HB 249 "AN ACT REVISING LAWS RELATED TO THE PRESENCE OF WILD BUFFALO OR WILD BISON ON PRIVATE PROPERTY; AMENDING SECTION 81-2-121, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."
- HEARING RECORDING: http://montanalegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=11&clip_id=1206
- BFC TESTIMONY: (PDF, 90kb; PDF, 45kb)
- BILL TEXT: http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2013/billhtml/HB0249.htm
- SPONSOR: Rep. Alan Doane
- STATUS: VICTORY FOR BUFFALO-OUR WILDLIFE! HB 249 was TABLED in House Appropriations committee 2/26/13
- FISCAL NOTE: (PDF, 61 kb)
IMPACT TO BUFFALO/OUR WILDLIFE: Under HB 249, Montana taxpayers and hunters will pay nearly $600,000 over the next several years to establish a 'right to take' wild buffalo on private land ~ simultaneously robbing Montanan's of our taxpayer money to destroy our public wildlife.
Since 1919, in Montana, "A person who willfully moves or causes to be moved" domestic livestock "from their owner's customary range without the permission of the owner" does so on fear of being subject to fines and penalties and imprisonment. (MCA 81-5-101. Moving Livestock from customary range forbidden.)
HB 249's state sanction to destroy wild buffalo on sight on private property is an attempt to bypass Montana Supreme Court precedent finding that landowners have some responsibility of sharing the land with public wildlife on private lands, excerpted here: Montana is one of the few areas in the nation where wild game abounds. It is regarded as one of the greatest of the state's natural resources, as well as the chief attraction for visitors. Wild game existed here long before the coming of man. One who acquires property in Montana does so with notice and knowledge of the presence of wild game and presumably is cognizant of its natural habits. Wild game does not possess the power to distinguish between fructus naturales and fructus industriales, and cannot like domestic animals be controlled through an owner. Accordingly, a property owner in this state must recognize the fact that there may be some injury to property or inconvenience from wild game for which there is no recourse. (quoting State v. Rathbone, 110 Mont. 225, 100 P.2d 86, 92-93 (1940)).
This wildlife protecting precedent was recently re-affirmed in a 2013 court decision in Park County (Park County Stockgrowers Association v. Montana) recognizing migratory buffalo are part of Montana's landscape and natural heritage.
HB 312 "AN ACT PROVIDING AUTHORIZATION FOR TESTING AND PREVALENCE REDUCTION OF BRUCELLOSIS IN LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE; ESTABLISHING RESPONSIBILITY FOR TESTING COSTS; REQUIRING REPORTING; PROVIDING RULEMAKING AUTHORITY; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE AND A RETROACTIVE APPLICABILITY DATE."
BFC TESTIMONY: (PDF, 88 kb)
HEARING RECORDING: (HB 312 Hearing begins at 1:10:28 into the media clip) http://montanalegislature.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=11&clip_id=1441
- FISCAL NOTE: (PDF, 68 kb)
- BILL TEXT: http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2013/billhtml/HB0312.htm
- SPONSOR: Rep. Alan Redfield
- STATUS: VICTORY FOR BUFFALO-OUR WILDLIFE! HB 312 was TABLED in House Agriculture committee 2/15/13
- IMPACT TO BUFFALO/OUR WILDLIFE: HB 312 gives the Montana Department of Livestock unprecedented authority over migratory elk populations and other public wildlife. HB 312 requires Montana's veterinarian "in coordination" with Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to "develop brucellosis surveillance and prevalence reduction procedures" for elk in southwest Montana. As practiced by Montana, brucellosis "prevalence reduction" in wildlife means drugging/capturing, testing for antibodies, and slaughter. While there has never been a documented case of brucellosis transmission from migratory buffalo to cattle, HB 312 requires the Montana state veterinarian to enforce MCA 81-2-120 in a manner that eliminates or minimizes any disease risk "as much as possible." That means if migratory buffalo were identified by the state vet as a source of infection in livestock, HB 312 would require buffalo to be destroyed by firearms, and or subject them to hazing, capture, quarantine, and transport to slaughterhouses. In brief, HB 312 would eliminate wild migratory buffalo from occupying habitat in Montana altogether if the state veterinarian finds buffalo to have likely infected cattle with brucellosis. A Fiscal Note for HB 312 has been requested to determine the costs borne by taxpayers and hunters.
HB 484 "AN ACT CLARIFYING THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LIVESTOCK AND THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH, WILDLIFE, AND PARKS FOR MANAGING WILD BUFFALO OR WILD BISON THAT MIGRATE FROM YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK INTO THE STATE OF MONTANA; AMENDING SECTIONS 81-2-120, 87-1-216, 87-1-271, 87-1-304, 87-2-101, 87-2-701, 87-2-702, 87-2-730, 87-2-731, AND 87-6-101, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."
- BFC TESTIMONY: (PDF, 94kb; PDF, 61kb; WORD, 7.6 MB)
HEARING RECORDING: (Hearing on HB 484 begins at 01:09:45 into the media clip)
- FISCAL NOTE: (PDF, 58.8)
- SPONSOR: Rep. Alan Redfield
- STATUS: VICTORY FOR BUFFALO-OUR WILDLIFE! HB 484 was TABLED in House Appropriations committee 2/26/13
- BILL TEXT: http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2013/billhtml/HB0484.htm
- IMPACT TO BUFFALO/OUR WILDLIFE: HB 484 takes discretionary authority in MCA 81-2-120 and makes it mandatory for the Dept. of Livestock and Dept. of Fish, Wildlife, & Parks to shoot, harass by ‘hazing’, capture for quarantine and trap for slaughter all buffalo migrating into Montana. HB 484 also requires the Dept. of Livestock to adopt rules enforcing MCA 81-2-120. Once adopted, the rules could be litigated for enforcement because HB 484 mandates the Dept. of Livestock remove all migratory buffalo from our state. Outside of Yellowstone National Park, migratory buffalo occupy less than a fraction of 1% of the nearly 100 million acres of land in Montana. Yet HB 484 would reduce this fraction of habitat to zero for this valued native grassland species. HB 484 would also require the state to somehow seek prior authorization from private landowners for migratory buffalo to roam in Montana. If HB 484 becomes law, these, along with many other private property owners’ rights will continue to be trampled upon by the state of Montana as HB 484 prohibits migratory buffalo from occupying habitat in the state.
This post was modified from its original form on 18 Mar, 17:11
HB 507 "AN ACT GENERALLY REVISING MANAGEMENT OF WILD BUFFALO AND WILD BISON; APPLYING LIVESTOCK LAWS TO CERTAIN WILD BUFFALO AND WILD BISON; RESTRICTING WHERE WILD BUFFALO AND WILD BISON MAY BE RELEASED OR TRANSPLANTED; GRANTING RULEMAKING AUTHORITY; AMENDING SECTIONS 15-1-101, 15-24-921, 81-1-101, 81-2-120, 81-3-201, 81-4-602, 81-4-603, 81-5-101, 81-5-104, 87-1-216, 87-1-271, 87-1-304, 87-2-101, 87-2-701, 87-2-702, 87-2-730, 87-2-731, 87-6-101, AND 87-6-906, MCA; AND REPEALING SECTION 81-2-121, MCA."
HEARING RECORDING: (Hearing on HB 507 begins at 02:14:40 into the media clip)
- BFC TESTIMONY: (PDF, 90kb)
- SPONSOR: Rep. Bill Harris
- STATUS: VICTORY FOR BUFFALO-OUR WILDLIFE! TABLED House Agriculture committee 2/22/13
- BILL TEXT: http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2013/billhtml/HB0507.htm
- IMPACT TO BUFFALO/OUR WILDLIFE: HB 507 is a convoluted attempt to change the legal classification of a native species, the wild buffalo, under MCA 81-1-101, Montana’s statute classifying domestic or feral bison as livestock. HB 507 attempts to place Yellowstone's migratory buffalo population under the jurisdiction of Montana's statewide bison reintroduction plan (MCA 87-1-216) and its extensive and costly provisions requiring the wild species to be managed as confined livestock. HB 507 also requires Montana to develop a plan before any wild buffalo “may be released, transplanted, or allowed onto private or public land in Montana.” HB 507 further dictates that Montana may not “allow wild buffalo” on “any public or private land in Montana that is not in an area contiguous with the boundaries of Yellowstone national park designated by the department and the department of livestock as year-round habitat for wild buffalo or wild bison.” Under HB 507, this yet-to-be-declared “designation of year-round habitat by the departments may not be for longer than for a 4-year period and may not extend past the topographical boundaries of Gardiner basin and Hebgen Lake basin."HB 507 also repeals fines and penalties for Montana's prohibition on intentionally feeding wildlife “in a manner that results in artificial concentration of game animals that may potentially contribute to the transmission of disease." We support repealing MCA 81-2-121 provided Montana’s prohibition on intentionally feeding wildlife is embodied in another statute.
I just got an update from the BFC,Montana is still being obstinate
Sooooooo happy I didn't buy that property there.
Looks like there are still plenty of obstacles left, and hard hearted people,including the Native American tipi trade.
I'll have to pull up the email when I can catch a minute,probably Ma~nana,sorry no real tilda
on this puter.
Upsetting about the impermanence of all these statutes.
This post was modified from its original form on 18 Mar, 18:07
thanks Vicky + Tasunka
Thanks for posting the link, Tasunka and for you and June reading the bills. These are the good ones. The SB143 is the one I really worry about.