The Migratory Bird Stamp Act, enacted by the Montana Legislature in 1985, authorizes the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to use funds from migratory bird hunting licenses “…for the protection, conservation, and development of wetlands in Montana.” A citizen-based Wetland Protection Advisory Council provides program oversight.
Wetlands are a declining resource in Montana; approximately one third of our original wetlands have been lost, primarily to draining and filling. Wetlands provide critical ecosystem functions important for our communities and our wildlife, including water purification, flood control, and groundwater recharge. They also provide critical foraging, brood-rearing, and migration habitat for waterfowl and other wetland-associated wildlife. Associated uplands provide important nesting habitat for waterfowl and contribute to the water quality and function of wetlands. The Migratory Bird Wetland Program is dedicated to conserving wetlands and associated uplands to benefit Montana’s wildlife, especially migratory birds, and enhance hunting and other compatible recreational opportunities.