PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - May 14, 2021 


Backers of electric vehicles say southeastern gas shortage highlights need to diversify U.S. energy system; more than 40 attorneys general urge Facebook to stop plans to create kids' version of Instagram.


2021Talks - May 14, 2021 


People who've been vaccinated can ditch their masks; Biden says fuel shortages are only temporary; and Republicans press for ending federal pandemic unemployment payments.

For Public-Lands Funding, Draft Marijuana Bill is 'Starting Point'

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

An initiative legalizing recreational marijuana in Montana directed nearly half of the tax revenue collected to public lands. (Galyna Andrushko/Adobe Stock)
An initiative legalizing recreational marijuana in Montana directed nearly half of the tax revenue collected to public lands. (Galyna Andrushko/Adobe Stock)
 By Eric Tegethoff - Producer, Contact
March 19, 2021

HELENA, Mont. - A draft bill for Montana's recreational cannabis program is out. Conservation and outdoors advocates are hoping to secure more funds for public lands as lawmakers consider it further.

In November, 57% of Montanans approved Initiative 190, legalizing recreational marijuana for adults and directing nearly half of the tax revenue collected to public lands. On Wednesday, groups rallied at the Capitol to call attention to the difference between the initiative and this bill.

Whitney Tawney, executive director of Montana Conservation Voters, said the bill does provide some revenue to conservation.

"There is trails and parks funding that can help with some maintenance issues," said Tawney, "in addition to non-game species funding, and that is great. But for us, this is a starting point."

The draft caps funding at $650,000 for each of the trails, parks and non-game species programs. Tawney said it doesn't mention the Habitat Montana program, which helps to secure public access through acquisitions and easements.

In the draft, funds are first directed to drug-addiction treatment and then largely funneled to the state general revenue.

Anne Jolliff and her husband own Full Curl Taxidermy in Montana City and were at the Capitol on Wednesday. She said she enjoys outdoor sports and wants to make sure her three daughters get to enjoy public lands.

"It's important for Montana's future," said Jolliff. "For all of us, for our kids, for our families, for our mental and physical well-being - to have that public access."

Tawney said the funding especially for pieces such as acquisitions and easements for access are important because most of that money currently comes from hunters and anglers.

"So we want to be able to diversify that funding because, frankly, we all are a part of that," said Tawney. "We're all users and so this is one way to kind of equalize that share."

Disclosure: Montana Conservation Voters & Education Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Best Practices