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HOUSE BILL NO. 315
INTRODUCED BY B. RANEY, L. GRINDE, J. BOHLINGER, B. CRIPPEN, S. DOHERTY, L. GROSFIELD,
H. HARPER, S. STANG, E. SWANSON
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT
DESIGNATING CERTAIN FISHING ACCESS SITES AS PRIMITIVE
FISHING ACCESS SITES; LIMITING DEVELOPMENT AT DESIGNATED PRIMITIVE FISHING ACCESS SITES;
ALLOWING THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH, WILDLIFE, AND PARKS TO DESIGNATE ADDITIONAL FISHING
ACCESS SITES AS PRIMITIVE FISHING ACCESS SITES BY RULE AND REQUIRING THAT NEWLY ACQUIRED
FISHING ACCESS SITES BE DESIGNATED AS PRIMITIVE FISHING ACCESS SITES; ELIMINATING RESIDENT
USER FEES, CAMP HOSTS, AND ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE USE AT PRIMITIVE FISHING ACCESS SITES;
ESTABLISHING A 7-DAY CAMPING LIMIT IN PRIMITIVE FISHING ACCESS SITES; REQUIRING THAT THE
FISH, WILDLIFE, AND PARKS COMMISSION RULES PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF PRIMITIVE
FISHING ACCESS SITES; REQUIRING THAT THE RULES ADDRESS THE SCOPE AND NATURE OF THE
DEVELOPMENT ALLOWED AT PRIMITIVE FISHING ACCESS SITES; ELIMINATING USER FEES AT
PRIMITIVE FISHING ACCESS SITES FOR A PERSON WHO POSSESSES A VALID STATE PARKS PASSPORT;
AMENDING SECTION 23-1-105, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE."
WHEREAS, certain Montana fishing access sites still retain their unique, primarily undeveloped character; and
WHEREAS, undeveloped recreational areas require the least amount of state financial support and provide the least opportunity for vandalism; and
WHEREAS, Montana resident per capita income is among the lowest of the 50 states; and
WHEREAS, outdoor activity is one of the primary reasons our citizens live in Montana; and
WHEREAS, the inability to afford to pay user fees keeps many Montanans, especially our young people, from enjoying recreational pursuits on public recreational lands; and
WHEREAS, public fishing access sites are already owned and maintained by the people of Montana; and
WHEREAS, private enterprise is capable and willing to provide additional recreational opportunities, beyond those provided in undeveloped recreation areas, for those who can afford and wish to access those opportunities, thereby providing private sector jobs and revenue to the state in the form of taxes.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Short title. [Sections 1
through 5 AND 2] may be cited as the "Montana Primitive Fishing
Access Site Act". NEW SECTION. Section 2. Primitive fishing access sites established. (1) Because of their unique and primarily
undeveloped character, the following fishing access sites are designated as primitive fishing access sites and are subject to
the provisions of [sections 1 through 5]: (a) Region 1 -- Ashley Creek, Ashley Lake, Beaver Creek, Blanchard Lake, Bootjack Lake, Ducharne, Flatiron Ridge,
Frank Lake, Horseshoe Lake-Ferndale, Kokanee Bend, Loon Lake-Eureka, Loon Lake-Ferndale, Marle Lake, Marlow
Springs, McKay Landing, Moran Lake, Old Steel Bridge, Pressentine, Savage Lake, Skyles Lake, Sophie Lake, Sportsman's
Bridge, Spring Creek, Swan River, Thompson Chain of Lakes, and Whitefish River; (b) Region 2 -- Aunt Molly, Bell Crossing, Belmont Creek, Big Eddy, Blackfoot River Conservation Easement, Brown's
Lake, Bunkhouse Bridge, Cedar Meadows, Chief Looking Glass, Clearwater Crossing, Corrick's River Bend, Cyr Bridge,
Daigle's Eddy, Deep Creek, Erskine, Forest Grove, Forks, Hannon Memorial, Harper's Lake, Harry Morgan, Johnsrud, K.
Ross Toole, Kelly Island, Kohr's Bend, Lincoln Canyon, Lolo, Monture, Ninemile Prairie, Petty Creek, Quartz, Poker Joe,
Red Rock, River Junction, Rock Creek Conservation Easement, Russel Gates, Schwartz Creek, Sheep Flats, St. John's,
Thibodeau, Tucker Crossing, Turah, Upsata Lake, Wally Crawford, Welcome Creek, Whitaker Bridge, and Woodside
Bridge; (c) Region 3 -- Axtell Bridge, Blackbird, Browne's Bridge, Browne's Lake, Burnt Tree Hole, Cameron Bridge,
Cardwell, Cherry River, Chicory, Cobblestone, Corrals, Corwin Springs, Dailey Lake, Deepdale, Dewey, Drouillard, Eight
Mile Ford, Emigrant, Emigrant West, Ennis, Erwin Bridge, Fairweather, Fishtrap Creek, Four Corners, Free River, Gallatin
Forks, Glen, Greenwood Bottoms, Grey Owl, Greycliff, Harrison Lake, Henneberry, High Bridge, High Road, Highway 89,
Kalsta Bridge, Kirk Wildlife Refuge, Kountz Bridge, Limespur, Loch Leven, Lyons Bridge, Maidenrock, Mallard's Rest,
Mayflower Bridge, McAtee Bridge, Meadow Lake, Milwaukee, Notch Bottom, Paradise, Parrot Castle, Pennington Bridge,
Pine Creek, Poindexter Slough, Point of Rocks, Powerhouse, Queen of the Waters, Raynolds Pass, Salmon Fly, Sappington
Bridge, Shed's Bridge, Sheep Mountain, Silver Star, Slip and Slide, Springdale Bridge, Tizer Lakes, Toston, Valley Garden,
Varney Bridge, and Williams Bridge; (d) Region 4 -- Arod Lake, Bear Lake, Big Bend, Big Casino Creek Reservoir, Brewery Flats, Bynum Reservoir, Carol
Trail, Carter Ferry, Craig, Dearborn, Dunes, Eagle Island, Eureka Reservoir, Fitzpatrick Lake, Fort Shaw, Hardy Bridge,
Hruska, Lichen Cliff, Loma Bridge, Lower Carter Pond, Lower Smith River, Mid Canyon, Missouri Dunes, Mountain
Palace, Pelican Point, Preweett Creek, Prickly Pear, Smith River, Spite Hill, Spring Creek, Spring Hill, Stickney Creek,
Table Rock, Truly Take-out, Ulm Bridge, Upper Carter Pond, White Bear, Wolf Creek Bridge, and one unnamed site listed
in the 1996 department lands inventory consisting of 11.61 acres on the Sun River; (e) Region 5 -- Absaroka, Arapooish, Beaver Lodge, Big Horn, Big Rock, Boulder Forks, Bratten, Bridger Bend,
Broadview Pond, Buffalo Jump, Buffalo Mirage, Bull Springs, Captain Clark, Castle Rock, Cliff Swallow, East Bridge,
Fireman's Point, General Custer, Grant Marsh, Grey Bear, Gritty Stone, Homestead Isle, Horsethief Station, Indian Fort,
Mallard's Landing, Manuel Lisa, Morraine, Otter Creek, Pelican, Rosebud Isle, Selkirk, Swinging Bridge, Two Leggins,
Voyagers Rest, Water Birch, and White Bird; (f) Region 6 -- Bearpaw Lake, Bjornberg Bridge, Bridge Park, Cole Ponds, Faber Reservoir, Fresno Tailwater, and
Whitetail Reservoir; and (g) Region 7 -- Amelia Island, Bonfield, Broadus Bridge, Diamond Willow, Elk Island, Falcon Bridge, Far West,
Gartside Reservoir, Intake Dam, Joe's Island, Kinsey Bridge, Little Powder River, Myers Bridge, Powder River Depot,
Rosebud East, Rosebud West, AND Seven Sisters, South Sandstone Reservoir, Stacy Island, and Twelve Mile Dam. (2) Pursuant to its authority in 23-1-106, the department may by rule designate any fishing access site not listed in
subsection (1) as a primitive fishing access site when a determination is made that the designation is desirable to protect the
unique and primarily undeveloped character of that fishing access site. A fishing access site that is capable of supporting
camping and that is acquired by the state after July 1, 1999, must be designated by rule as a primitive fishing access site. NEW SECTION. Section 3. Limit on development of primitive fishing access sites. (1) The only development
allowed at primitive fishing access sites designated in [section 2] is: (a) necessary improvements required to meet minimum public health standards regarding sanitation, which may include
necessary access to outhouses, vaults, and water; (b) NEW improvements necessary to ensure the safe public use of boat ramps; (c) addition of gravel to existing unpaved roads, resurfacing of paved roads, and bridge improvements when necessary
to ensure safe public access, INCLUDING NECESSARY NEW ACCESS ROADS INTO AND WITHIN THE
PRIMITIVE FISHING ACCESS SITE; (d) establishment of new hiking trails or improvement of existing hiking trails; and (e) installation of minimal signage: (i) designating the site as a primitive fishing access site in which development has been limited and encouraging the
public to help in maintaining the park's primitive character; and (ii) necessary to designate camping sites, parking areas, rules, and other necessary management information within the
primitive fishing access site; AND (III) TO INFORM THE PUBLIC OF HISTORICAL, CULTURAL, GEOGRAPHICAL, AND GEOLOGICAL
FEATURES IN THE AREA; (f) establishment of designated parking areas for vehicles and for boat trailers in primitive fishing access sites that have
boat ramps; (G) IN-KIND REPLACEMENT OF EXISTING FACILITIES OR REPLACEMENT OF EXISTING FACILITIES
WITH FACILITIES THAT HAVE LESS IMPACT ON THE PRIMITIVE FISHING SITE; (g)(H) fire pits and tables; and (h)(I) fencing. (2) The following development of designated primitive fishing access sites is prohibited: (a) installation of electric lines or facilities, except when necessary to comply with subsection (1)(a); (b) installation of recreational vehicle sanitary dumpsites where they do not presently exist; (c) creation of new roads, except when necessary to establish camping access and to meet the requirements of
subsection (1); (d) installation of camping pads for recreational vehicles; and (e) paving of existing but previously unpaved roads and parking lots. NEW SECTION. Section 4. Elimination of resident user fee -- fee for nonresident use. (1) In recognition of the
right of Montana residents to use primitive fishing access sites without regard to their ability to pay, a Montana resident is
not required to pay any user fee for the noncommercial use of any primitive fishing access site designated in [section 2]. (2) A nonresident who wishes to use a primitive fishing access site may be required by the department to pay the state
park user fees chargeable under 23-1-105. NEW SECTION. Section 5. Restrictions applicable to primitive fishing access sites. (1) The assignment of camp
hosts to designated primitive fishing access sites is prohibited. (2) The department shall institute and enforce a 7-day camping limit at designated primitive fishing access sites. (3) The off-road operation of all-terrain vehicles at designated primitive fishing access sites is prohibited.
NEW SECTION. SECTION 2. PRIMITIVE FISHING ACCESS SITES -- RULEMAKING. (1) PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY PROVIDED IN 87-1-301, THE FISH, WILDLIFE, AND PARKS COMMISSION MAY DESIGNATE CERTAIN FISHING ACCESS SITES AS PRIMITIVE FISHING ACCESS SITES. THE RULES MUST REQUIRE THAT THE PRIMITIVE FISHING ACCESS SITES DESIGNATED BY THE COMMISSION MAY NOT BE DEVELOPED BEYOND WHAT IS NECESSARY TO MAINTAIN THE SITE FOR PUBLIC USE. THE RULES MUST SPECIFICALLY PROHIBIT THE NEW DEVELOPMENT OR NEW INSTALLATION OF:
(A) FENCING OF THE PERIMETER UNLESS IT IS NECESSARY FOR THE SECURITY OF THE SITE OR FOR PREVENTING CONFLICTS NEAR THE SITE;
(B) ACCESS ROADS BEYOND THOSE THAT ARE MAINTAINED TO PREVENT DEGRADATION OF THE SITE AND PROVIDE REASONABLE AND SAFE VEHICULAR ACCESS;
(C) PAVED ROADS OR PARKING AREAS;
(D) SIGNS BEYOND THOSE THAT ARE NECESSARY TO PROVIDE DIRECTIONS FROM THE NEAREST PUBLIC ROAD AND THOSE THAT PROVIDE REGULATION, PUBLIC SAFETY, OR INTERPRETIVE INFORMATION;
(E) LATRINES UNLESS DETERMINED NECESSARY FOR HEALTH OR SANITATION AS DETERMINED BY THE REGIONAL PARK MANAGER OR COUNTY SANITARIAN;
(F) POTABLE WATER STATIONS;
(G) BOAT RAMPS LARGER THAN A SINGLE LANE;
(H) CAMPING OR PICNIC AREAS; AND
(I) BARRIERS BEYOND THOSE NECESSARY TO PREVENT UNAUTHORIZED OFF-ROAD TRAVEL.
(2) THE RULES MAY ALLOW FOR REPLACEMENT OF EXISTING FACILITIES AND MAINTENANCE OF EXISTING IMPROVEMENTS.
SECTION 3. SECTION 23-1-105, MCA, IS AMENDED TO READ:
"23-1-105. Fees and charges. (1) The department
shall have power to may levy and collect reasonable
fees or other charges for the use of privileges and conveniences as may be provided and to grant
concessions as it considers advisable, except as provided in subsection subsections (2) and (5). All money
derived from the activities of the department must be deposited in the state treasury in a state special
revenue fund to the credit of the department.
(2) Overnight camping fees established by the department under subsection (1) must be discounted 50% for a campsite rented by a person who is a resident of Montana, as defined in 87-2-102, and either 62 years of age or older or certified as disabled in accordance with rules adopted by the department.
(3) For a violation of any fee collection rule involving a vehicle, the registered owner of the vehicle at the time of the violation is personally responsible if an adult is not in the vehicle at the time the violation is discovered by an authorized officer. A defense that the vehicle was driven into the fee area by another person is not allowable unless it is shown that at that time the vehicle was being used without the consent of the registered owner.
(4) Money received from the collection of fees and charges is not subject to the deposit requirements of 17-6-105. The department shall deposit money collected under this section within a reasonable time after receipt.
(5) A person who possesses a valid state parks passport is not required to pay a fee for noncommercial day use or for camping at any primitive fishing access site designated pursuant to [section 2]."
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Codification instruction. [Sections 1
through 5 AND 2] are intended to be
codified as an integral part of Title 23, chapter 1, part 1, and the provisions of Title 23, chapter 1, part 1,
apply to [sections 1 through 5 AND 2].
NEW SECTION. Section 5. Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 1999.
- END -
Latest Version of HB 315 (HB0315.03)
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