MTU Gov’t Affairs Director, Clayton Elliott, speaks out on AIS funding

The Montana State Legislature is grappling with funding mechanisms to support aquatic invasive species prevention.  Anglers should be eager to pay their share in fighting AIS. Clayton Elliott states,“Outdoor recreation and the angling community is a significant industry in Montana that stands to lose a lot, just like agriculture, our municipalities, etc, etc. The difference is we’re the only ones being asked to pay. The burden can’t just be on anglers and recreationalists.”

Check out MTPR’s coverage of AIS funding.

MTU’s Grassroots Warriors Help Get I-186 on the November Ballot

It takes more than 25,000 valid signatures from registered voters in Montana to qualify an initiative for the ballot.  A minimum number of those signatures have to come from at least 34 of the House Districts in Montana.  Never before has HD29, which includes Lewistown, produced enough signatures to help an initiative get on the ballot.  That changed with I-186 and our Snowy Mountain chapter.  After training to be signature gatherers about half a dozen Snowy Mountain chapter volunteers gathered about 150% of the necessary signatures in HD29.  That success is an example of the great effort many chapter members put in to bring our campaign total to more than 45,000 signatures and easily qualifying I-186 for the November 6, 2018 ballot. 

Now that MTU, participating TU chapters, members, and our many partners have cleared this major hurdle, it’s time to inform and turn out voters.  We don’t have space in a single newsletter to let you know about all the events and ways there are to get involved.  So here’s how to keep apace of what’s happening and how you can help make a difference:  Visit the campaign website (https://www.yeson186.org/) to learn more, volunteer, and donate.  Visit, share, like, and comment on the campaign Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/yeson186/).  Or, contact us directly anytime ([email protected]; i[email protected]).

Most of all, remember, MTU is supporting I-186 because it brings a much-needed, common-sense change to hard-rock mine permitting in Montana that will better protect the clean water our native and wild trout depend on.  It will also reduce the taxpayer burden of cleaning up and paying for permanent treatment of polluted water.  That money is yours and mine and could, and should, be spent elsewhere on the many programs statewide that ensure we have clean, cold, healthy streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands for generations to come.

Take action and tell Congress to #SaveLWCF

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is our country’s premier program to fund public access, fish and wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation. Since 1965, LWCF has poured more than $16 billion into local communities – including $597 million in Montana – to provide funding for everything from public land acquisitions to developing local outdoor recreation sites.

Chances are that if you have spent time outdoors at a fishing access site, state park, local open space, or public lands, you’ve directly benefitted from the LWCF. In fact, when you float fish in Montana you’re probably using an LWCF-funded access site, since half of all such sites in the state have benefitted from this funding source.  Unfortunately, LWCF is set to expire on September 30th unless Congress takes action to reauthorize the program.

Montana’s delegation supports reauthorizing LWCF, but they need to know that the program is a top priority for sportsmen and women. Contact our members of Congress and urge them do all they can to permanently reauthorize LWCF before it expires.

A phone call takes just a minute but can make a big difference, so call today. Senator Tester: (202) 224-2644; Senator Daines: (202) 224-2651; Representative Gianforte: (202) 225-3211

Todd Frank of the Trail Head discusses fall fishing

A big thanks to Todd Frank at the Trail Head in Missoula for the fun and helpful thoughts on fall fishing.  As Todd shared on The Trail 103.3 radio river report this morning: “the rivers need you as much as you need that pfd.”  Learn how you can help out Montana rivers by heading to the Trail Head for a presentation, conversation, and celebration of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, as well as other public land and water issues on Sept. 14.  Listen to Todd’s river report, below, for the full scoop.