Monday, January 31, 2011

Even More Bison Bills!

Here's this week's round up.

SB 174 SENATE Fish and Game Committee Tuesday, February 1, Room 422, 3 PM
Primary sponsor is Senator Gene Vuckovich is a Democrat from Anaconda: mt.sd43@gmail.com. Prohibit spending Montana tax dollars "to relocate or transplant wild buffalo or bison" on Spotted Dog Wildlife Management Area, near Avon, west of Helena. According to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks: "The primary goal of Montana's Wildlife Management Areas is to maintain vital wildlife habitat for the protection of species and the enjoyment of the public." All too often cattle are grazed on these habitats purchased by all Montanans for their wildlife habitat values.

SB 184 SENATE Fish and Game Committee Tuesday, February 1, Room 422, 3 PM
Primary sponsor is Senator Kendall Van Dyk a Democrat from Billings: kvandyk@mt.gov. Changes current law to permit "the use of bows and arrows" to hunt wild buffalo in Montana.

HB 214 HOUSE Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee Tuesday, February 1, Room 152, 3 PM
Primary sponsor is Rep. Bill Harris is a Republican from Mosby: bharris@midrivers.com. Legally reclassifies all wild buffalo or bison in the state not in captivity, and not owned by a person as livestock. "Shall" meaning requires the Dept. of Livestock inspectors to capture, quarantine, test, slaughter, take by special hunt, or transfer to Tribes said "estrayed" buffalo "in a manner that does not jeopardize compliance with a state-administered or federally administered livestock disease control program." Based on previous statements by Montana's state veterinarian, this latter statement means that Tribes would only be eligible to take neutered or spayed buffalo. Two provisions of honorable mention in HB 214 would repeal 81-2-120 (Management of wild buffalo for disease control giving Montana Dept. of Livestock authority for all migratory populations) and 87-1-216 (Montana's hunt of wild buffalo or bison for disease control). HB 214 also repeals 81-2-121 the taking of public buffalo on private property, and the prohibition on intentional feeding "game animals in a manner that results in artificial concentration of game animals that may potentially contribute to the transmission of disease." The Dept. of Livestock is exempt from this prohibition on feeding wildlife.

If you can't attend these critical hearings, please call and contact Montana legislators via this number: (406) 444-4800


All committee member emails are located at the bottom of this page:
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/legislative/montanalegislature2011.html

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