Vote for I-161

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The mission statement for Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP):

“Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, through its employees and citizen commission, provides for the stewardship of the fish, wildlife, parks, and recreational resources of Montana, while contributing to the quality of life for present and future generations.”

FWP’s Strategic Plans states that they, “discourage commercialization of wildlife.”

Montana Code Annotated 87-3-303, policy toward nonresident big game hunters: “It shall be the policy of this state to protect and preserve game animals primarily for the citizens of this state and to avoid the deliberate waste of wildlife and destruction of property by nonresidents licensed to hunt in this state.”

The public-trust doctrine states that the wildlife in Montana belongs to the residents of Montana and the state is the trustee that manages the people’s wildlife. Outfitter-guaranteed tags encourage outfitters to lease private land, which often blocks public access to both public and private lands allowing outfitters and their wealthy clients to capitalize on our public assets at our expense. This is the privatization of wildlife and it needs to stop. FWP has been placed in the unethical position of subsidizing a private business; rather, FWP should primarily be the stewards of our wildlife while placing Montana residents first.

Vote for I-161.

Willie Thornley

Great Falls

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