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 ( to learn more, volunteer, and donate.  Visit, share, like, and comment on the campaign Facebook page (  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.

Rally for the Rivers!

Plans are set! We will meet at 1pm and launch at 2pm on Saturday, August 25th. Launch sites will be:
1. Sha-Ron FAS on the Clark Fork
2. Meet at Sweetwater Fly Shop and launch from Carters Bridge on the Yellowstone
3. Wolf Creek Bridge FAS on the Missouri.

Bring your boat, tube, SUP, kayak, canoe, arm floaties or whatever else you can float on and show Montanan’s support I-186!

Tally shows special session to be a ‘slim shot’

A July 16 special session seems unlikely according to figures posted Monday by the secretary of state’s office, showing 19 Republicans reject the proposal so far, cutting into the majority needed to hold such a meeting. Several republican legislators attempted to call a special session to interfere with two citizen ballot initiatives, I-185 and I-186, they don’t agree with. It would be a complete waste of taxpayer money and the definition of government overreach.

Supporters of the initiatives say lawmakers should let the voters decide and accused lawmakers of bowing to special interest groups.

The Great Falls tribune reports

Protecting trout and clean water is a Montana value

Mining is part of Montana’s heritage, but if mining is going be part of our future, we have to update our state mining laws to represent our Montana values. With citizen’s initiative I-186, Trout Unlimited and our partners in “Yes for Responsible Mining” are working to support mining while also ensuring that the citizens of Montana have a say in protecting our water.

An op-ed from David Brooks, Executive Director of Montana Trout Unlimited 

I-186 supporters bring a boat load of signatures to the State Capitol

YES for Responsible Mining, a group backing I-186, have collected 45,000 signatures from across the state and submitted them to election officials. Under Montana election law, the initiative needed 25,468 signatures, including 5 percent of the voters in 34 state House districts to qualify.

“Not only do the 15 employees working for us depend on the world-class fisheries here in Montana, hundreds of guides rowing our boats depend on the cold and clean water for their livelihood,” said Justin Waayenberg, general manager and CEO of Adipose Boatworks in Helena. “These are good paying manufacturing, outfitting and guiding jobs that support families.”

Helena IR reporting