Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Governor Bullock on SB 264

Thank You Governor Bullock!!!

From: Governor Bullock <governor@mt.gov>

Thank you for contacting me about your concerns with Senate Bill 264, an act to revise rulemaking for reporting to Board of Outfitters. On April 3, 2017, I vetoed this legislation.

SB 264 would limit reporting by outfitters to information only related to professional licensing, and would have precluded reporting of information that is important to the state, hunters and anglers, and all Montanans. This included information like acreage leased by outfitters, general locations where outfitters are providing services to hunters and anglers, and harvest rates. The bill eliminates reporting requirements that I added to law via amendatory veto of House Bill 274 (HB 274) in 2013, as well as the rules that the MBO implemented to gather additional data.

Accurate, credible data indicating where licensed outfitters operate is essential to helping the public, FWP, and the Montana Board of Outfitters (MBO). This includes allowing the Board of Outfitters and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to provide high quality data, rather than anecdotal assumptions, when public policy issues arise. Both outfitted and non-outfitted hunting interact to affect game management, season setting, access to public land, public hunting opportunities, and other resources.

Because the commercial activities of licensed outfitters depend upon the use of public wildlife resources regulated by the department and the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission, the importance of this type of information remains relevant. If SB 264 were to become law, the MBO would be prohibited from collecting this information. For these reasons, I vetoed SB 264.

Thanks again for contacting me and for your civic engagement on this important issue. Please feel free to contact me again with any future questions or comments.



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