New Montana Laws Affect Hunters
Montana's 57th Legislature addressed many issues of interest to hunters and landowners. Here is a brief summary of new legislation associated with the resources FWP manages.

Cooperation Among FWP, Landowners, and Hunters
• HB 454 — Authorizes non-transferable elk permits for landowners who enter hunting-access agreements with FWP and directs FWP to issue four permits for public use on that land.
• SB 304 – Clarifies the scope of and revises the funding criteria for the Upland Game Bird Habitat Enhancement program.
• SB 437 — Authorizes supplemental game-damage licenses when FWP and a landowner agree to the need. Allows a landowner to designate up to 75 percent of the resident license recipients with the remainder to be offered in a manner determined by FWP.

Funding to Enhance or Maintain Programs for Hunters and Anglers
• HB 554 — Increases nonresident hunting and fishing license fees to bring Montana's fees in line with other Western states and to reverse a revenue decline that would otherwise force cuts in services and staff.
• SB 285 — Creates a hunting-access enhancement fee of $2 for residents and $10 for nonresidents for Montana's Hunting Access Program and increases incentives for landowners in the Block Management Program.

FWP Management Authority and Responsibility
• HB 142 — Grants the FWP Commission authority to adopt rules limiting the number of nonresident mountain lion hunters in northwestern Montana's Region 1.
• HB 492 — Authorizes FWP to manage the prairie dog on public land as a nongame species, while still allowing the Department of Agriculture to manage the prairie dog as a pest, to reduce the potential for its listing under the Endangered Species Act.
• SB 163 — Removes the wolf and lynx from Montana's list of predators to maintain or regain FWP's management authority, rather than having management authority exercised by the federal government. It further allows a landowner to protect livestock from active grizzly bear attacks.
• SB 431 — Provides that certain nongame wildlife may not be taken for commercial purposes without FWP authorization.

Revisions, Amendments and Special Projects
• HB 451 — Revises regulations for hunting by persons with disability requirements for permits to hunt from a vehicle.
• SB 104 — Amends four enforcement statutes: 1) clarifies that loss of privileges may be a penalty for waste of game; 2) allows wardens to cite dog owners when the dog chases deer or elk; 3) prohibits intentionally, or negligently continuing, to feed bears; and 4) requires identification on all traps.

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