Checks and balances are a cornerstone of American democracy. This system of controls is also central to managing our fish and wildlife as a public trust resource in Montana. Here, our elected governor and legislators, along with the appointed fish and wildlife commissioners, have both the authority and duty to guide and approve how the department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks discharges its role as the custodian of our state’s wildlife and Montanans’ rights to hunt and fish.
Therefore, Montana hunters implore the Fish and Wildlife Commission to exercise its oversight powers and deny the approval sought to release tens of thousands of pen-raised pheasants on state-owned lands in Montana, to be decided on Aug. 25.
The impetus, rationale and execution of releasing pen-raised pheasants in Montana are ill-conceived. This saga has been a textbook example of the government putting the cart before the horse and validates the need for checks and balances.