Bullock signs bill restoring Habitat Montana program

By Missoula Current

Governor Steve Bullock this week signed House Bill 5 into law, restoring funding for Habitat Montana – an effort to protect and enhance wildlife habitat across the state.

Restoring the funding was a key piece in Bullock’s Public Lands and Access Agenda, which underscores the importance of Montana’s outdoor economy, jobs and access to public lands

“Habitat Montana is a critical part of our efforts to maintain our outdoor heritage, and restoring this funding will ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect critical habitat and expand the public’s access to hunt and fish across Montana,” Bullock said.

The funding is generated from sporting licenses, but the 2015 Legislature limited the program. Bullock sought to restore the funding during the recent session.

In addition to restoring funding for Habitat Montana, the state hired a public access specialist within the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to troubleshoot specific issues preventing full public access to public lands.

Bullock also secured funding to create the Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation. That will launch later this year and reside in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

“Public access to public lands is a fundamental part of what it means to be a Montanan,” said Bullock. “It’s my responsibility as governor to uphold this Montana value – now and in the years to come.”