Beginning in January of 2011, the 62nd Montana Legislature will be meeting in Helena. This page will highlight bills and issues during the session that are of interest or importance to Montana Game Wardens and other members of the conservation community. Opinions, views, support or opposition of bills discussed here are entirely those of the MGWA.
The Montana Legislature is unique inasmuch as it meets biennially, is made up of citizen legislators, and in comparison to other states’ law making bodies, provides a great deal of participation by ordinary citizens. The following addresses and links will be helpful for those who wish to contact legislators and participate in the current year's session.
General Legislature Address
P.O. Box 201706
Helena, MT 59620-1706
Voice: (406) 444-3064
A message from MGWA political consultant.
May 20th, 2010
It’s only May, but don’t forget we’re in an election year and the primary is just around the corner. You can still vote absentee or register to vote if you recently moved. There are many contested primaries this year, so there really isn’t a shortage of candidates for the legislature. Those candidates will decide your future.
After the primary, the fog will clear and we will get a better look at the ballot. That’s where each of you will get a chance to get more involved. Here is what you should do:
- Find out who the candidates are for your districts
- Personally attend any candidate forums that come up, introduce yourself, and make that initial personal contact
- Attend any local Sportsmen club meetings…………you don’t have to join, but you must have presence in your area because ultimately support from these groups will be very valuable
- Provide campaign help for those candidates who will support your issues
This election is not about Republican or Democrat candidates for office. It’s about those candidates that will support your issues.
For my part I have already provided campaign assistance for a few candidates that support your issues. After the primary, I will analyze the races and candidates to sort out who will be the best choices for election and worth supporting.
Partnering with Montana’s Landowners and Sportsmen to protect the Last Best Place
The Montana Game Warden Association (MGWA) is the professional organization of working and retired Game Wardens in Montana and are inextricably woven into the management, enhancement and protection of Montana’s wild resources. As such, we cannot support I-160, the ballot initiative to end trapping on public lands. Trapping is a long-standing tradition in Montana and holds an important place along with hunting in the management of the state’s wildlife. I-160 removes important implements from the wildlife management “tool box” while placing overly broad and ambiguous limitations on an activity, which is an essential part of wildlife management in Montana. At the same time, I-160 poses serious obstacles to livestock producers and landowners across the state —people who have in the past and continue to play an enormous role in sustaining our wild resources.
MGWA believes an initiative is not the route to pursue changes in the state’s wildlife management policies and regulations. The existing systems that are in place —extensive public involvement coupled with the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission and the legislative process — are the best and most appropriate means of realizing the public’s investment in fish and wildlife in Montana. For 109 years, these methods have withstood the test of time, utilizing informed decision-making that has resulted in the successful restoration and enhancement of Montana’s now world-class fish and wildlife resources.
The heritage and the traditions of hunting and trapping in Montana date back to the first people who occupied the Plains and Rocky Mountain West. Those traditions remain strong today as both recreation and important tools in managing wildlife populations in the 21st century. As conservationists we hope all Montanans join us and oppose this initiative.
Bryan Golie, President
Montana Game Warden’s Association