I’ve just been informed-“After seeing the groundswell of people wanting to testify against HB 309 Rep Jeff Wellborn (Republican, Dillion) and The Montana Farm Bureau played politics and pushed the Senate Ag committee to change the pre-approved hearing date so that it could coincide with a Montana Farm Bureau meeting in Helena. The hearing and rally are now set for March 8th! So….we’ll still be there on the third, and we’ll be there on the 8th”…Thanks Mike
Looking to get drunk and kick some ass this weekend? Come on down to Helena…..find Jeff Wellborn (Republican-Dillon) and Sen. Chas Vincent (Republican-Libby). They are the main Legislative reason for this bill even existing….they’ll probably be at the Silver Star drinking high-dollar scotch.
Its not our mission to mix business and politics and we will not make a habit of it, but this is extremely important….
Here in 2011, Montanan’s find themselves combating what has become the biannual assault from a small group of legislators-backed by rich non-local land owners- who strive to compromise our water to appease a circle of a chosen few. This bill promises to pit Montanan’s against Montanan’s, creating a battle that makes honest Ranchers (the true heart of Montana) look like the bad guys.
In all seriousness, this bill is vicious, and it disintegrates Montanan’s river and stream rights and access. Here’s the premiss:
HB 309 wants to classify any river, stream, side-channel, or slough, in which returning irrigated water is the primary flow, as private water……essentially as a drainage ditch. This bill is so over-encompassing and unilateral that it would virtually extinguish small stream and creek fishing anywhere in Montana that is not classified as wilderness area or national forest……no joke.
Just to scratch the surface….you would be an outlaw if you fished, swam, or recreated in the following:
Main stem and side-channel flows of the Beaverhead (ever heard of it?), Milk, Yellowstone (ever heard of it?), Jefferson (ever heard of it?), Gallatin (heard of this one?), and Upper Clark Fork (how about this one?).
It would make the Sun River off limits.
It would classify the Bitterroot River, which, during irrigation season, has a flow comprised of 75% returned irrigated water, as a DRAINAGE DITCH
Rattlesnake Creek in Missoula….Gone
Fleshmen’s in Livingston….Gone
Don’t just take my word for it…..here’s what Bob Lane, chief legal council for Montana’s Fish, Wildlife, and Parks had to say during his address to the House AG Sub-committee.
It’s unbelievable to me that Montana politicians would back such drastic changes in water rights. Fishing generates $300 Million annually for the state….and thats just fishing!! Outdoor recreation and tourism are arguably Montana’s #1 asset; if this bill were passed it would put a tourniquet on this cash flow.
Speak your mind…..Tuesday, March 8th, Capital Building in Helena; Old Supreme Court Chambers, Room 303, 2 p.m.
Please, pretty please, with f***ing sugar on top, go to this meeting on March 8th
Adipose Boatworks, the new, better, Drift Boats