About Bill -- Links
SENATE BILL NO. 445
INTRODUCED BY C. SWYSGOOD, B. TASH
AN ACT REQUIRING GUIDES, PROFESSIONAL GUIDES, AND OUTFITTERS WHO WISH TO OPERATE ON MONTANA RIVERS TO OBTAIN AND DISPLAY AN OUTFITTER BOAT TAG; PROVIDING RESTRICTIONS ON OUTFITTING AND GUIDING ACTIVITY ON THE BEAVERHEAD AND BIG HOLE RIVERS; URGING THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH, WILDLIFE, AND PARKS TO FACILITATE A CONSENSUS PROCESS FOR ADDRESSING RIVER CONFLICTS AND TO DEVELOP RIVER RECREATION MANAGEMENT PLAN PROPOSALS AND SUGGESTING REQUIREMENTS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE PLANS; ESTABLISHING AN ACCOUNT; REQUIRING THE FISH, WILDLIFE, AND PARKS COMMISSION TO DEVELOP RULES REGARDING IMPLEMENTATION OF RECREATION RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLANS FOR THE BEAVERHEAD AND BIG HOLE RIVERS; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Outfitter boat tag -- legislative findings -- requirements -- administration. (1) Because of increased concern as to the use levels on certain rivers in Montana and the user conflicts, resource and property damage concerns, and demands upon limited public facilities related to those use levels, the legislature finds it necessary to distribute river recreation use as well as the economic benefits gained from river use through the requirements of this section.
(2) Beginning March 1, 2000, a person may not operate as a guide, professional guide, or outfitter on the waters of this state without first obtaining an outfitter boat tag, as required by this section. The tag must be displayed, in a manner visible to enforcement personnel, on watercraft used for outfitting or guiding activity on these rivers. The tag assigned must include the licensee's number and be of a distinctive color and design, read from left to right in Arabic numerals and block characters of good proportion and at least 3 inches tall, excluding border or trim.
(3) The board shall issue a tag to a person if that person meets all of the following requirements:
(a) The person has a valid guide, professional guide, or outfitter license issued by the board.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (3)(d), the operating plan on file with the board as of January 1, 1999 under which the person will operate includes either the Beaverhead or Big Hole River.
(c) The operating plan under which the person will operate has been amended to reflect all of the following for outfitting and guiding activity on the Beaverhead or Big Hole Rivers:
(i) An outfitter will limit launches to two boats at each state or federal river access site each day.
(ii) An outfitter's total annual use of the Beaverhead and Big Hole Rivers will not exceed the greater of either:
(A) the outfitter's annual average use for the years 1995 through 1998; or
(B) the outfitter's actual use for the year ending December 31, 1998.
(iii) A commercially launched watercraft will not contain more than four persons.
(d) A licensed outfitter who had applied to include the Beaverhead or Big Hole River in the outfitter's operating plan prior to March 31, 1999, but who has not generated any historical use on the Beaverhead or Big Hole River may also be issued a tag to operate on those rivers pursuant to this section. If historical use is the recommended measurement of use in determining future commercial use allocation on the Beaverhead River or the Big Hole River by an outfitter pursuant to this subsection (3)(d), historical use may include only that outfitter's actual use during 1999 or a total of 250 launches, whichever is less.
(4) For the purposes of subsection (3), a launch is the equivalent of 2 client days.
(5) In calculating the use pursuant to subsection (3)(c)(ii), an outfitter shall use the same time periods for both rivers and may not combine periods of use from both rivers for one river's calculations.
(6) Subject to subsection (7), an outfitter who has had an operating plan on file with the board prior to January 1, 1999, that includes either the Beaverhead or Big Hole River or an outfitter who meets the qualifications of subsection (3)(d) is allowed a minimum of 90 total launches each year, allocated proportionately between the Beaverhead and Big Hole Rivers based on the outfitter's actual historic use on each river or on the use specified in subsection (3)(d), if applicable.
(7) The board shall develop rules that limit the number of outfitters that are guaranteed a minimum of 90 launches. The rules must address how the application of historical use pattern information maintained by the board is used to determine the limits.
(8) From the third Saturday in May through Labor Day of any year, a commercial outfitter or guide may not launch any boats on Saturdays in the following areas:
(a) on the Big Hole River from Jerry Creek fishing access site to the salmonfly fishing access site; and
(b) on the Beaverhead River from Clark Canyon Dam to the Henneberry fishing access site.
(9) It is the responsibility of the relevant outfitter to provide to the board the operating plan amendment required by subsection (3), including documentation for the calculation of allowed launches. The board shall process an application for amendment as provided by rule and may reject an application for inadequate proof of claimed historic river use levels.
(10) An outfitter's boat tag must be issued for $10 to a Montana resident who has met the criteria of this section and applicable rules. Nonresidents shall pay $250 to purchase or renew a tag, if otherwise qualified. A tag is valid for the licensing year in which it is issued and is not transferable. Issuance of a tag may not be construed as conferring a property right. The board shall deposit and use tag sale proceeds as provided in subsection (12).
(11) The board shall develop rules to administer and enforce this section.
(12) There is an account in the state special revenue fund. Money collected from the purchase of tags pursuant to this section must be deposited in the account for use by the board of outfitters to be expended for the preparation and issuance of outfitter boat tags and appropriate signage. In addition, money received in the form of gifts, grants, donations, or appropriations from any other source may also be deposited in the account and used for commercial use mitigation measures that include leasing or other arrangements with landowners for installation and maintenance of waste management and for streambank and soil stabilization related to waste management. Funding for commercial use mitigation measures must be jointly administered by the board of outfitters and the department of fish, wildlife, and parks.
Section 2. Development of recreation resource management plan -- rules. (1) The legislature urges the department of fish, wildlife, and parks to facilitate a group of interested parties from throughout the state to participate in a consensus process for addressing conflicts on the Beaverhead and Big Hole Rivers and to develop proposed recreation resource management plans for the Beaverhead and Big Hole Rivers.
(2) Should use allocation be allowed for outfitters in the management plan, the legislature urges that those allocations be governed by the following requirements:
(a) Any allocations for use to outfitters may not be based on historical use and may not displace historical public recreational use.
(b) Allocations for use to outfitters are not private property and must be reallocated when use is discontinued.
(3) The legislature urges that the proposed plans be presented to the commission by January 1, 2001, for commission consideration.
(4) (a) Upon receipt of the proposed management plan and after due consideration, the commission shall adopt rules implementing recreation resource management plans for the Beaverhead and Big Hole Rivers, based on the proposals developed under subsection (1). Rules must be adopted pursuant to Title 2, chapter 4, part 3.
(b) The rules must include provisions for the adequate regulation and enforcement of the recreation resource management plan. If commercial use allocation is the method selected and historical use is the measurement of use, the rules must provide that commercial use generated after January 1, 1999, may not be included in determining commercial use allocation, except as provided in [section 1(3)(d)].
(c) Rules must include provisions for a suitable waste management plan along the rivers.
(5) If watershed groups, community forums, area stakeholders, recreationists, and other interested parties experience increased concern as to the use levels on another river in Montana and as to user conflicts, resource and property damage concerns, and demands upon limited public facilities related to those use levels, a similar recreation resource management plan may be proposed for that other river and presented to the commission for consideration. If implementation of a similar resource management plan results in a reduction in recreational use on the river under consideration, rules must provide that the reduction will be made in commercial and nonresident use rather than in noncommercial, resident use. Any rules developed by the commission pursuant to a similar recreation resource management plan must be adopted pursuant to Title 2, chapter 4, part 3.
Section 3. Codification instruction. (1) [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 37, chapter 47, part 3, and the provisions of Title 37, chapter 47, part 3, apply to [section 1].
(2) [Section 2] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 87, chapter 1, and the provisions of Title 87, chapter 1, apply to [section 2].
Section 4. Severability. If a part of [this act] is invalid, all valid parts that are severable from the invalid part remain in effect. If a part of [this act] is invalid in one or more of its applications, the part remains in effect in all valid applications that are severable from the invalid applications.
Section 5. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
- END -
Latest Version of SB 445 (SB0445.ENR)
Processed for the Web on April 26, 1999 (3:19PM)
New language in a bill appears underlined, deleted material appears stricken.
Sponsor names are handwritten on introduced bills, hence do not appear on the bill until it is reprinted. See the status of the bill for the bill's primary sponsor.
Status of this Bill | 1999 Session | Leg. Branch Home
This bill in WP 5.1 | All versions of all bills in WP 5.1
Prepared by Montana Legislative Services