Montana Right to Wild Game Hunting and Fishing, C-41 (2004)
The Montana Right to Wild Game Hunting and Fishing Amendment, also known as C-41, was on the November 2, 2004 ballot in Montana as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure added a provision to the Montana Constitution that recognized and preserved the opportunity of Montana citizens to harvest wild fish and wild game animals.
|Montana C-41 (2004)|
Election results via: Montana Secretary of State
Text of measure
The text of the measure can be read here.
The proponent argument was prepared by Senator Duane Grimes, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee; Rep. Joe Balyeat (R-34), Chairman, House Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee; and Gary Marbut, President, Montana Shooting Sports Association. They made the following points:
- Hunting and fishing is an important recreational opportunity, a multi-million dollar source of tourist income, and a great source of healthy food.
- Hunting is a major facet of Montana culture, with more Montanans hunting than any other state.
- Revenue from hunting/fishing licenses provide the bulwark of wildlife conservation funding.
- Hunting/fishing are "perhaps the healthiest environment to connect with our children; especially teens."
- C-41 would help protect Montana's hunting/fishing culture from "'animal rights' extremists."
- The amendment strikes a "great balance." While it recognizes hunting/fishing in the constitution, it does not create an absolute right that would prevent the Dept. of Fish, Wildlife & Parks from continued regulation of hunting/fishing activity. The amendment also balances hunting/fishing rights against property rights, recognizing that sportsmen have no right to trespass.
The opponent argument was prepared by Senator John Cobb. He argued that the amendment was "a solution in search of a problem" and that there was no threat of banning hunting or fishing in Montana. Senator Cobb also argued that the amendment has no real impact on hunting/fishing rights and would do little to protect those rights if they were under attack in the future. The Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the state legislature would still have the power to "regulate hunting and fishing to its death.."
Montanans for Our Hunting and Fishing Heritage, proponents of the amendment, donated $199 towards the measure.
- Montana 2004 ballot measures
- 2004 ballot measures
- List of Montana ballot measures
- History of Initiative & Referendum in Montana
- Montana Secretary of State, "Historical Constitutional Initiatives and Constitutional Amendments," accessed August 5, 2014
- Montana Secretary of State, "Archive Publications," accessed August 5, 2014
- Montana Secretary of State, "2004 Montana Voter Information Pamphlet," accessed August 5, 2014
- Follow The Money, "Montana C-41 Amendment Donations"
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