In my opinion, bill SB143 is the worst bill
SB 143 "AN ACT REVISING BISON MANAGEMENT LAWS; ESTABLISHING A YEAR-ROUND HUNTING SEASON; INCREASING THE NUMBER OF AVAILABLE LICENSES; PROHIBITING THE TRANSFER, RELOCATION, OR TRANSPLANTATION OF WILD BUFFALO WITH CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS; GRANTING RULEMAKING AUTHORITY; AND AMENDING SECTIONS 81-2-120, 81-2-121, 87-1-216, 87-1-301, 87-1-304, 87-2-506, 87-2-701, 87-2-702, 87-2-730, 87-2-731, AND 87-6-304, MCA."
- HEARING RECORDING: http://montanalegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=53&clip_id=1438
- BFC TESTIMONY: (PDF 87 kb, PDF 67 kb)
- BILL TEXT: http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2013/billhtml/SB0143.htm
- SPONSOR: Sen. John Brenden
- STATUS: Revenue bill. Must be acted on by 4/5/13 Senate Fish and Game Committee.
- FISCAL NOTE: (PDF, 66 kb)
- IMPACT TO BUFFALO/OUR WILDLIFE: SB 143 takes discretionary authority in MCA 81-2-120 and makes it mandatory for the Dept. of Livestock to immediately kill, capture, harass, quarantine and trap for slaughter all buffalo migrating into Montana. The draft bill kills Montana's statewide bison management plan (MCA 87-1-216) by prohibiting any bison from being translocated except to the National Bison Range in Moiese. The draft bill establishes a buffalo hunt "statewide and at any time of the year" for people 12 years of age or older. It also repeals the prohibition on state officials directing hunters to the actual physical locations of buffalo to be hunted.
This post was modified from its original form on 18 Mar, 16:12
SB 256 "AN ACT MAKING THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH, WILDLIFE, AND PARKS LIABLE FOR DAMAGE TO PRIVATE PROPERTY BY WILD BUFFALO AND BISON; REQUIRING AN ESTIMATION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY DAMAGE AND COSTS FOR WHICH THE DEPARTMENT WOULD BE LIABLE IF A WILD BUFFALO OR BISON PROPOSED FOR RELEASE OR TRANSPLANTATION ESCAPES; AND AMENDING SECTION 87-1-216, MCA."
- HEARING RECORDING: (Hearing on SB 256 begins at 01:12:30 into the media clip) http://montanalegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=96&clip_id=1871
- BFC TESTIMONY: (PDF, 93kb) (PDF, 45kb)
- BILL TEXT: http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2013/billhtml/SB0256.htm
- SPONSOR: Sen. Frederick (Eric) Moore
- STATUS: Hearing Thursday, March 21 (Room 137, 3 PM) House Agriculture committee - Passed Senate 30 YEAS, 20 NAYS
- FISCAL NOTE: (PDF, 57kb)
- IMPACT TO BUFFALO/OUR WILDLIFE: SB 256 would legislatively undo a long standing Montana Supreme Court precedent that wildlife does not belong to any owner by making the state liable for any private property damage or public safety hazard caused by reintroduced buffalo. In Rathbone v. Montana (1960) the Montana Supreme Court found that a property owner in Montana "must recognize the fact that there may be some injury to property or inconvenience from wild game for which there is no recourse." This precedent was recently affirmed in Park County Stockgrowers Association v. Montana (2013) by Judge E. Wayne Phillips: "Montana's Constitution contains no provision safeguarding against threats to personal safety caused by naturally occurring conditions such as native wildlife. To the contrary, Montana's Constitution, laws, and regulations provide special considerations to assure that our wild places and the creatures that inhabit them are preserved for future generations." (citing STATE V. BOYER 2002)
SB 305 "AN ACT REVISING THE DEFINITION OF WILD BUFFALO AND WILD BISON; AND AMENDING SECTIONS 81-1-101, 87-2-101, AND 87-6-101, MCA."
- HEARING RECORDING: (Hearing on SB 305 begins at 00:27:50 into the media clip) http://montanalegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=1979&meta_id=23920
- BFC TESTIMONY: (PDF, 93kb)
- SPONSOR: Sen. Jim Peterson
- STATUS: Hearing Thursday, March 21 (Room 137, 3 PM) House Agriculture committee - Passed Senate 31 YEAS, 19 NAYS
- BILL TEXT: http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2013/billhtml/SB0305.htm
- IMPACT TO BUFFALO/OUR WILDLIFE: SB 305 revises the definition of wild buffalo as "never" been reduced to captivity and "never" owned by a person. A wild buffalo that "has not" been reduced to captivity and "is not" owned by a person is the current definition. Under SB 305, any buffalo reintroduced or reduced to some form of captivity would not be treated under the law as wild buffalo in Montana. Part of the Yellowstone buffalo population was also reintroduced into captivity at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch in the early 1900s. The sponsor should be asked how SB 305 affects those members of the population that were reintroduced and released from captivity but bred with wild buffalo “never” reduced to captivity and “never” owned by a person. There is no legal purpose served in re-defining the current definition of wild buffalo as SB 305 would have it. The current definition is clear: wildlife is not ‘owned’ like property, and is free from captivity.
SB 341 "AN ACT ESTABLISHING CRITERIA FOR THE TRANSPLANTATION, INTRODUCTION, OR AUGMENTATION OF CERTAIN WILDLIFE SPECIES; PROVIDING FOR A PUBLIC SCOPING PROCESS; PROVIDING RULEMAKING AUTHORITY; AMENDING SECTIONS 87-5-702, 87-5-703, 87-5-704, 87-5-713, AND 87-5-716, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."
- HEARING RECORDING: (Hearing on SB 341 begins at 01:14:25 into the media clip) http://montanalegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=96&clip_id=1979
- BFC TESTIMONY: (PDF, 92kb)
- SPONSOR: Sen. Jennifer Fielder
- STATUS: VICTORY FOR BUFFALO-OUR WILDLIFE! SB 341 was tabled in House Fish, Wildlife & Parks committee 3/15/13 - Passed Senate 28 YEAS, 22 NAYS
- BILL TEXT: http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2013/billhtml/SB0341.htm
- FISCAL NOTE: (PDF, 61 kb)
- IMPACT TO BUFFALO/OUR WILDLIFE: SB 341 would defer public decision making of introducing native species to private property owners, confound with financial liabilities, and bury in red tape any reintroduction or augmentation of large predators, endangered species and game animals including wild buffalo in the state. Reintroduction of native species may not occur if it jeopardizes "existing grazing allotments" or "restrict or limit the use or value of private property."
If you can call, email or write the sponsors, maybe we can make a difference. Just click on the highlighted names and when their page comes up, click the LEGISLATOR ONLINE MESSAGING FORM. It will allow you to email him/her. There is also an address and phone number to call when you click on their name. Thank you.
What does it mean when a bill is 'tabled'?
PLEASE CONTACT MONTANA GOVERNOR STEVE BULLOCK!
It's vital to make contact with Montana Governor Steve Bullock and let him know you stand for protecting America's wild buffalo and our natural heritage. If you live out of state, let him know why you visit Montana, tell him what is important to you, ask him where he stands on these bills and to show leadership by working to defeat legislation that seeks to destroy our last wild buffalo and public wildlife.
Governor Steve Bullock
Office of the Governor
MT State Capitol
P.O. Box 200801
Helena, MT 59620-0801
Toll Free: 855-318-1330 or 406-444-3111
CONTACT MONTANA LEGISLATORS
If you can't attend the public hearings, please call and leave a message with an entire committee or individual Montana legislator: (406) 444-4800.
You can also email a brief message (limited to 1250 characters) to an entire committee or individual Montana legislator: http://leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/63rd/legwebmessage.asp