Another troublesome ballot initiative is I-191; an initiative that would place water quality standards on sections of the Gallatin and the Madison rivers that would impact any activity that might even temporarily change water quality in those rivers. Changes in agricultural practices, hazardous fuel reduction projects, highway projects, commercial and residential development and even habitat restoration efforts would be suddenly delayed or outright prohibited. I-191 would even apply to tributaries of those rivers, expanding the reach of the initiative to encompass hundreds of miles of private property and economic development. READ MORE in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
Montana already has some of the strictest water quality laws in the country and we all support protecting our natural resources. I-191 is not helpful to earnest, collaborative efforts to maintain and protect water quality. If passed, I-191 would put large stretches of the Gallatin and Madison rivers under the same strict regulations only found in national parks and wilderness areas. It is easy to recognize impacts that would follow passage—from recreational to commercial, no activity would go untouched.