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MT agriculture & subdivisions law: input needed

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Action Alert: Tell Montana Senate to Vote NO on HB 542

A few weeks ago, House Bill 542 narrowly passed the Montana House of Representatives.  Thanks to constituent calls and emails, the bill was hotly debated on the House Floor and almost died there.  Now, we need to make sure the bill dies in the Senate.  If you can take 5 minutes to let your voice be heard today, we've got a good shot while it's in the Senate Local Government Committee.

If passed, HB 542 would take away the rights of a local community to consider the impacts a new subdivision has on agriculture -- including the permanent loss of agricultural land and the erosion of a community's agricultural integrity.  In short, this revision will accelerate unchecked developments across Montana's farming and ranching communities for years to come.

We cannot let hasty development patterns trample Montana's agricultural legacy.  That's why we need you to contact members of the Senate Local Government Committee today.

1.  Please send a quick email to the entire Committee by copying and pasting the following email addresses:

sonjumt@yahoo.com, SenatorWittich@montana.com, shannonjaugare@aol.com,

ebuttrey@senate13.com, steve.gallus@gmail.com,lyndamoss@imt.net,

ajolson@midrivers.com, tutvedt@montanasky.us, mt.sd43@gmail.com

2.  Please concisely tell them to oppose HB 542, because:

    * Agriculture is too important to simply disregard.  Do we no longer care about our #1 industry?
    * A subdivision's impacts to agriculture simply need to be considered at the local level.  This ensures everyone's property rights and the public interests are protected through a non-arbitrary, democratic process.
    * Montanan's value working farms and ranches, and we want to pass on a productive agricultural legacy.  That means jobs, business, and revenue.

3.  Please call a few senators on the Local Government Committee, who are from a district near you:

(Some legislators suggest contacting them by leaving a message at 406-444-4800 and asking the legislators to vote one way or the other.)

Steve Gallus (D - Butte):  494-3914

Gene Vuckovich: (D - Anaconda):  560-2313

    * Lynda Moss (D - Billings):  252-7318 or 248-1114
    * Alan Olson (R - Roundup):  320-1385
    * Art Wittich (R - Bozeman):  599-9836
    * Shannon Augare (D - Browning): 450-5686
    * Edward Buttrey (R - Great Falls):  750-6798
    * Bruce Tutvedt (R - Kalispell): 257-9732 or 253-9732
    * Jon Sonju (R - Kalispell):  270-7113

4.  If possible, please drop me a note to let me know your calls and emails were placed: pfhubbard@gmail.com

For more information, you can read the entire bill here.  I've also attached a brief factsheet on HB 542.  Still, please do not hesitate to contact me at 543-0542, if you have any questions about this bill's attempt to throw agriculture under the bus in exchange for unchecked subdivisions.  Of course, if any of you could come to Helena to testify in Mon.'s public hearing at 3:00, that would be make a huge impact.

Thanks for speaking out!

Paul Hubbard
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Is anybody still building new subdivisions in Montana?
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