Why Yellowstone Bison do not belong on Ted Turners Ranch

Privatization of Public Bison

On 2/2/10 Montana’s wildlife agency, Fish, Wildlife & Parks (MFWP) announced their decision to send all 88 quarantined Yellowstone bison to the private lands of billionaire Ted Turner. The Yellowstone bison were part of a state-federal Quarantine Feasibility Study, which had the stated goal of placing brucellosis-free bison on public or tribal lands.

40 Responses to “Why Yellowstone Bison do not belong on Ted Turners Ranch”

  1. Nathan Hobbs Says:

    powerful footage here.

  2. Angela Says:

    It’s so disturbing to see wild bison treated like cattle. Heck, it’s disturbing enough to see cattle treated like cattle. Are the bison Ted Turner will get from this deal going to be made into burgers or kept as a separate herd? How much of this transaction is the result of Ted Turner’s power versus Montana FWP and the ranching industry taking advantage of a convenient opportunity? I guess I need to do more research, because it seems that if Turner has a strong environmental ethic (that is what I gather anyway), he probably thinks he is providing a good option for the bison. I would guess that your average American hears of this says “oh, that eccentric Ted Turner,” and thinks the bison will be more protected there than anywhere else, but has no knowledge of the fact that this herd is special in any way. I.e., making those of us opposed to it look like some sort of animal rights extremists.

  3. Robert Hoskins Says:

    Angela

    You can read various comments on the proposal and about what it means here: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/legislative/bisonquarantine.html. But in short, this comes from several false assumptions about quarantine on the part of FWP and also from a deal that Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has cut with Turner that gives Turner private property rights in public bison, especially their genetic heritage. Any further questions, holler.

    RH

  4. Angela Says:

    Thanks for the link Robert. I did just read a little more on BFC’s site, but this looks perfect.

  5. Robert Hoskins Says:

    Angela

    If you read all the public comments, including my appeal, you’ll get a full idea of what’s wrong with the Turner decision. If you scroll down a little you’ll find the actual contract, or MOU, between FWP and Turner. The biggest problem in the MOU is FWP’s agreement that Turner can harvest genetic material if for some reason, such as losing a lawsuit, the bison are removed from Turner’s property. This is a particularly despicable promise, since the genetics of these bison is what Turner really wants.

    RH

  6. Angela Says:

    It’s a tragedy that they can’t run free since they are such a living legacy, and that such an important decision can be made by FWP. I would imagine he could do genetic harvesting just through artificial insemination if he wanted to, no? Doesn’t seem like it would be hard to conceal such a thing.

  7. timz Says:

    Robert, is there a court case pending on this?

  8. Robert Hoskins Says:

    TimZ

    Regarding litigation, not yet.

    Angela

    I object to genetic harvesting as much as I do privatizing whole buffalo. No, it wouldn’t be hard to conceal–my fear is that the genetic harvesting is already going on sub rosa. One of the terms of the MOU is that FWP has to give Turner a heads up before going onto Turner’s private property to monitor the bison. A lot can happen behind private fences.

    RH

  9. Angela Says:

    yeah, that was my point–pretty hard to enforce something like that.

  10. Robert Hoskins Says:

    One reason they should never have gone to Turner in the first place. But it was a done deal once Schweitzer and Ted shook hands.

    RH

  11. Mike Says:

    1. These bison would probably be killed if they weren’t going to the Turner ranch
    2. The bison suffer less. The drive is much shorter.
    3. If they are allowed to roam free, they will have thousands of of acres.
    4. Turner doesn’t use predator control on his ranch.
    5. Moving the bison to Ted’s ranch uses less gas and is a “greener” solution than alternatives

    I think the bison plan as it stands is awful. These animals should be allowed to roam all public lands without hassel. But I’d much rather see them going to Turner’s ranch than be killed. Remember that one of Turner’s goals is to have bison returned to all western lands, not just his own ranches. And as the largest private landowner in the U.S., he may achieve a large portion of that someday.

  12. Dusty Roads Says:

    Note: the message from”Mike” above is a new new Mike.

    I hope he will take a slightly different name to avoid confusion

    webmaster

  13. Robert Hoskins Says:

    Mike

    1. False. This claim is pure FWP propaganda to cover the fact that this decision reflects a deal between Schweitzer and Turner and that Schweitzer ordered FWP to give the bison to Turner regardless of the law or public opinion. The fact is that numerous options exist for the disposition of these bison, primarily tribal lands (e.g. Fort Belknap) or FWP-owned wildlife management areas (e.g. Robb Ledford). I suggest you read my appeal at the URL listed above to get acquainted with the facts.

    2. Irrelevant. The decision is illegal.

    3. And your point is? These bison aren’t roaming free; they’re behind a private fence with tags in their ears.

    4. So what?

    5. Irrelevant.

    And just how many of Ted’s domestic buffalo have been transplanted to public lands?

    RH

  14. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Mike, I hate to admit it, but you do raise a good point. I would just hope that these buffalo don’t get shot on one of his “hunts.” I just don’t see a reason why buffalo can’t be in more places. They need to get ESA protections.

  15. Angela Says:

    well, I would agree that it’s the next best alternative to having them on public lands, and probably better to go to someone like Turner who seems like a good land steward.

    Please assure me they will NOT be tagged. I am so tired of wildlife with “jewelry.”

  16. Robert Hoskins Says:

    Angela

    Look at the video. They’re tagged.

    Turner is the worst alternative given the politics of wealth. It’s easy to say, well, he has the money and the land, he can best take care of them. But taking care of them is not the issue–the issue is their wildness, bison taking care of bison. What’s not understood among the public is that privatizing bison is the first stage of domesticating them. They are no longer wild; the process of replacing natural selection with artificial selection begins here. This is precisely why we are so opposed to Turner’s possession of these bison for any length of time. It’s also why we are opposed to quarantine altogether. We want wild, free-roaming bison on the landscape, not livestock.

    RH

  17. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Angela, from what I understand Turner does not use tags on his animals.

  18. Elk275 Says:

    Robert Hoskins

    ++The fact is that numerous options exist for the disposition of these bison, primarily tribal lands (e.g. Fort Belknap) or FWP-owned wildlife management areas (e.g. Robb Ledford). ++

    The Robb Ledford wildlife management area was purchased for winter range for elk not buffalo. The Robb Ledford wildlife management is a combination of land brokered by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and a number of sections of state land that was traded from 17 sections of state land on Ted Turner’s Flying “D” ranch.

    If Buffalo were put on the Robb Ledford wildlife management area what would happen in the buffalo breeding season? Bulls from Turner’s ranch and the buffalo on the management area go through the fences and breed and mix. The fences as there are built are not strong enough to stop a determined bull. If buffalo fences were built strong enough then they would effect the elk from using the management area. There are complaints about Turner’s fences on the Snow Crest Range impeding the migration of elk. I have seen pictures of elk being tangled in the fence and found dead

    Then there is the unfenced state school trust land which the department of state lands would never allow buffalo. Since people want wild buffalo who would pay the state lease fee? These state lands are leased to Turner for his buffalo.

    They graze cattle on the Robb Ledford wildlife management area which I believe the compensation is traded for additional block management lands. If we had buffalo would there be a reduction of block management land.

    If the Buffalo Field Campaign feels so strongly about finding a place for the surplus Yellowstone Buffalo why don’t they develop the same business plan as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and start purchasing land to place these buffalo on. The Elk Foundation has purchase and preserve millions of acres for elk. By placing buffalo on the Robb Leaford the Buffalo Field Campaign is riding on the shirt tails of the Elk Foundation and it appears that they are not as effective as the as the foundation.

  19. ProWolf in WY Says:

    If the Buffalo Field Campaign feels so strongly about finding a place for the surplus Yellowstone Buffalo why don’t they develop the same business plan as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and start purchasing land to place these buffalo on. The Elk Foundation has purchase and preserve millions of acres for elk. By placing buffalo on the Robb Leaford the Buffalo Field Campaign is riding on the shirt tails of the Elk Foundation and it appears that they are not as effective as the as the foundation.

    I think that an organization for buffalo would have a difficult go of it because people would still have the brucellosis fear. People downplay elk brucellosis and want to preserve them because they are fun to shoot.

  20. Angela Says:

    Robert, I’m sorry if you misinterpreted my reply as complacency. I too think it is a bad precedent and am not in favor of this at all. I’m hoping, before being able to read more, that there is some plan to let them roam free again? It seems this is due more to politics and pressure from the livestock industry than to any good science or reasoning. I just can’t believe the brucellosis thing is still going on, except that wildlife and biodiversity seem to always get the short end of the stick.

  21. Patrick Says:

    Can someone tell me whether Turner paid for the transportation and other costs of acquiring the animals? If that’s the case, couldn’t a legal challenge be made that there was no opportunity for an open bidding process? Presumably tribal organizations, for example, should have as much right to acquire the animals as Turner (if costs to the state were a consideration). And, having been sold, the bison could then be restored to tribal lands. Note that I am in agreement that wild bison should be restored to public lands, but someone has to pay for their management, and the conflicts they will inevitably pose to adjacent private landowners. Sounds like the FWP wants to avoid this and make sure the bison stay behind strong fences.

  22. Elk275 Says:

    Patrick

    The Bozeman Daily Chronicle had a picture of Turner’s trucks and horse trailers loading up Buffalo, so I assume that he paid for the gas.

  23. Mike Says:

    Dusty- trust me when I say I’m the first Mike here. 😉

  24. Mike Says:

    Dusty- My system shut off last night and reset some sort of log in details to another wordpress blog I read. I changed my settings back.

    OK Mike, Gotcha on this. Dusty

  25. Mike Says:

    ++Mike, I hate to admit it, but you do raise a good point. I would just hope that these buffalo don’t get shot on one of his “hunts.” I just don’t see a reason why buffalo can’t be in more places. They need to get ESA protections.++

    I completely agree.

    I think the BFC is a great group, but this Turner scenario doesn’t irk me as much as the other scenarios that play out with these bison. I think the bison should have ESA protections and that the EPA needs to seriously look at cattle as real threat in terms of climate change. I feel that all public grazing allotments in a 40 mile radius around Yellowstone should be rescinded so the bison can return.

  26. ProWolf in WY Says:

    I feel that all public grazing allotments in a 40 mile radius around Yellowstone should be rescinded so the bison can return.

    I’d go for that!🙂

  27. Todd Wilkinson Says:

    Robert,
    I’ve been a fan of yours for years, but with regard to the slanderous comments you and others are making about Ted Turner, you are way, way off base. Frankly, I’m pretty disappointed. I’m devoting a fair amount of space in the book I’m writing about Turner’s conservation agenda to the Yellowstone bison issue. All I can tell you is that your speculation and conspiracy theories bear no resemblance to the truth. None. I’ve been a journalist for 25 years, writing often about Yellowstone bison, and I’ve seldom encountered commentary, as is appearing here, that is more absurd. If you’re so certain of sinister motives on the part of Turner, show us proof. I’d really like to see it.

  28. Robert Hoskins Says:

    Todd

    I’d hardly say that you as Turner’s approved biographer have much credibility here. You certainly haven’t read the relevant documents related to this issue that are posted on the BFC website or you’d know some things that you clearly don’t know. I suggest you do your research before commenting.

    You can start with Turner’s proposal to take quarantine bison dated 29 October 2009, which specifically criticizes legally established criteria, not to mention five years of public promises, that expressly prohibit any recipients of quarantine bison from privatizing and commercializing them. Turner asserts that “commercialization should not be a factor in this project” and goes on to demand a number of bison offspring be transferred to him as compensation for taking them.

    Interesting, isn’t it, that after Turner made his proposal at Schweitzer’s “request,” something that has been admitted in the press by both parties–only after I made queries to the Governor’s office about it by the way–that these criteria were eliminated in order to qualify the proposal?

    It is illegal to rewrite a government request for proposals in order to accommodate the demands of a bidder.

    This is but one of many illegalities and improprieties to be found in this deal, which a number of us discuss in our comments on the proposal, and which I outline in my appeal of the decision.

    For an example of impropriety, at the meeting of the RFP review committee on 10 November 2009, Turner personnel Russ Miller, Dave Hunter, and Danny Johnson were present, but no representative from other bidders was. This is the meeting at which Turner’s proposal was “approved.” I have learned that Miller et al. were invited as guests of Montana State Vet Marty Zaluski. The involvement of DOL with Turner in this matter is most troubling to me.

    It is also true that even though there was considerable opposition within FWP to this deal, Schweitzer ordered the FWP administration to make it happen regardless. And no, I’m not going to reveal my sources to you or anyone else.

    Perhaps rather than asserting that my comments are slanderous, you could instead actually try to prove them wrong? Why don’t you go through my appeal step by step and prove me wrong? Otherwise you’re just blowing hot air.

    RH

  29. Robert Hoskins Says:

    Elk 275

    My comment above about wildlife management areas as locations for bison restoration in Montana was a general one, with Robb Ledford offered merely as an example, not the only option. It is not my personal preference.

    The Gallatin Wildlife Association has strongly criticized the presence of cattle on Robb-Ledford; you can read their comments here: http://www.gallatinwildlifeassociation.org/Robb-Ledford%20EA%20Comments.htm. I recommend you read them; they’re excellent. Sheep trailing on the Robb-Ledford is also a concern.

    In general, there is no good reason to put livestock on wildlife management areas–almost every one of which was purchased with sportsmen’s dollars and created as big game winter range. These are all lands appropriated for cattle and ranches in the 19th century. State-owned winter ranges try to carve out a little grazing space and forage for big game in a West where there’s hardly an acre on which you don’t find cow shit. Livestock grazing on winter ranges defeats that purpose.

    Paying for block management by allowing livestock on Robb Ledford is a matter of politics, not good wildlife management policy.

    You say Robb Ledford is only for elk. That’s nonsense. I don’t know of any wildlife management area/winter range in the West, much less in Montana, where any wildlife species is expressly prohibited. We hear that argument here in Wyoming regarding bison on the National Elk Refuge from the SFW types. It’s logical they say–it’s the National ELK Refuge, not the National BISON Refuge. Well, if you read the originating legislation for the NER, it establishes the NER as “winter range for elk and other big game.” Ergo, bison are OK, legally. It’s the politics that make bison not OK.

    You assert that “By placing buffalo on the Robb Leaford the Buffalo Field Campaign is riding on the shirt tails of the Elk Foundation and it appears that they are not as effective as the as the foundation.”

    This completely misstates the situation. As I said, BFC has not to my knowledge pushed the Robb Ledford as a site for bison restoration–it’s a GWA proposal. (By the way, I have no official relationship with the BFC or the GWA. I just support what they do).

    My own preference for bison restoration is on federal public lands and tribal lands. Specifically, I would like to see bison restoration begin on the Charles M Russell National Wildlife Refuge, tied in with the Missouri Breaks National Monument, and on the surrounding BLM lands and the Tribal reservations of northern Montana.

    The larger issue is your claim that we are riding on the coattails of the Elk Foundation to put bison on Robb-Ledford. Well, since every landowner in the West has ridden on the coattails of the US Army’s conquest and theft of Indian land, I don’t think the coattail argument carries much weight. We all ride the coattails of someone who came before us. In this case, we (that is, Europeans) are living on stolen land. That is true of both private and public lands. The question then arises, what are our responsibilities today to land and wildlife for living on stolen land? I consider this responsibility as part of the public trust–a form of justice to and responsibility for those from whom these lands were stolen. Presumably, Elk Foundation purchases of land or easements is a reflection of this public trust responsibility.

    And of course, the BFC doesn’t have the kind of corporate and feudal relationships with big money that the Elk Foundation has. It is fair to ask, what compromises with the public trust has the Elk Foundation made to maintain these relationships?

    I await your reply.

    RH

  30. Indamani Says:

    Robert,
    I love your style, no bs, just telling it the way it is.

  31. Barb Rupers Says:

    One reason for the success of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is that there are a lot of elk hunters that support the organization. As yet, there are not many bison hunters.

  32. Stephany Says:

    There are no bison on the landscape for people to hunt because of the Department of Livestock/Interagency Bison Management Plan policies. When bison are afforded year-round habitat in Montana and are treated and valued as other native wildlife species, then maybe some hunters will begin to speak up for them. For now, people just want to TAKE and give nothing back to the buffalo. The hunters that come to kill the buffalo think it’s a “once in a lifetime chance” so they take it, not understanding they are just doing the Dept. of Livestock’s dirty work by killing any buffalo that walk into Montana. The hunt doesn’t make the hazing, capture, slaughter or quarantine go away, it is just in addition to it. It means nothing to a hunter to come a couple miles from Yellowstone’s border and kill the ONLY buffalo in Montana. Where’s the conservation ethics there? Hunters have a very strong voice in Montana and need to speak up and advocate for wild bison in the state. So far, there’s just KILLING and SILENCE. Hunters come here and take and go and never lift a finger to help the buffalo gain ground in Montana. The ONLY hunting group that has been a strong advocate for wild bison is the Gallatin National Wildlife Association. They are heroes and should be applauded for all of their valiant efforts to help wild bison in Montana. There should be many more hunting groups following their lead. Until they start to speak up and really demand that wild bison have a place in Montana, we will get the livestock industry driven (and U.S. taxpayer funded) harassment, slaughter, or domestication of the last population of wild American buffalo.

  33. Stephany Says:

    As to BFC purchasing land… we have thousands of acres of Gallatin National Forest – public land – where wild bison should be allowed to inhabit, but are forbidden, except during the “hunt”. There’s also a lot of private land where landowners already welcome buffalo, but the DOL doesn’t give a damn about private property rights unless you worship the holy cow … they will come on your own property and chase the buffalo off, regardless of your wishes or the blatant posting of “no tresspass” signs explicitly informing the DOL they are not welcome, but the buffalo are. The cowboy mafia’s version of eminent domain. And maybe they won’t step a foot or hoof on your property, but they’ll fly their helicopter 15 feet from your ground, right over your head, and chase off the buffalo off your land so they run onto the public land where the government horsemen await to continue the chase back to Yellowstone.

  34. Wilderness Muse Says:

    Robert, Brian, Anyone,

    What is the logic behind MT GFP’s decision to go with the Turner ranch option? Is it driven by economics, politics or applied science? And, please do not summarily offer the dismissive “politics of wealthy ranchers and a governor handshake” unless there are veriable details to show that GF&P was pressured into this alternative.

    Admittedly, I know little of bison, but would earnestly like to learn. If I recall the Belknap Reservation wanted them, but had not done the planning and put into place an implementable solution for “managing” this first batch by the March 1 timetable (It requires veternarian monitoring, fencing of high quality, and other fiduciary guarnantees the job would get done right, and if I recall that was the reason their offer was politely rejected). I gather there will be more bison needing the 5 year quarantine, and there may have been promises the tribe would get them. Wasn’t there a number floating around that it would cost several hundred thousand dollars from state coffers to monitor these bison for the 5 year period?

    I, and perhaps others, are just trying to objectively understand the basics

    As for Turner getting 3/4 of the progeny, what would have been a fairer exchange for care of the bison for the five year period (for Turner as manager or others) if no money changed hands?

  35. Robert Hoskins Says:

    I had the opportunity to interview the well-known Canadian-German wildlife biologist Dr. Valerius Geist some years ago. Aside from his scientific work in the evolutionary biology of ungulates, he has also written popular books on big game species for hunters. All have sold well except his bison book, which in his opinion and mine is the best of the bunch. He said it hadn’t sold because there was no hunting constituency for bison.

    Myself a hunter, I don’t know what the answer is to creating a constituency among hunters for bison. Hunting in many ways has parted ways with the traditional early 20th century scientific-ethical Leopoldian perspective on hunting that I grew up with (I was born in 1954), a perspective that included the land ethic and the public trust and eschewed the game ranching/farming attitude that is represented by the big game hunting industry, including Ted Turner. Leopold was pretty hard on game ranchers, as I’ve argued in a piece I wrote in 1998 about Leopold called “Outstretched Palms,” which can be found on the NewWest website.

    The fact is there is a tremendous bias and prejudice against bison by the livestock industry, a bias that has been lessened only slightly by the domestic bison industry,which nonetheless still isn’t accepted by cattle ranchers.

    However, domestic bison aren’t wild bison; they’re subject to artificial selection. Hunters have adopted this livestock bias for artificial selection, just as they’ve adopted the livestock bias against predators. Hunters also by and large, because of their bias for trophies, have demanded that wildlife management become a form of game ranching with a focus upon producing trophies, or big antlers, which is a form of artificial selection. When you hear hunters talk about “quality management,” what they’re saying is that management is focused upon producing big antlers rather than the overall fitness of a population that in the past produced big antlers as a by product of biological and ecological fitness. Now, the fitness gets skipped and what we end up with is biological monstrosities, in the same way that a cow is a monstrosity compared to the wild aurochs that is its ancestor. We see this most in whitetail deer bucks with the most grotesque, unnatural racks. They look like deer on steroids, just as a black angus is an aurochs on steroids. It isn’t healthy.

    Cattle ranchers produce beef; game ranchers produce trophy antlers; game farmers produce antler velvet for horny Asians and meat. There’s no difference, and unfortunately there’s no changing it. I find this trophy bias even in the Elk Foundation, unfortunately, despite its habitat work. The relationship with landowners who are interested in ranch hunting programs is corrosive for the RMEF.

    One has to look elsewhere for true ecological conservation.

    What this means that the constituency for wildlife qua wildlife no longer is rooted in hunting or most hunting organizations, as it was for the first 75 years of the 20th century, but in conservation biology, scientific and political ecology, and cultural, land-rooted tribalism such as is represented by Native American tribes and culturally marginal (marginal to mainstream American society) groups like the Buffalo Field Campaign that function tribally. The problem is, this isn’t a large constituency. We need another cultural source for conservation.

    My response has been to try and revive the public trust as an irrevocable duty of sovereign states to the public interest in natural resources rather than to private, economic interests, enforced by the courts, which these days are the only one of the three governmental institutions that still possess any legitimacy. But this is quite hard, given the knee-jerk attitudes in this country regarding “sacred” private property rights, property rights that I have noted are tainted with conquest, blood and theft that can never be wiped out, only balanced by the public trust.

    Addenda to Wilderness Muse: read the documents posted on the BFC website about bison quarantine if you want to learn what this is about. I’m not in the mood for repeating it all.

    As for the Schweitzer-Turner handshake, it is based upon interviews I’ve done off the record with various people in Montana State government. It’s basic detective or intelligence work. As I’ve noted, the relationship itself has been admitted by both Turner and Schweitzer in the press, but this only after I started querying the Governor’s office and they realized the secret was out so it was best to admit it and treat it as if Turner is just doing the State of Montana a favor by taking these poor bison off the State’s hands. Unfortunately, too many in the public have bought this fraud, just as they’ve bought the brucellosis fraud.

    What we don’t know is precisely what this relationship between the two entails. But if you think there’s no quid pro quo involved, then you don’t understand the inter-relationship between politics and commerce.

    If you don’t want to take that at face value, that’s your problem, not mine.

    RH

  36. Save bears Says:

    Robert,

    You have such a way at putting things, very true representation of what has occurred over the last few decades when it comes to Bison. It occurred when I was with FWP and it continues to occur and will continue, until such time as the public is educated as well as vocal about this. I am sorry to see Turner get his hands on the public Bison, nothing good will ever come from transferring public wildlife to private interests, no matter what the private interests motivation is.

    If your interested in the politics of Bison and Management, I would suggest reading everything you can on the subject, going back to the early part of the last century, it will be an eye opening read, I can assure you..

  37. Robert Hoskins Says:

    SB

    Thanks. Unfortunately, I have read quite a bit about the politics of bison going back a century. That’s one reason I’m so cynical now. Of course, my years as an Army officer in special operations have also been important in teaching me the nature of politics. Corrupt to the core. You know what I’m talking about.

    RH

  38. Wilderness Muse Says:

    Robert,

    Thank you for whatever on-the-record background you were able to provide regarding the turnover to Turner by the governor.

    I spent a bit of time on the BFC website, and could not find enough on my own, in one spot, about the current issue to be of much help for in-depth background.

    ___________________
    Brian Ertz

    If you are monitoring this exchange, you or BFC may want to add Dr. Geist’s two bison books to their “Buffalo Conservation Bibliiography” on their website, as well as esteemed U of California professor Dale Lott’s, 2002, “American Buffalo: a natural history.” Maybe even, Bob Jackson’s favorite from the 1980’s, Barnsess, “Head, Hide and Horns.”

  39. Robert Hoskins Says:

    WM

    Look here: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/legislative/bisonquarantine.html. Read my appeal and comments by BFC, WWP, and me (GravelBar) under Public Comments on Quarantine Bison.

    Also, look to the Memorandum of Understanding between Turner and FWP for the transfer of quarantine bison at http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/legislative/quarantine/Turner_bison_agreement_signed_feb_2010.pdf.

    Attend to the provisions of the MOU, particularly the one on page 4, paragraph 3, which gives Turner the right to harvest genetic material from the bison should FWP lose a lawsuit and be forced to remove the bison physically from Turner’s ranch

    This is an amazing provision, in my view. It essentially admits that the deal is illegal but looks to give Turner what he wants anyway, which is the genetics, regardless of how the courts rule.

    I think we’ve covered it completely.

    RH

  40. kt Says:

    This reminds me of how the Obama Admin. -with Ken Salazar who is looking like he is going to be the worst Interior Secretary ever – is dealing with wild horses on BLM lands.

    Avoid really doing anything. Meanwhile the ranching industry keeps on smiling. Stir up even MORE controversy and keep everybody warring among themselves. Move the problem to private lands. I would bet Turner is the precedent they want to set for bison. Next will be someone else …

    WHAT kind of disease issues does this raise? What diseases might Turner’s animals “on the ranch” now have? If someday the animals handed over to Turner were brought back to the Yellowstone area – what diseases might they have?


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