Wednesday, March 15, 2017


This bill is up tomorrow in Senate F&G at 3pm.

The Montana Sportsmen Alliance:   HOUSE BILL 324  OPPOSE

HB 324 is a bill to remove Parks from FWP and let their commission hire their own director.

The Montana Sportsmen Alliance appreciates the many and unique recreational
and historical opportunities State Parks provide to both Montanans and
visitors to the state. We believe State Parks are valuable assets as a part
of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. As such, we oppose HB 324. The
continued attempts to remove Parks organization and operation from the state
wildlife agency have been and will continue to be a detriment to the state
as a whole. We believe that legislative intervention to change the means of
selecting the Parks Administrator is a further attempt at this and is
misguided, ill-advised and inappropriate.

.    The bill is a result of the recent removal of the Parks
Administrator. This was an appropriate and necessary action by FWP.
Legislative action to intervene and modify the selection process for a
replacement by taking it away from FWP is short-sighted and unnecessary
intrusion in the filling agency staff positions.
.    In years past, there have been efforts for other commissions or
boards to act as hiring authorities for agency directors or program
managers. It has been proven time and time again that this method is
counter-productive, does not guarantee quality leadership and serves to
further politicize selections.
.    Although Parks' primary focus is general recreation, 29 of the 54
State Parks in Montana are water-based with fishing and, to a lesser extent,
hunting being important side activities of those sites. 22 of those 54 are
on lakes and 7 are on major waterways. As such, hunters and anglers have a
definite interest and stake in State Parks. Any attempt to move Parks or its
operations away from FWP, by either procedure or physical removal will be a
detriment to sportsmen and women as well as the recreating public. We
unequivocally oppose any attempts at lessening the involvement of sportsmen
and women in the operation of State Parks or its removal from the agency.
.    The FWP Director must remain the final authority to coordinate both
work and budget priorities of division work and funding. Not only is it a
much more effective business model, it also ensures good decision-making and
aids in forestalling potential issues of funding diversion and
non-compliance with state policy and funding sources requirements. 
.    This legislation does not address the fundamental and largest, most
critical issue for State Parks-funding. In fact, it serves to only further
divert attention from that basic issue. Time would far better be spent
working to help develop a reliable, sustainable and long-term means of
funding for our State Parks.

   Please OPPOSE
Contact Senate Fish and Game:

or better, the whole Senate

2017 MONTANA STATE SENATE EMAIL:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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