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FWP Related Laws

Montana Code Annotated (MCA) are the laws of the state of Montana that are enacted by the Montana Legislature. Listed below are the MCA that apply to Montana FWP.

Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) are agency regulations, standards or statements of applicability that implement, interpret, or set law or policy. An agency can also adopt administrative rules that describe the organization, procedures or practice requirements of the agency. Agencies are given rulemaking authority through the legislative process.

In most cases, ARM are where you will find more specific processes, rules and regulations for many activities and operations state departments and the public are involved with. ARM related to Montana FWP are described below.

MCA, Title 87

Title 87 of the Montana Code contains the bulk of the laws under which FWP operates and enforces.

Chapter 1 contains the laws governing the organization and operation of the Department and Fish & Wildlife Commission, authority and jurisdiction, finances, fines and penalties, state-federal partnerships and the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

Chapter 2 contains the laws governing the issuance and use of wildlife licenses and permits for hunting, fishing and trapping as well as those governing License Agents.

Chapter 3 contains the laws - restrictions and regulations - pertaining to hunting, fishing and trapping in Montana.

Other regulations passed by the Department and Commission are printed as the annual regulations, and can be found under the appropriate headings of this site (e.g., "Hunting", " Fishing", etc.), as well as printing and distributed through FWP offices and authorized license agents.

Chapter 4 covers permits, restrictions and regulations as they pertain to commercial activities that involve wildlife or wildlife-related activities, such as Alternative Livestock, Game Bird Farms, Taxidermy, Fur Farms, etc.

Chapter 5 deals with laws for the protection and conservation of wildlife, for instance, non-game wildlife, endangered species, importation, introduction and transplantation of species, stream protection, TIP-MONT (Fish and Wildlife Crimestoppers), etc.

MCA, Title 23

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks also has jurisdiction over state park sites and other property it owns, as well as many outdoor recreational activities, such as boating, snowmobiling, and Off-Highway Vehicle operations. FWP also enforces the laws pertaining to recreational use of streams and caves.

Title 23 of the Montana Code is where you'll find the laws pertaining to parks and recreation.

Chapter 1 contains the parks laws that govern the organization, operation, management and regulatory authority of state parks and fishing access sites.

Chapter 2, Part 3 contains the laws governing the recreational use of Montana streams.

Chapter 2, Part 5 contains the boating and water safety laws and regulations.

Chapter 2, Part 6 contains the snowmobile laws and regulations.

Chapter 2, Part 8 contains the off-highway vehicle laws and regulations.

MCA, Title 37

Outfitters and Guides are considered professional occupations in Montana. As such, the Montana Board of Outfitters under the Department of Labor and Industry governs them. However, due to the nature of the profession - dealing closely with the environment and wildlife resources - Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is granted authority to enforce laws and regulations that govern their operations and activities.

Chapter 47 contains the Outfitter and Guide laws.

Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM)

ARM are those rules and regulations that can be enacted and enforced by state departments and commissions under processes outlined in state law. The authority to do this is granted by the Legislature.

In most cases, ARM are where you will find more specific processes, rules and regulations for many activities and operations state departments and the public are involved with. ARM that pertain to the public's participation in hunting, fishing, trapping, parks and recreation are included in FWP publications available to the public at no cost, such as the annual hunting and trapping regulations, annual fishing regulations, and park and recreation pamphlets and brochures. Many of these can also be found on-line at this Web site.

An index of the ARM pertaining to FWP can be found here , and you can click on the active links to take you to your area of interest. This site is still being developed, and not all FWP ARM are currently available on-line. For assistance in obtaining those that are not available on-line, please contact the FWP Legal Unit or the Montana State Library.