Friday, September 11, 1998After several months' work, Montana's Private Land/Public Wildlife Advisory Council has proposed for initial public review and comment five draft recommendations that address Fish, Wildlife & Parks' Block Management (hunter access) Program and growth of the outfitting industry.
The advisory council will solicit public comment on these recommendations through October 23. The council will develop final recommendations in November for submission to the Governor in the form of a final report in December. Any resulting legislative proposals will be introduced during Montana's 1999 legislative session.
Individuals wishing to comment can do so either in oral or written form to any individual council member (see list below) or, for distribution to all council members, by sending written comments to: PL/PW Council Comments, FWP--Alan Charles, 1420 East Sixth Ave., P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.
In keeping with the council's charge--to "review the progress of, and make recommendations concerning...HB 195 programs and related issues...,"--the council's recommendations are focused on the following issues:
- Extending FWP's Block Management Program and providing for additional funding through resident and nonresident hunting license fees in response to increased landowner and hunter interest in program participation;
- Stabilizing the outfitting industry by limiting new growth and providing for more balanced representation on the Board of Outfitters;
- Allowing for better distribution of nonresident landowner-sponsored Deer Combination Licenses among the pool of applicants; and
- Addressing the growing pressure upland game bird hunting is placing on access to private lands by increasing bird hunting license fees to generate additional revenues for the Block Management Program and making nonresident bird hunting license fees more consistent with those in neighboring states.
Following are the council's five initial recommendations concerning these issues:
- Reauthorize the existence of the enhanced Block Management Program for an additional three years, by extending the enabling statute's sunset date from October 1, 2001, to March 1, 2004.
- Provide for additional funding for the Block Management Program to allow for an increase of about one-third in the size of the program (at a cost of approximately $1 million-$1.5 million) through revenues generated from both resident and nonresident hunters. (Funding options are presented for public comment below.)
- Extend the moratorium on licensing of new outfitters for three more years.
- Establish a limit of 10 (present limit of 20) nonresident hunters a landowner can sponsor when those hunters purchase landowner-sponsored Deer Combination Licenses. The limit would be effective July 1, 1999, and would be independent of the proposed moratorium placed on new outfitters.
- Propose that the Board of Outfitters be restructured by adding two new members (one a landowner who does not allow outfitted hunting or charge a fee for hunting on his or her property and one a sportsman at-large).
EXPANDED BLOCK MANAGEMENT FUNDING OPTIONS
developed by the Private Land/Public Wildlife Advisory Council August 1998
The following options were developed as mechanisms to generate additional funding for Montana's expanded Block Management Program. The Private Land/Public Wildlife Advisory Council is recommending that enough revenue be generated to allow for a one-third increase in the size of the Block Management Program, at a cost of approximately $1 million-$1.5 million. This would allow for enrollment of approximately 300 new landowners in the program, or approximately 2.5 million additional acres.
A. Increase the cost of an Upland Game Bird License for both residents and nonresidents, with the additional revenues earmarked for Block Management. Resident Bird License: $10(a $4 increase)=$135,000 Nonres. Bird License: $90(a $35 increase)=$330,000 TOTAL NEW BLOCK MANAGEMENT REVENUE =$450,000 (rounded)
B-1. Establish a Block Management User Stamp, required for all resident and nonresident hunters who hunt on Block Management lands. Resident User Stamp ($10-$15)=$500,000 to $750,000 Nonres. User Stamp ($30-$45)=$350,000 to $500,000 TOTAL NEW BLOCK MANAGEMENT REVENUE = $900,000
B-2. Replace the current Conservation License with three new alternative "Access/Habitat" Licenses (Hunting-only/Fishing-only/Combination) and earmark approximately three-fourths of all new revenue beyond what is currently generated by the sale of Conservation Licenses for the expansion of the Block Management Program, with the remainder earmarked for fishing access/habitat programs. Resident: Fishing/$4; Hunting/$5; Combo/$8 New Block Management revenue = $400,000 Nonres: Fishing/$5; Hunting/$10; Combo/$15 New Block Management revenue = $500,000 TOTAL NEW BLOCK MANAGEMENT REVENUE = $900,000
C. None of the above--NO ADDITIONAL BLOCK MANAGEMENT FUNDING WOULD BE SOUGHT.
MONTANA PRIVATE LAND/PUBLIC WILDLIFE ADVISORY COUNCIL
|MS. JEAN KELLY 320 KIENAS RD KALISPELL MT 59901 |
MS. DARLYNE DASCHER 185 N ROCKCREEK RD FORT PECK MT 59223-7000
MR. TONY CARROCCIA PO BOX 733 BIG TIMBER MT 59011-0733
MR. STEVE ROTH PO BOX 489 BIG SANDY MT 59520
MR. DAVE COLE 6040 FERRY DRIVE HELENA MT 59601
MR. LONNIE MCCURDIE 413 S. MICHIGAN CONRAD MT 59425
SENATOR JOHN HERTEL PO BOX 30 MOORE MT 59464
|REP. EMILY SWANSON 15042 KELLY CANYON RD BOZEMAN MT 59715 |
MR CECIL NOBLE 610 PATRICK CREEK KALISPELL MT 59901
MR. VERLE RADEMACHER PO BOX 349 WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS MT 59645
MR TOM HOUGEN PO BOX 127 MELSTONE MT 59054
MR LEE GUSTAFSON 2133 FAIRWAY DR BILLINGS MT 59102
MR RAY MARXER 9500 BLACKTAIL RD DILLON MT 59725
MR JOHN WILKINSON HC40, BOX 6241 MILES CITY MT 59301