Following find state recreation and parks bills that will face action in our legislature within the week.  For more detail go to https://leg.mt.gov/ and look up the bills.

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General Legislative Questions: 406.444.3064. Technical Questions (i.e. website, streaming): 406-444-0912

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HB 184
 Would revise bicycle safety laws including the wearing of high visibility colors on highways with speed limit in excess of 35 MPH, ride on shoulder or the right had half of the right lane, lights required on front and back of bicycles at night,  and 5-foot safe passing distance.  Hearing Today February 18 in Senate Highways and Transportation Committee, 3 PM.

HB 272 could have very negative effects.  Would allow a person to register a motor vehicle for up to 5 years.  The "sticker shock" could have a negative impact on the $9 optional fees collected for State Parks operation and maintenance, Trail Enhancement Grant Program, Fishing Access sites, and specialty license plates that partially fund non-profit organizations. Passed House committee and scheduled for 2nd reading Today February 18.

HB 420 would require Montana Department of Transportation to adopt administrative rules defining and specifyingstandards for designated bicycle lanes and routes.  Hearing February 22, House Transportation Committee.

SB 153 would transfer administration of fishing access sites and administration of recreational and commercial use of wildlife management areas to the state parks and recreation board; requiring two board members to be business owners; revising enforcement provisions; revising requirements for construction project approval; requiring improvements at fishing access sites to be reviewed for habitat impacts; revising rulemaking authority; requiring purchase of a wildlife conservation license for certain land use and decreasing its price.  Hearing February 19, 2:30 Pm, Senate Natural Resources Committee. 

Join Diane Conradi and I on Facebook Live at the Montana Access Project page at: https://www.facebook.com/MTAccess  at 11AM every other Thursday.  We will be hosting these events until the end of April.  Tune in to hear the latest legislative updates and in-depth analysis from long time experts tracking the outdoor recreation issues you care about!

Bob Walker for

Montana Trails Coalition and

Montana Trails, Recreation and Parks Association