The State of Montana is contemplating introducing legislation in its next session (2019) that would prohibit the use of state lands for dog field trials. While the Montana State Legislature is not currently in session, the interim Environmental Quality Council (EQC) is meeting to discuss this potential legislation, called LCdog3, at its July 26 meeting in Helena. The EQC will review public comments at the meeting, and will determine whether to forward the proposal for consideration by the full legislature in 2019.
The American Kennel Club is deeply concerned with the proposed ban, and encourages all concerned fanciers and enthusiasts, including those who participate in AKC Performance events, to contact the EQC to respectfully oppose the proposed ban prior to the July 26 meeting.
The proposal seeks to prohibit conducting field trials on public lands from April 1 to August 31 of each year. Bird hunting season begins in September and continues into the winter. By the time hunting season ends, any potential field trial test areas are either frozen or simply too cold to use. Because of this, the AKC is concerned that the April-August prohibition would essentially result in a year-round ban of field trials on public lands.
The impetus for proposal apparently stems from two large field trials conducted in Eastern Montana by out-of-state groups. The concern with these practices was damage to wild bird nesting areas. However, with an abundance of open land in Montana, local clubs and residents are aware of specific nesting areas and schedule their events in locations that eliminate the possibility of harming sensitive breeding areas. This ban would negatively affect field trails held by Montana clubs and organizations. These groups are not part of the problem, yet would be harmed by the proposal.
Current Montana law requires any organization seeking to hold a field trial on public land to apply to the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks at least 20 days prior to the event for a permit to hold the event. The Department already has the discretion to deny the permit and the proposed ban is not necessary to protect wild bird nesting areas.
Click here to view the July 26, 2018 EQC meeting agenda.
Click here to review a draft of the Council’s report on the training of bird dogs.
Click here to review the language of the proposed legislation.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
It is imperative that all concerned fanciers and enthusiasts, including those who participate in AKC Performance events, contact the members of the Environmental Quality Council to respectfully request the proposed ban not be included in recommendations made to the legislature. The item is scheduled to be discussed on Thursday, July 26, at 10:10 A.M. in the State Capitol Building, 1301 E. 6th Ave., Helena, in Room 317.
Senator, Chas Vincent, Chair – (406) 293-1575, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Mike Lang – (406) 654-1117, Sen.Mike.Lang@mt.gov
Senator Mike Phillips – (406) 599-5857, email@example.com
Senator JP Pomnichowski – (406) 587-7846, Sen.JP@mt.gov
Senator Cary Smith – (406) 698-9307, Sen.Cary.Smith@mt.gov
Senator Gene Vuckovich – (406) 563-2313, Mt.firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Brad Hamlett, Vice Chair – (406) 799-5885, Rep.Bradley.Hamlett@mt.gov
Representative Willis Curdy – (406) 546-0523, Rep.Willis.Curdy@mt.gov
Representative Janet Ellis – (406) 431-9157, Rep.Janet.Ellis@mt.gov
Representative Steve Gunderson – (406) 334-4370, Rep.Steve.Gunderson@mt.gov
Representative Theresa Manzella – (406) 546-9462, Rep.Theresa.Manzella@mt.gov
Representative Kerry White – (406) 587-3683 email@example.com
Mr. Scott Aspenlieder – (406) 461-8392, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. John C. Brenden – (406) 783 -5394, email@example.com
Ms. Kylie Paul – (406) 370 -6979, (email unavailable)
Mr. Matt Vincent – Mattvincent.firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at email@example.com.