“We simply wish to make it possible for truthful chase stays the legislation of the land right here and that we’re defending the data that’s generated for a scientific foundation by the Fish, Wildlife & Parks however can be utilized for numerous and good intentions,” Cohenour advised the committee Thursday.
Cohenour initially introduced laws in 2019 to ban all public releases of state wildlife location knowledge. That drew pushback from pure useful resource builders who request the info for environmental opinions in addition to the Montana Newspaper Affiliation over issues that the legislation violated Montana’s constitutional proper to know. The ultimate model grew to become a compromise invoice that allowed launch of the info however prohibited its use for searching, together with potential prosecution for doing so.
Over the interim, Cohenour collaborated with conservation teams, FWP and open authorities advocates on the present invoice, she stated. The drew help Thursday for trying to strike a great stability and to advertise ethics.
“Receiving pinpoint wildlife location knowledge for searching is a shortcut that undermines the very reasonable chase ideas, challenges, woodsmanship and total expertise which have earned Montana its world class status amongst hunters,” stated Matt Leow with Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.
The brand new invoice continues to permit the discharge of wildlife location knowledge however permits FWP to buffer that knowledge relying on its desired use. For instance, officers stated, builders would possibly want actual places to website and allow pipelines, however wildlife watchers might be offered a normal drainage or space. A discover would even be offered when fulfilling an info request about its prohibited use for searching and potential penalties.