Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Disgusting Show on FWP Commissioner confirmations: Attack on Sportsmen Orgs.

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject:FWP Commission Confirmation debacle & forward
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2017 11:55:09 -0600
From: Kathryn QannaYahu <>

Dear Senators,
I respectfully request that y'all question and consider the actions from the Senate Fish & Game Commission, as I have proof of misinformation that was presented at the meeting on Tuesday, 4/18/17, at 3:00pm.
At the 11:49 mark Sen. Jennifer Fielder states, "Over the weekend I emailed some questions to all four of the individuals, and I was, ...). She proceeds to discuss here approval of Brower. 
Later, when the Committee is segregating each nominee, concerning Matthew Tourtlotte, one of the Senators asks Sen. Fielder, at the 20:47 mark, "Did you get some stuff back from him?" She replies, "Members, I did email all 4 of the nominees and I did not receive any response from Mr. Tourtlotte that I have found in my inbox, as of about an hour ago. I have received some comments from other people who are concerned about his lack of attendance at the FWP Commission meetings. I think he has attended quite a few by phone, but not in person, and he's just missed some completely, so we didn't see a great deal of interest for Mr. Tourtlotte, no letters of interest. Did any other committee members receive any other communications from him about the position? So it doesn't appear to be a lot of interest there. So I will not support the motion."
First, Mr. Tourtlotte was in California when he received the short notice of confirmation hearing. He notified the Governor's office he was out of state. 
Second, If you will notice this forwarded message below, Mr. Tourtlotte did not receive Sen. Fielder's questions over the weekend as she stated she sent them, but on Monday at 2:26 pm. 
Third, the Senate F & G Committee meeting occurred on Tuesday at 3:00 pm for executive action. Below is a screen shot of his reply on Tuesday at 2:27, before the meeting. 

Fourth, I and others have emailed the Committee and Senators our support of Mr. Tourtlotte for reappointment. Below is a screen shot of my email on the 12th.

Fifth, having attended many a FWP Commmmission meeting over the years, I know there are other Commissioners who have missed or had to use the video conferencing from their regional FWP office to participate in Commission meetings.
Following, I will forward Mr. Tourtlotte's replies to Sen. Fielders questions.
In conclusion, I take umbrage at Sen. Fielder's recent campaign to disparage those of us that are part of Montana's grassroots hunting/angling organizations, represented in her question no. 5, a number of which are many decades old, established before Senator Fielder ever moved to Montana. "hard left partisan interest groups including Montana Wildlife Federation (and their subsidiaries), Back Country Hunters and Anglers, Montana Sportsmen’s Alliance, Trout Unlimited, Back Country Horsemen, and Montana Bow Hunters Association."
I hope that y'all will support the confirmation of Mr. Tourtlotte's reappointment to the FWP Commission.
Thank you,
Kathryn QannaYahu
513 1/2 W. Curtiss St.
Bozeman, MT 59715

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Fielder, Jennifer <>
Date: Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 6:45 PM
Subject: FW: Senate Confirmation Hearing - Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission
To: "" <>

From: Fielder, Jennifer 
Sent: Monday, April 17, 2017 2:26 PM
To: ''
Subject: Senate Confirmation Hearing - Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission
Importance: High

Dear Mr. Tourtlotte,

Considering you were not able to appear in person at the Senate Fish and Game Committee Confirmation Hearings last Thursday, I have a few questions I would like to ask in order to help me to better understand your approach to the duties of this position should you  be confirmed. If you could return your answers to me by 1pm Tuesday 4/18, I will review them and take them into consideration prior to the Senate Fish and Game Committee’s action concerning the confirmations.

1)      The Montana Trappers Association is concerned that the Commission may impose regulations requiring them to check traps at specific intervals of time. This idea comes from anti-trapping activists who seek to make trapping more and more restrictive, and hence less and less feasible. Given that trapping is conducted during winter months and conditions can be extremely harsh, it would be problematic and even unsafe, to require trappers to go out on the trap line at predetermined time intervals. Regulations currently recommend trap checks every 48 hours, regardless of conditions or set type. This is an arbitrary number. In some cases traps need to be checked more frequently and in other cases less frequently. For example, in warm weather frequent checks are necessary to prevent rot. In cold weather there is no chance of rot, and it could be impractical and even dangerous to require trappers to go out in periods of abnormally harsh conditions. The Montana Trappers association offers an excellent Trapper Education Course in which the importance of reasonable trap checks, based on conditions and set types, are emphasized. 

QUESTION: If confirmed, will you support a) Mandatory Trap Check Intervals, or b) Recommended Trap Check Intervals? 

2)      I have received a number of complaints from Hunter Education Instructors who are concerned about a few key matters. One, they are not allowed to teach effective hand gun handling and safety as a part of their course offerings. Apparently they can show a video but cannot offer hands on training of any kind. The instructors believe it is imperative to cover hand gun safety more appropriately because hand guns are used for some types of hunting and their short barrel length requires extra precautions. Also side arms are often carried for self-defense by hunters, and a Hunter Education certificate can be used as evidence of appropriate training needed to obtain a concealed carry permit. 

QUESTION: If confirmed, will you support a) continued prohibition of teaching Hand Gun Handling & Safety properly, or b) Allow hands on instruction of Hand Gun Handling & Safety?   

3)      For decades, the Montana Trappers Association has offered high quality Trapper Education courses with a detailed curriculum and Instructor Certification Program. The department is considering recommendations that may substantially alter this program, as well as revise trapping regulations in a number of other ways. 

QUESTION: If confirmed, will you support a requirement that, as regulators, Fish & Game Commissioners attend an educational workshop conducted by MTA prior to the Commission ruling on any changes to existing programs and protocols? 

4)      Quiet Waters: The public meetings have been completed. There is plenty of information on this subject. 

QUESTION: If confirmed, will you support implementation of the Quiet Waters initiative or reject it? 

5)      For years FWP has shown bias in favor of hard left partisan interest groups including Montana Wildlife Federation (and their subsidiaries), Back Country Hunters and Anglers, Montana Sportsmen’s Alliance, Trout Unlimited, Back Country Horsemen, and Montana Bow Hunters Association. While engaged in varying degrees of political activism, some of these organizations do not have broad membership nor do they represent balanced objectivity concerning the broad range of sportsmen who participate in the activities these groups associate themselves with.

QUESTION: Will you insist on equally engaging non partisan and also conservative-leaning sportsmens’ organizations in order to avoid bias and bring balance into the FWP decision making processes? If so, how would you do this?

Thank you very much for your willingness to serve, and for taking time to offer a response.


Sen. Jennifer Fielder
Montana State Senate - District 7, R-Thompson Falls

Chair – Senate Fish & Game Committee
Vice Chair – Senate Judiciary Committee
Member – Senate Natural Resources Committee
Member – Legislative Administration Committee
Member – Committee on Committees

Mobile Phone: 406 210 5944

For more info, please connect with me at: or visit the official legislature web site  at

NOTICE: Legislators are publicly elected officials. Legislator emails sent or received involving legislative business, may be subject to the Right to Know provisions of Montana’s Constitution and may be considered a “public record” pursuant to Montana law. As such, email sent or received, its sender and receiver, and the email’s contents, may be subject to public disclosure, except as otherwise provided by Montana law.


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