Radio Ads to Lawmakers: Listen to Voters and Restore Conservation Funds

Montana Wildlife Federation has launched a new radio ad campaign to push back on legislative attempts to divert revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana away from popular public access programs.

Two such bills are being heard in committee this week.  House Bill 670, sponsored by Rep. Skees, R-Kalispell, and House Bill 701, sponsored by Rep. Mike Hopkins, R-Missoula, would each make significant changes to the successful ballot initiative law that legalized recreational marijuana last November.

And both contain fatal errors according to Frank Szollosi, Executive Director of Montana Wildlife Federation.

“HB 670 and 701 are dead on arrival because they leave out critical funds that voters intended to go toward public access, working farms and ranches, and our state parks and trails,” said Szollosi.  “It’s really very simple.  If lawmakers want to successfully rewrite the ballot initiative this session they need to take more direction from voters on where those revenues go.”

To make their point, Montana Wildlife Federation will air a new radio ad starting tomorrow on stations in Great Falls, Billings, Helena and the Flathead.

The radio ad features 5th generation rancher John Rumney, owner of Rumney Cattle Company, who used the Habitat Montana program in 2018 to place a conservation easement on nearly 4,000 acres of family ranchland.

In the ad, Rumney says boosting the Habitat Montana account as voters intended will benefit more ranchers and hunters and result in more public access.

“It’s time to listen to voters,” says Rumney. “Lawmakers in Helena should restore funds intended to help landowners and hunters find more common ground.”

The radio ads compliment a series of billboards that have been running throughout Helena since early March (photo attached).  

Those billboards direct lawmakers to the online campaign called SaveMyGreatOudoors where hundreds of images and personal testimonials discuss the growing need for more dedicated funding for conservation programs and public lands.  

Contact: Frank Szollosi, 406.417.9909

 

Photo by Kyle Mlynar.

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Alec Underwood

Federal Conservation Campaigns Director

Alec is responsible for developing and implementing MWF’s federal conservation advocacy and policy campaigns to protect Montana’s fish and wildlife. He spends most of his free time hunting big game and fly fishing Montana’s cherished trout rivers. He also enjoys backpacking, skiing, photography, and woodworking. 

alec@mtwf.org