fear among hunters and anglers that they are next.

Two, because this bill is orchestrated by and for the trappers. The funds used to fight anti-trapping initiatives come from one and the same, Montana Trapper's Association.....only under another name creating more deception: Montanans for Wildlife and Public Land's Access, the main organization backing SB236. These groups share the same officers, same addresses. Ironically, Senator Fielder, the sponsor of SB236, is the CEO for American Lands Council, an organization wanting to seize control of our public lands. See where this is going?

The worrisome cost of a constitutional amendment came up in the Fish and Game committee executive action. Senator Fielder responded giving credit to the Montanan's for Wildlife & Public Land Access for raising $500,000 to oppose ballot initiatives.
What was not mentioned is the fact that Montana Trapper's Association and their affiliate remain under litigation for financial campaign violations in excess of $25,000 against us in 2014 for I-169.

Lastly, Senator Fielder and her husband are trappers who moved here from the restrictive trapping state of Washington. Mr. Fielder is a recent past district director of Montana Trappers Association.

SB236 is a bill drafted by special interests, trappers, who seek to gain permanent control of all our wildlife for their personal exploitation. In line with their agenda, science based management has been removed from the original language. What remains is the power over our wildlife to be determined exclusively by the legislature, rather than the good people of Montana.


How can you Help Stop This Bill?

If you haven't already, please sign up for our ACTION ALERTS to learn more and help us stop SB236.

Contact the Montana Representatives:
1. By Telephone: call the legislature (406) 444-4800 and leave a message for up to 5 House members voicing your opposition to SB236. 
2. By easily onlineMessage to a Montana House Representative and urge them to vote NO on SB236 (form is for in state and out of state although legislators understandably give more attention to instate).
3. By Email, phone, letter:  Find and Contact your Montana Legislator use the following look up link.

For non-residents, visitors to our great state:
Legislators, our Governor and Tourism Department need to hear from you, too!
Tourism is our second leading industry and as Governor Bullock told us in our Rally for Public Lands....."You aren't coming for our Walmarts"

Office of Governor Steve Bullock
By phone: 406-444-3111 - Toll Free: 855-318-1330
On line: http://governor.mt.gov/Home/Contact/shareopinion
Please note that because SB236 is a constitutional referendum it does not wind up on the Governor’s desk for passage or veto!

Montana Office of Tourism
Phone: 406.841.2870 Fax: 406.841.2871
On line form: Visit Montana/contact
 


Status of SB236

Current Bill Progress

SB236 House Motion to Reconsider 4/13/17 FAILED 38:62

SB236   House  2nd Reading  4/12/17 FAILED (Not Concurred)as Amended 48:51

SB236   House floor "second reading" i.e. and vote scheduled for 4/12/17

SB236   House Judiciary Passed 10:9 with amendments


Here are how the Representatives voted on 4/12. http://bit.ly/2nItDe5
Here is how they voted to reconsider: http://bit.ly/2nN3Lxm

To listen to the discussion and executive

SB236   House Judiciary Hearing

The House Judiciary Committee held their hearing on 4/3/17. Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks provided considerable comment in opposition to this bill We outnumbered proponents significantly.  Thank you to all who opposed SB236 and for the multiple reasons!

Date for Executive Action, the vote, is unknown.  If SB236 passes this committee, it will go to the full House.

To listen/view the hearing

News article re the hearing: "Citing legal concerns, FWP still opposes constitutional protections for hunting, trapping and fishing..."

Montana Legislators are at it again, backed by the trappers insistent on trying to preserve their unethical cruel recreation that indiscriminately and unnecessarily destroys an average of 60,000 known wildlife annually in our state. SB 236 is a trapping bill with serious consequences beyond enshrining trapping into our constitution!

SB236  Advances to the House

Senate maintained their vote 30:20 on 3/28/17
Related article: Referendum to make hunting, fishing, trapping a constitutional right garners support from 30 senators  Bozeman Daily Chronicle (Michael Wright)

SB236  Passed 30:20 on 3/27 in 2nd reading Senate
VOTE TABULATION  RESULTS

For audio/video recording of the Senate hearing

SB236 PASSED 6:5 Senate Fish & Game Committee  - Your HELP is NEEDED!!!

SB236 Trapping Bill passed 6:5 under executive action on 3/21/17 in the Montana Fish & Game Senate committee. It passed with amendments and without notice for groups and individuals to preview the amendments, submit comment or be in attendance. Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) knew though and was even asked to comment by Senator Fielder.

For audio/video recording
Related article:  Referendum to constitutionally protect hunting, fishing and trapping passes committee Independent Record (TOM KUGLIN)

SB236 Senate Fish & Game Committee Public Hearing
SB236 received widespread oppositional testimony from various outdoor recreational, sportsman and sportswomen groups as well as Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.

For audio/video recording

For all video and audio recordings of SB236

Articles and Letters to the editors regarding SB236:

Guest opinion: Out-of-staters trying to change Montana Constitution  Billings Gazette (DON THOMAS) Apr 11, 2017

"Zero Support From Democrats To Add ‘Trapping’ To Hunting And Fishing In State Constitution"  http://bit.ly/2mWY0wS

"Bill Would Amend State Constitution"  http://bit.ly/2oC4Zb0

"Referendum to Make Hunting, Fishing, Trapping a Constitutional Right Garners Support From 30 Senators" http://bit.ly/2o8oRX9

"Referendum to Constitutionally Protect Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Passes Committee"  http://bit.ly/2mY3DXq

"Protecting Trapping is a Priority for Senator Fielder" http://bit.ly/2nJugkp

"Voters Could Decide if Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Deserve Constitutional Protections" http://bit.ly/2ov6UyX



SB236 Constitutional referendum establishing right to hunt, fish, and trap wildlife sponsored by Senator Jennifer Fielder, herself a trapper, who is married to a district director of the Montana Trapper's Association, and who, herself, serves as CEO of American Lands Council, an organization whose mission is to seize control of our public lands for their personal exploitation. NO to SB236

and
LC 1319 - Constitutional amendment regarding trapping, sponsored by Mike Hopkins, HD 92.
Montanans, overwhelmingly, voted in 2004 to preserve the opportunity to hunt and fish within our state constitution........the word trap was never included. There is a very good reason for that. STATUS of Bill: 3/7/2017 On hold.

Bypassing the daunting task of signature gathering from Montana voters, if these bills are passed by 2/3 of the legislature, a constitutional amendment goes to the voters.

THANK YOU to all those Senators that opposed SB236 and most importantly all of you that contact the Legislators to oppose this bad and unnecessary bill!
Your letters and testimony are needed.
Stay tuned, friends!

“I think they were under orders not to vote for it. Orders probably coming out of the governor’s office because his office and Montana Fish Wildlife and parks are lobbying hard against it to keep the issue from coming before the voters.”   ~Senator Fielder

photo of coyote in trap - all paws in trap - It's a Humanity and Ethics Issue...NO SB236

 

Get in touch

Trap Free Montana Public Lands (TFMPL)
PO Box 1347
Hamilton, Montana 59840

Phone: 406-218-1170

Email:info@TFMPL.org

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Trap Free Montana Public Lands

www.TFMPL.org

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