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Under New Law, Vandals Pay

After several devastating acts of vandalism, Montana state parks, fishing sites and wildlife management areas finally have the law on their side.

4/12/2010

After several devastating acts of vandalism, Montana state parks, fishing sites and wildlife management areas finally have the law on their side. House Bill 223, which was passed during Montana's 2009 legislative session, states that all convictions of criminal mischief or trespassing on Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' properties will result in the revocation of all hunting, trapping and fishing privileges.

The law took affect last April and was applied to an extensive vandalism incident that took place at the Dailey Lake Fishing Access Site in the Paradise Valley, resulting in nearly $10,000 in repairs of signs, a kiosk, fencing, windscreens and a fee-collection box.

"Unfortunately, these crimes are becoming more common and replacing or repairing damaged public property costs FWP, and therefore Montana sportsmen and women, tens of thousands of dollars each year," Regional Warden Captain Sam Sheppard told The Independent Record. "I hope this makes someone think twice about destroying public property and the consequences of losing hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges."

Anyone who witnesses a crime or has any information on a crime is encouraged to call a toll-free hotline at 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668). For more information about TIP MONT visit http://fwp.mt.gov/enforcement/tipmont/default.html.

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