Access Issues,    HB 309,    montana stream access

Assault on Montana Stream Access Ends As HB 309 Tabled in Committee (yay!)

Posted by Tom Chandler 3/22/2011

The latest assault on Montana's enlightened stream access laws appears to have gone the way of the Dodo bird, and for once, extinction looks pretty good (from the Ravalli Republic):

The Montana Legislature's House Bill 309 reopened a simmering dispute over a slough running through the Bitterroot Valley property of 1980's rocker Huey Lewis and others. The courts ruled several years ago that the slough be open to fishermen under the state's stream access law.

Ranchers and others had sought to make clear that irrigation ditches are not open to anglers. But anglers argued the legislative proposal would have closed to access more than just ditches.

The measure had cleared the House, only to face a large crowd of opponents in the Senate. It was tabled late Tuesday in an 8-3 vote in the Senate agriculture committee.

I'm sure someone will launch a new attack on stream access, but for now, we get to fish.

See you on the river (legally), Tom Chandler.

AuthorPicture

Tom Chandler

As the author of the decade leading fly fishing blog Trout Underground, Tom believes that fishing is not about measuring the experience but instead of about having fun. As a staunch environmentalist, he brings to the Yobi Community thought leadership on environmental and access issues facing us today.

If you haven't yet, write Montana's governor and tell him you're tired of footing the bill for this bullshit:email: governor@mt.gov
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Is there a game plan for defending the end run for me to spread around to my community in time to do some good? I run a fly shop down here in NM with lots of folks interested in what happens up there.
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Thanks for all the press and interest on HB 309. Unfortunately there's now talk of "blasting" the bill onto the Senate floor for full Senate vote. Hopefully this procedural end run will not come to pass. It died in the Senate committee because anglers, guides, outfitters and sportsmen rallied and made their voices heard. But as always, it seems we won the battle but the war continues. Don't be silent. ... more Ever. Like conservation, politics is a continuum.
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Thanks Tom for your support. You rule. Just a reminder that we appreciate all that you do in respect to fishing issues on the inter-web!
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Thank you for staying at your guard post. "They" are always out there, waiting for us to drop our dukes. Cheers.
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A whole raft of Montana/Northern Rockies blogs did most of the heavy lifting, and deserve any online credit for organizing fly fishing's rampaging hordes against HB 309. Chi Wulff, Headhunter, WillFishForWork, Fly Fishing in Yellowstone and a few others (who will likely hate me for forgetting them) did good work on this one.
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Good work Tom! Your publicity to the issue, I'm sure, played a big part in rallying the fisherpersons. My guess is that the three voters, not to table, are just winking at their constituents as they take contributions from the likes of Bad News Huey and his ilk.
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