Monday, June 24, 2024

Ballot Initiative-193 would land in federal court

| January 18, 2024 12:00 AM

Initiative-193 appears to be a do-over of HB 241, a bill that would have required the Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission to allow hunting by non-tribal members on fee lands within the exterior boundaries of an Indian reservation. I-193 would grant a benefit to a limited number of landowners, at the expense of the rest of Montana’s citizens.

HB 241 was introduced by Representative Joe Read in the 67th Legislature. Representative Read missed an important step in drafting this bill, which was to consult with the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, which he had an obligation to do as their representative of HD 93, which is entirely on the Flathead Reservation.

Opening the Flathead Reservation for a few big game hunters could be at the expense of all the bird hunters and anglers who rely on the MT-CSKT Fish & Game Agreement to access CSKT lands and waters, and the thousands of non-Indians who use CSKT campsites and recreation lands. Passage would lead us back to federal court (see CSKT v. MT & K L Cool).

Don't be duped into signing this ballot Initiative that didn't pass in the Environmental Quality Council oversight committee.

Shelly Fyant, House District 91 Candidate