Oct 18, 2010 7:04 PM by Marnee Banks (KXLH)
District Court Judge Jeffery Sherlock on Monday ruled that Initiative 161 qualifies for the upcoming election despite efforts to stop it.
The Montana Outfitters and Guides Association filed suit against the Secretary of State's office and Sportsmen For I-161, claiming that initiative sponsors gathered signatures illegally.
I-161 would abolish outfitter-sponsored hunting licenses and require out of state hunters to purchase a non-resident hunting permit.
Sherlock ruled against MOGA, stating there was absence of direct proof that the signatures were gathered illegally.
The ballot language claims, "I-161 increases state revenues over the next four years by an estimated $700,000 annually for hunting access and an estimated $1.5 million annually for habitat preservation and restoration, assuming that all nonresident hunting licenses are sold. It also increases general nonresident hunting license revenues by inflation."