Rep. Van Dyk misses mark on Montana livestock industry
By ERROL RICE, Montana Stockgrowers Association exec. veep
Recently, Rep. Kendall Van Dyk from House District 49 questioned the rural values of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. I’m pleased to respond with clarity our position on the difficult pieces of legislation mentioned by Rep. Van Dyk.
Rep. Van Dyk questioned the stance taken by the Stockgrowers on three bills: bridge access to streams; groundwater permitting and S.B. 407.
S.B. 78, the so-called bridge access bill, was opposed by Stockgrowers because it was not a “compromise” approach to access to streams at county bridge crossings as Rep. Van Dyk stated. The bill failed to meet the terms of Stockgrowers policy, and the bill involved no landowner participation in its development. The bill, if passed, would actually increase litigation, increase liability for ranchers and counties, and create, rather than resolve, controversy. In fact, after the House Commit-tee hearing, both Democrat and Repub-lican legislators expressed serious doubts about the bill, and it died.