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In Montana, most families hunt, fish, or recreate on public lands and waters. But they are an overlooked constituency. Special interests hoping to profit from privatizing public land and wildlife often prevail. But you can be an important part of standing up for true public interest.

Every two years the legislature meets and considers important access bills. The 2013 session is now in progress and there is a lot going on. Follow bills, attend committee hearings, and contact legislators. They are often callous to professional lobbyists, so citizen testimony can carry the day. Someone once said “The world is run by people who show up and speak up.” For public access, nothing could be more correct.

Tracking Bills. This legislative website provides the full text of bills and a way of tracking the progress of bills as they proceed through committees and the floor - and, if they make it that far, if signed or vetoed by the Governor. There is a wealth of info on this site. Just Google Montana legislature to get started.

To look for fishing and hunting bills scroll down to "Basic Searching for Bills.” Select search by “Fish and Wildlife" on pull down menu. Click it and you will get lists of all introduced and unintroduced bill. Click on "Bill Type – Number" in left hand column to get detail on bill.

You can use this page to track bills throughout the session! Click around a little bit and you will get the hang of it right away.

Contacting legislators. E-mailing and calling representatives is very effective! A complete list of legislators and contact information can be found on the legislative website

ONE CALL DOES IT ALL . To call and leave a message for up to five legislators or all members of a committee call (406) 444-4800. A slip with the message will be given to the legislator. (Fax numbers are 444-4825 for the House and 444-4875 for the Senate.)

To email individual legislators through the website go to this link:


Snail mail addresses are:
Montana House of Representatives, PO Box 200400, Helena, MT 59620-400 or
Montana Senate, PO Box 200500, Helena, MT 59620-500

Contacting the Governor. Governor Bullock can be contacted at Capital Station, Helena, MT 59620 or governor@mt.gov or 444-3111 . Let him know if you want a bill signed or vetoed .

related articles

Ruby River Stream Access Victory
( 07/01/2016 )   7/1/2016PLWA, once again, has been victorious in the battle for the public's stream access on the Ruby River, from the Seyler Lane Bridge, likely the original stagecoach route from Salt Lake City, north to Virginia City and Helena.It has been over a decade that PLWA (formerly known as PLAAI) has been involved in a lawsuit over public access to the Ruby River from Seyler Lane and the Seyler Bridge, a public prescriptive easement right-of-way in Madison County.

"Dark Money" Brought to Light
( 07/01/2016 )   The June-July, Newscasts section of Fly Fisherman reported on the recent investigation by Montana's Commissioner of Political Practices, Jonathan Motl, into a dark money campaign that could overturn Montana's Stream Access.Fly Fisherman recounted the Montana Growth Network's campaign contributions to District Judge Laurie McKinnon's run for our Montana Supreme Court.

public land issues

Seyler Lane Update
9/24/2015Seyler Bridge Easement - More Than Just RecreationUpdate - Kennedys attorney requested a postponement of the September 21 hearing.

Tenderfoot - Four Years and Counting
9/24/2015Tenderfoot Creek is a tributary of the Smith River, joining the Smith a mile or so north of Camp Baker.

    18 more public land issues

Montana State Capitol

Public Land/Water Access Association Inc. or PLWA, is a citizen group organized and operated under the Montana nonprofit corporation act.

Articles and Information on this site represent the opinion of the writer and are not intended as legal advice. Legal counsel may be needed in dealing with specific access situations and issues.
      PLWA.ORG   -   Public Land & Water Association