"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 online: Message 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.
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
SB236 LEGISLATIVE PROCEEDINGS & AUDIO/VIDEO RECORDINGS
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!
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
SB236 Passed 30:20 on 3/27 in 2nd reading Senate
VOTE TABULATION RESULTS
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.
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.
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
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