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Governor's Veto Letter to Secretary of State

Governor Bullock's letter to Montana Secretary of State





May 4, 2015


The Honorabl e Linda McCulloch Secretary of State

State Capitol Helena, MT 59620


Dear Secretary McCulloch:



In accordance with the power vested in me as Governor by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Montana, I hereby veto Senate Bill 334 (SB 334), "AN ACT REVISING THE DEFINITION OF 'GAME ANIMAL' TO INCLUDE GAME BIRDS AND FURBEARERS; REVISING THE DEFINITION OF 'PREDATORY ANIMAL'; AND AMENDING SECTIONS 7-3-1105, 7-3-1 222, 7-31-41 10, 50-50-401, 87-1-293, 87-2-101, 87-2-520, 87-2-702, 87-2-803, 87-3-128, 87-4-406, 87-

4-414, 87-4-418, 87-4-427, 87-6-101, 87-6-202, 87-6-204, 87-6-205, 87-6-206, 87-6-207, 87-6-208,

87-6-214, 87-6-215, 87-6-301, 87-6-304, 87-6-305, 87-6-401, 87-6-403, 87-6-404, 87-6-405, 87-6-

41 1 , AND 87-6-904, MCA."


SB 334, by changing the definition of game animal, has the potential to alter the very foundation of wild life management in Montana. The reach of this bill goes deep into administrative regulations and policies that have been embedded in wildlife management for decades. A change like that

proposed by SB 334 deserves a comprehensive conversation involving professionals and constituents alike that focuses on the necessity of such a fundamental shift, viewed against the existing substantive management by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.


Because that conversation did not occur, unintended consequences to existing management practices were discovered late in the process, requiring multiple lengthy amendments. These amendments further complicated the real intent and value of this legislation. It is likely that other unintended consequences will be discovered if SB 334 becomes law.


For these reasons, I veto SB 334.






cc: Legislative Services Division

Debby Barrett, President of the Senate Austin Knudsen, Speaker of the House


STATE CAPITOL • P.O. Box 200801 • HELEM, MoNTA.l\iA 59620-0801

TELEPHONE: 406-444-3111 • FAX: 406-444-5529 •

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