Montana Governor Steve Bullock today signed into law Senate Bill 363 to provide significant funding to prevent and control aquatic invasive species and to establish the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass.
“Montana’s outdoor recreation economy depends on the health of our clean air and clean water – especially our rivers, streams, and lakes,” said Governor Bullock. “This bipartisan legislation is critical to our continued success in the prevention and management of the threats posed by aquatic invasive species to our outdoor way of life.”
SB 363 passed with bipartisan support and will provide Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks with $6 million per year to increase the number of inspection and decontamination stations and to expand public education and outreach efforts. Funding will be supported through the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass purchased by anglers and a new electrical energy fee on hydroelectric facilities in Montana.
In December 2016, Governor Bullock declared a statewide natural resource emergency for Montana water bodies due to the detection of the larvae of invasive aquatic mussels at Tiber Reservoir and suspected detections at Canyon Ferry Reservoir and the Milk and Missouri rivers. Governor Bullock also signed an Executive Order to establish an interagency rapid response team to immediately respond to the emergency, emphasizing that “every effort must be taken to prevent the additional spread of this threat.”
SB 363 comes at the recommendation of the interagency rapid response team.