Elk NetworkLegislative Update

Conservation , Volunteer News | May 20, 2020

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is monitoring approximately three dozen bills in 11 different states deemed a priority in relation to our mission. RMEF advocacy efforts take many forms including providing public testimony, offering written comment, working with bill sponsors, engaging state wildlife agencies and the governor’s office, working with sportsmen coalitions and distributing alerts to RMEF members.

Below is a brief summary of RMEF advocacy efforts over the last several months.

National

  • joined the Hunt Fish 30×30 coalition in advocating for hunting and fishing priorities in the administration’s 30×30 Initiative, including access to public lands, recognizing multi-use lands for conservation benefits and respecting private lands and the conservation work on them
  • joined more than 75 bipartisan members of the House of Representatives and a number of outdoor and conservation groups in support of the Trillion Trees Act, a bill seeking to conserve, restore and grow one trillion trees worldwide
  • took part in a national virtual discussion advocating for wildlife overpasses and underpasses to improve safety for elk, other wildlife and drivers alike, and urged Congress to provide funding for the issue
  • joined 248 other organizations from across the nation in a letter addressed to ranking Senate committee members in support of USDA Wildlife Services, which works to prevent, minimize or manage the more than $12.8 billion in annual damage caused by wildlife

California

  • supported AB 804 which would require the California Department of Fish and Wildlife director to designate two days each year as “free hunting days”

Montana

  • provided testimony in support of HB 647, since signed into law, that allows many non-resident students attending college in Montana to purchase hunting and fishing licenses at a resident rate
  • defeated HB 677 after RMEF sent email blast to membership in opposition to the bill, which would have prohibited nonprofit organizations (with the exception of a few) from purchasing any land classified as agricultural from willing landowners in the state of Montana

North Dakota

  • supported HB 1162, since signed into law, relating to permitting an organization conducting raffles in the state to sell raffle tickets online and to accept electronic payments for raffle ticket purchases

Oregon

  • testified in support of ODFW funding to be used to acquire 15,700 acres of critical fish and wildlife habitat and establish the Minam River Wildlife Area, as a match to RMEF’s grant for the project