2021 Legislature Report - Parks & Recreation

TO: Parks and Recreation Friends Groups

FROM: Bob Walker, Montana Trails Coalition and Montana Trails, Recreation & Parks Association

DATE: January 17, 2021

Our 67th Session of the Montana Legislature convened January 4.  We anticipate several bills affecting recreation and parks programs.  We will keep you informed of those bills and their status as the session progresses.  We are currently tracking 52 LCs for which there is no current language, most are very general in description, and many will never receive a bill number.

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Senate Bill 24 (SB 24) Would Increase Funds for All Trails!

By Bob Walker, Chair, Montana Trails Coalition

Senator Terry Gauthier is carrying a bill in the 2019 legislature to increase the voluntary light motor vehicle registration fee.  This change would create a new grant program for trail development, maintenance, and rehabilitation and help state parks and fishing access sites meet their maintenance and operation needs.

The proposal would increase the voluntary light motor vehicle registration fee to state parks from $6 to $10.  The predicted result of this bill would yield $944,000 per year for a new Made-In-Montana grant program administered by Fish, Wildlife & Parks for trails and associated recreation facilities similar to the Recreational Trails grant program.  In addition, SB 24 would increase funding to state parks by $895,000 per year and to fishing access sites by $170,000 per year.

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2019 Legislature Report - Parks & Recreation 01-28-19

On January 17 the Senate Fish and Game Committee heard SB 70 that would remove Headwaters State Park from the primitive parks list. We consider this to be a positive proposal since this park is nationally know for its location on the route of Lewis and Clark Expedition and as the headwaters of the Missouri River.  Taking this park off the list would allow electricity to be installed in the campground, especially important for individuals who rely on medical devices for their health, and would allow for trail and campground road surfacing necessary to meet ADA requirements.

This week Senate Fish and Game committee will hear both SB 24 and SB 102 on January 29.  SB 24, sponsored by Senator Gauthier, is our light motor vehicle registration fee increase from $6 to $9 for trails, state parks, fishing access sites and Virginia/Nevada cities.  This is an excellent bill that will benefit all Montanans now and in the future.

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A User Pays Program!

Thanks to Montana’s Legislature and Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association

By Bob Walker, Editor

Montana Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) owners pay the majority of costs for maintaining and enhancing trails open to OHV recreation in Montana.  Thanks to requests by OHV owners, the 1987 session of the Montana legislature passed Montana’s first OHV registration law that requires all OHVs used on public lands to display a registration decal.  County treasurers deposit moneys collected in a dedicated fund to be used solely for Montana’s OHV program!

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2019 Legislature Report - Parks & Recreation 01-14-19

TO: Parks and Recreation Friends Groups

FROM: Bob Walker, Montana Trails Coalition and Montana Trails, Recreation & Parks Association

DATE: January 14, 2019

Our 66th Session of the Montana Legislature convened January 7.  We anticipate several bills affecting recreation and parks programs and we will keep you informed of those bills and their status as the session progresses.

Read more: 2019 Legislature Report -...

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