Brucellosis plan divides [Montana] state’s cattle groups

The Missoulian has this: Brucellosis plan divides state’s cattle groups. The Montana Stockgrowers Association and the Montana Cattlemen’s Association are split on Schweitzer’s thoughts of breaking the Yellowstone region from the rest of the state with regard to brucellosis-free status. Brucellosis has been used to stir up the annual slaughter of Yellowstone’s wild buffalo by Montana’s Department of Livestock.

One thing everyone seems to agree on is the need for a permanent solution to the Yellowstone Park brucellosis problem. The disease has been purged from Montana’s cattle herd for more than 20 years. The only reason it persists as a threat today is because bison and elk in Yellowstone Park carry the disease.“A lot of folks would like to see ranch practices applied to Yellowstone,” Seidlitz said.

I’d prefer to see wild buffalo and elk in America’s first national park.

19 Responses to “Brucellosis plan divides [Montana] state’s cattle groups”

  1. Buffaloed Says:

    I think that many ranchers need to accept that the the “threat” of brucellosis is because they choose to graze cattle in areas where brucellosis is in native wildlife. Who should the burden lie on is the the question. It seems they think that wildlife should pay rather than themselves. Since it is the public’s wildlife they don’t have to worry about paying the costs themselves. They rely on the taxpayer for the costs of the useless bison management policies and complain that they are being put out of business by the environmentalists.

  2. d. Bailey Hill Says:

    It’s time for Schweitzer to to put an end to the bull***t, and kick those rancher’s off their high and mighty cows. He needs to make a stand and settle the bison issue once and for all. It is absolutely rediculous that the slaughter continues with all the scientific evidence supporting there is no threat from bison. I just can’t even begin to describe how infuriated I am over this sham.
    In another post of an article an official said “well it is Montana”. What a load of garbage! I have to agree with Ralph that out of all the issues I am most angry about this.

  3. Ralph Maughan Says:

    This is really important story because it shows very openly that the taking away of a state’s brucellosis free status because of an outbreak in a small area of the state is truly and deliberately a hostage-taking strategy.

  4. be Says:

    anyone have any idea what “ranch practices applied to Yellowstone” entails ?

    Yes, it seems that the stockgrowers are pretty happy with the weight of the entire industry backing undue influence over wildlife “management” (slaughter) in the Yellowstone region.

    the thing i like about the plan has nothing to do with the plan. d. Bailey Hill is right – Schweitzer needs to take this bull by the horn and toss it out of Yellowstone for REAL. End this madness.

    but the suggestion of the plan is cultivating the rift necessary to marginalize those stockmen in Yellowstone and illustrate the hostage-taking strategy Ralph mentioned. that could engender the political capital ~ temper the lockstep ~ necessary to rip the band-aid with a more robust action – and in a way that accomplishes meaningful results for wildlife. either Schweitzer is really politically shrewd in floating this weak plan – or he has the opportunity to be.

    he should let the split fester – even let the stockgrowers slip an over-reaching and illustrious poison pill onto the thing – just enough to show the rest in the state exactly how far they’re willing to bring everyone else down – then pull it and put his shoulder behind a real and lasting solution that protects buffalo and wildlife in yellowstone.

    perhaps it’s unreasonable of me to hope that a Democrat would be capable of such a maneuver – willing to ride the edge to that degree… he’ll probably just pass the weak bill – that’d be the worst scenario.

  5. Mack P. Bray Says:

    d. Bailey Hill, be aware that the buffalo/brucellosis/cattle situation is controlled by a court settlement that Montana and NPS/Yellowstone have to operate under – they have no choice. Governor Schweitzer has no authority to “make a stand and settle the bison issue once and for all.”

    This issue needs a brilliant lawyer(s) to get it back into court and modify or overturn the settlement. And that means $$$.

    Ralph, the story is important also because it illustrates the division between the Montana Cattlemen’s Association (pro) and the Montana Stockgrowers Association (con).

    Divide and conquer…!

    Jennifer McKee writes “When seven cows in Montana tested positive for brucellosis last May, a federal clock started ticking.”

    And “The disease has been purged from Montana’s cattle herd for more than 20 years.”

    Which is it? Apparently her editors didn’t notice the discrepancy.

  6. be Says:

    how about the buyout ? the “stick” Schweitzer made reference to be willing to use a year or so ago ? i don’t see how that would implicate the settlement… i’m not really up on the settlement.

  7. Ralph Maughan Says:

    It’s important to notice how the Stockgrowers Assn. likes to blame Yellowstone Park for the brucellosis, when the continuing source of infection is south of the Park in Wyoming. Furthermore, the continuing source of infection is the winter elk feedlots, which are strongly backed by the Wyoming livestock industry.

    The long term attack on how Yellowstone Park is run is not an accident. Coercion of the Park Service and attacking the way the Park is managed is a philosophical issue for them. They really would like it to be Yellowstone ranch, with the heavy hand of human management. Barring management of the Park like a farm, they certainly want to keep the wild animals in the Park (except elk, which, ironically, are the true source of any brucellosis infection danger).

    They don’t like wild places. They give people the “wrong” ideas about the land and humanity’s place in the world.

  8. Ralph Maughan Says:

    It’s important to notice how the Stockgrowers Assn. likes to blame Yellowstone Park for the brucellosis, when the continuing source of infection is south of the Park in Wyoming. Furthermore, the continuing source of infection is the winter elk feedlots, which are strongly backed by the Wyoming livestock industry.

    The long term attack on how Yellowstone Park is run is not an accident. Coercion of the Park Service and attacking the way the Park is managed is a philosophical issue for them. They really would like it to be Yellowstone ranch, with the heavy hand of human management. Barring management of the Park like a farm, they certainly want to keep the wild animals in the Park (except elk, which, ironically, are the true source of any brucellosis infection danger).

    They don’t like wild places. They give people the “wrong” ideas about the land and humanity’s place in the world.

  9. Mack P. Bray Says:

    Then Montana Governor, Mark Racicot, sued the Department of the Interior because America’s buffalo were leaving Yellowstone and could pass (the risk is so low as to be immeasurable according to the National Academy of Sciences) brucellosis to Montana’s Golden Calves and Sacred Cows and the settlement determined our current slaughter, er, ah, – management – plan.

    “Racicot serves power — the people who have money, who have position, who have influence at the highest level,” said Bob Decker, the executive director of the Montana Wilderness Association. “The protection of any of the resources really doesn’t serve power, so you won’t find Racicot there.”

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/record.xpd?id=108-h20040617-43&bill=h108-4517#sMonofilemx003Ammx002Fmmx002Fmmx002Fmhomemx002Fmgovtrackmx002Fmdatamx002Fmusmx002Fm108mx002Fmcrmx002Fmh20040617-43.xmlElementm9m0m0m

    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005, The United States House of Representatives

    This was Hinchey’s amendment for a 1 year moratorium on fed funds for killing America’s buffalo…

    Rep. Maurice Hinchey [D-NY]

    “Yes, brucellosis can be transmitted from animals in the wild, and it has been shown that brucellosis can be transmitted from elk in Yellowstone and elsewhere to cattle, but there is no program to deal with elk in any way. That causes one to wonder whether brucellosis is really a motivation here at all; I suspect it is not. There is something else going on here, something that we need to get to the bottom of. We need to understand why these animals are being harassed and slaughtered in the way that they are.”

    Rep. Dennis Kucinich [D-OH]

    “One of the things that has not been brought up in the debate that I would like to add at this time is the importance of protecting these buffalo as a genetically unique herd.

    I enter into the RECORD of this discussion here remarks that were made by a Texas A&M professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, who said “The so-called random shooting at the Montana borders is actually eliminating or depleting entire maternal lineages; therefore, this action will cause an irreversible crippling of the gene pool. Continued removal of genetic lineages will change the genetic makeup of the herd; thus it will not represent the animal of 1910 or earlier. It would be a travesty to have people look back and say we were idiots for not understanding the gene pool.”

    Rep. Dennis Rehberg [R-MT]

    To my friend from Virginia, maybe his natural resource management skill is mowing his lawn, but he ought to go out and take a look at Yellowstone and see what the over 400,000 head of bison are doing to their riparian area. They are eating the grass down to nothing. They are creating a parking lot along those rivers and streams. They are overpopulated. The reason the National Academy of Science established a figure of between 2,300 and 3,000 head is that there is a finite ecosystem. They cannot overpopulate because if they overpopulate, they destroy their environment.

    If we managed federal properties on the Bureau of Land Management properties with cattle the way the National Park Service is ignoring the overpopulation, you would throw us in jail because we are overpopulating and we are destroying the environment.

  10. Buffaloed Says:

    I have little faith that Schwietzer will live up to his promises on this issue. When I talked, briefly, to him after the press conference announcing that they weren’t going to kill the 300 buffalo that were on Horse Butte, he complained how Rehberg was breathing down his back about this. So What!!! Do the right thing!

    Have Democrats always been this cowardly? They sure seem to be now and during the entire Bush Administration.

    I’ll answer Hinchey: It’s about grass! It’s not about brucellosis.

  11. be Says:

    it’s about dominance of the land – the space ~ IMO

  12. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Mack,

    Is that a typo? Did Rehberg say “400,000” bison?

    Regardless, he is really an arrogant, offensive son of a bitch!

  13. Dan Stebbins Says:

    As if I needed another reason to not support Rehberg…

  14. Mack P. Bray Says:

    Ralph, Rehberg’s statement of “over 400,000 head of bison” is directly from the Congressional Record which can be significantly modified by Members of Congress after the fact. So he and his staff had the chance to make the correction but obviously did not.

    Sloppy work, sloppy thinking, sloppy “representation.”

    And Ralph, without question, Barbara Cubin is a FAR more arrogant and offensive son of a bitch than Rehberg ever could be. 🙂

  15. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Fortunately it looks like Wyoming’s at-large U.S. Representative Cubin will not run; or if she does, she will lose.

    Rehberg keeps winning.

  16. be Says:

    paper bison ? … who woulda thought ? …

    but come on y’all ~ it’s good to see Rehberg’s concern with the condition of riparian habitat 😉 he even said ‘ecosystem’…

    Dennis Kucinich ~ click it …

  17. d. Bailey Hill Says:

    Mack— I know about what you are speaking, however if you refer to the IBMP and the strict guidelines there in, they have not followed them at all. Their management has been a free-for-all, a we will do what we damn well please with those bison. There was a very detailed documentary about the management plan, and those who were entrusted to carry out the plan. { i can’t remember what network}. The processes of test and release, quarentine, etc.,{I am sure you know them}, according to the plan has been ignored, except maybe for the footage in the documentary, or maybe that was carefull editing. I do not know who funded this docu,{i was very ill at the time}, but I would not be surprised if it was an attempt to make the public believe that the actions of the MDOL are controlled and following the plan to the letter. They were just trying to save face after that story aired in the nat’l news. They looked very stupid to the rest of the nation.
    Hinchey and Rahall{D-WV}, know what is going on. And Montana cries that nobody from back east has any right to stick their nose in Montana’s business. What a joke !!
    ****Please don’t misunderstand; I am not trying to argue with you or anyone. It is this issue that makes my blood boil !! The MDOL is not following the court order, so it should be thrown out and the MDOL put in their place !!
    Like I said, I do not want to argue. I think I needed to vent. It is sickening that this is allowed to continue…..
    I do not look forward to the winter season…..

  18. Mack P. Bray Says:

    d. Bailey Hill, what documentary are you speaking of? And where can I see it or get a copy?

    If you or anyone else has proof that the interagency Bison Management Plan is not being followed to the letter, then there is a cause of action and an attorney could take if from there.

    The management plan can be found here: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/factsheets/ibmp.html

  19. d. Bailey Hill Says:

    Mack—I will see what I can find out by process of elimination. If I don’t find out when I call {in the morning} the person i watched it with. Then e-mails to PBS, Discovery, and Nat’l Geo. I am sure it is one of these three.
    I’ll keep you posted.


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