87-1-273. Future fisheries review panel -- purpose -- appointment and duties. (1) The governor or governor's designee shall call for nominees for, accept and review recommendations for, and appoint a future fisheries review panel. The panel must consist of at least 13 members, including but not limited to:
(a) one member who is a representative of conservation districts;
(b) one member with expertise in commercial agriculture;
(c) one member with expertise in irrigated agriculture;
(d) one member from the private sector who is a fisheries restoration professional;
(e) two members who are licensed Montana anglers;
(f) one member of the house of representatives, chosen by the speaker of the house;
(g) one member of the senate, chosen by the committee on committees;
(h) one member with expertise in silviculture;
(i) one member who is a Montana high school student;
(j) one member with expertise in mining reclamation techniques;
(k) one member with expertise in fisheries; and
(l) one ex officio member from the Montana department of transportation who has experience in highway impacts mitigation.
(2) A member appointed to the review panel shall serve a 2-year term and may be reappointed.
(3) The purpose of the review panel is to:
(a) review, at least every 6 months, proposed projects that have been submitted by public or private entities for funding;
(b) determine what projects are eligible for inclusion in the future fisheries improvement program;
(c) approve or reject proposed projects; and
(d) forward a list of approved projects to the department.
(4) To be eligible for funding, a project must be generated at the local level and must be developed and presented to the review panel by the department, local landowners, conservation districts, or other interested citizens. Before consideration of any project that involves streambed or streambank restoration, a change in the use of water, or any other purpose that affects a particular property owner's interest in land or water, the review panel is required to find that the project is being proposed for funding with the voluntary approval of the participating property owner.