Letter to Senator John Brendan Chair Evironmental Quality Council.

August 12, 2014

Dear Sen. John Brendan, Chair, Environmental Quality Council,  

This letter is on behalf of the Headwaters Sportsman Association which is a grassroots organization started in 1996 dedicated to promoting increased opportunities for Montana resident hunters and anglers. We have over 150 members who are Montana residents. Almost all of us vote and pay taxes.

We are in nearly complete, unanimous agreement about the need to fund our Fish, Wildlife and Parks at the current expenditure level or higher. We strongly urge your Council to forward to the Legislature HB 609 as developed by the Licensing and funding Advisory Council.

Our members have no problem paying more for licenses to expand FWP earmarked programs such as Habitat Montana, Block Management and the Upland Game Bird program. We do not want these earmarked funds diverted for any other purpose. Most of our members think these programs should be significantly increased now.

We want improved and expanded wildlife habitat and increased opportunities to hunt and fish. We know that Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks is one of our strongest allies when it comes to programs that improve our hunting and fishing opportunities and we support increased FW&P revenue.

I know it seems strange to hear tax payers ask for an increase in their fees, but that is exactly what the resident hunters and anglers are saying. Please listen to our requests and forward HB 609 to the legislature.

We also know that no organization, neither public nor private, makes perfect decisions every time when it comes to wildlife management. But we feel a strong, well-funded Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department is in the best interest of Montana to help build consensus among all of the various stakeholder groups. No other organization can do what they do when developing policies that can be accepted by all parties.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I would be more than happy to discuss this bill or any other Montana sportsmen’s issue with you at any time.



Shannon Taylor, Secretary

Headwaters Sportsman Association

PO Box 1941

Bozeman, MT 59771-1941


Sent via email to hstockwell@mt.gov and write "HB 609 Licensing Study" in the subject line of the email.