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HB 321 Passes the Legislature!

Last night HB 321 passed its final legislative vote in the House and is headed to the Governor’s desk! Governor Gianforte will sign HB 321 in the coming days. HB 321 passed in the final hours of the 2023 Legislative Session, as yesterday afternoon the Senate voted to sine die (adjourn the session), followed by a sine die vote in the Houselater that evening. 

HB 321 will create and, over the next 5-6 years, fill a $100 million dollar Conservation District Fund within the constitutional Coal Tax Trust. This is a MONUMENTAL WIN for Montana’s Conservation Districts, who have been dealing with inadequate and unstable funding for years. HB 321 encompasses a permanent and generational funding source. 

The Conservation District Fund will begin generating interest in FY 2024, which will be directed to the Conservation District Account, managed by the Conservation Districts Bureau (CDB) within the Department of Natural Resources (DNRC). 

Thank you
To the Conservation District supervisors and staff, partners, and all of those who supported MACD’s efforts in securing funding and passing HB 321 – THANK YOU! This has truly been a statewide, team effort and exhibits just how much we can accomplish when we use all our voices for a common purpose! And a special shout out to the members and participants of the MACD Legislative Committee, who dutifully showed up at 7am every Tuesday morning throughout the Session to work through legislative strategy – With a special thank you to Jeff Tiberi for all the volunteer hours, expertise, and innumerable contributions this Session!

And a MASSIVE THANK YOU to our Senators and Representatives who voted time and again to support CDs and to Governor Gianforte and his staff for the the strategic and steadfast support.

Time to Celebrate!
We can’t wait to celebrate with all of you – first on a small scale at the MACD Spring Board BBQ on June 7th (5:30pm at Ten Mile Brewing in Helena) and with our entire CD community at our 2023 Annual Convention (Nov. 14-16 in Billings)! 
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Published quarterly, The Montana Conservationist features stories about conservation districts and our partners.

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