Please, outdoor enthusiasts, pay attention to your legislature. For 39 years, my husband covered outdoor recreation in the newspaper. His concern always was that both the Montana resident using the public lands and the outfitter who brought in out-of-state enthusiasts were able to use the state's wildlife resource. He looked for fairness and equality for both sides. Sadly, over the years, he saw a huge push where personal economics and state economics became more important than protecting the public Montana hunter or fishermen.
As the years have passed since his death there has been a push through the Legislature to discredit departments that use biology, lawful protection and care of our public lands. So much of what is brought up in the Legislature forgets our heritage of fair chase, fair use and fair play.
Those who introduce changes to our laws should not be influenced by tourist dollars or lobbying to take away fair use for Montana’s residents. Nowhere in our laws or constitution should there be more favor or influence given to those that make dollars from using our public resources, even though those resources may be on private property. Paid lobbyists should not have more influence on our elected officials than our ordinary Montana citizens.
Our phone has rung for many years as residents discovered that their favorite location to recreate was no longer available unless they “pay to play”.
Use your voice to call or email those who make the rules or laws and educate yourself on what is being done with our valuable resource. So, I ask each of you to pay attention before you lose all of what you have.