BEFORE THE Department of AGRICULTURE
OF THE STATE OF MONTANA
In the matter of the amendment of ARM 4.12.106, 4.12.109, and 4.12.113 pertaining to apiary fees
NOTICE OF AMENDMENT
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On June 21, 2019, the Department of Agriculture published MAR Notice No. 4-19-260 pertaining to the public hearing on the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules at page 782 of the 2019 Montana Administrative Register, Issue Number 12.
2. The department has amended the above-stated rules as proposed.
3. The department has thoroughly considered the comments and testimony received. A summary of the comments received and the department's responses are as follows:
COMMENT #1: The commenter requested the department complete the web-based registration and payment process.
RESPONSE #1: The department intends to complete online registration to streamline apiary applications.
COMMENT #2: The commenter requested the department implement email notifications to show the benefits of apiary registration.
RESPONSE #2: It is the department's goal to use email as much as possible.
COMMENT #3: The commenter requested the department define apiary location flexibility and develop procedures for the public to report unregistered sites.
RESPONSE #3: The department plans to allow the same flexibility for site placement as it previously has.
COMMENT #4: The commenter requested the department notify registered landowners of reported presence of unregistered beehives and allow 60 days for landowners to comply with apiary registration requirements. The notification letter from the department should clarify that it is possible the report of unregistered hives was erroneous.
RESPONSE #4: The department attempts to notify landowners in this manner when ownership of the land is clear.
COMMENT #5: Two generally negative comments were received regarding House Bill 443 but were not specific to the proposed rules.
RESPONSE #5: The department supported House Bill 443 in the 2019 Legislative Session at the request of commercial beekeepers. Hobbyist beekeeper registrations allow the department to track apiary locations to better communicate bee health hazards and prevent widespread economic harm. Protecting commercial beekeepers fits under the department's mission.
/s/ Cort Jensen /s/ Ben Thomas
Cort Jensen Ben Thomas
Rule Reviewer Director
Certified to the Secretary of State July 30, 2019.