Take Back Our Public Lands
Bison on Horse Butte © Ken Cole
By Tom Woodbury, Western Watersheds Project,
Addition by Ralph Maughan. This is also in New West. You can comment there as well as on this blog.
2008 should be remembered as the year of the buffalo. Over 1600 bison were slaughtered in Montana that year, about half of the last wild bison left in the world. This liquidation of wild bison is totally at odds with Montana’s strong conservation ethic, and is against our economic interest as well. In spite of this massive slaughter, Montana lost its “brucellosis-free” status due to repeated transmissions from wild elk to cattle. Also in 2008, the Government Accountability Office released a blistering report on bison management, finding no increased tolerance for bison, as intended by the management plan, and no accountability to those with a stake in how bison are managed, including Montana citizens and the many tribes that hold bison sacred.
The Bison Management Plan was adopted in 2000 “to ensure domestic cattle in portions of Montana adjacent to Yellowstone National Park are protected from brucellosis… and to ensure the wild and free-ranging nature of the bison herd.” It has failed on both counts. Read the rest of this entry »