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Sun May 9, 2021, 03:07 AM

U.S. Agency to Look at Bringing Back Bison on Montana Refuge

BILLINGS – U.S. officials said they will consider in coming years whether to reintroduce wild bison to a million-acre federal wildlife refuge in central Montana, a move that would be at odds with Republicans in the state who want to limit where bison can roam.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans beginning in July “to engage Tribes and stakeholders on the topics of bison and bighorn sheep reintroductions” on the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, a remote landscape of badlands and prairie bisected by the Missouri River, according to an Interior Department statement.

Bison historically roamed the region but were wiped out across most of North America by overhunting in the late 19th century. Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte and his fellow Republicans in the Legislature have sought to make it harder to reintroduce bison to new areas.

Many ranchers in the state, including around the refuge, oppose efforts to restore bison to the landscape, fearing they could compete with livestock for public grazing space and spread the disease brucellosis. That’s an infectious disease carried by Yellowstone National Park bison that can cause animals to prematurely abort their young.

Read more: https://flatheadbeacon.com/2021/04/29/u-s-agency-to-look-at-bringing-back-bison-on-montana-refuge/

This prompted a response from Gov. Gianforte:

Gianforte Pushes Back on Plan to Look at Bison in Refuge

BILLINGS — Gov. Greg Gianforte’s office says a U.S. Interior Department plan to consider if bison should be reintroduced to a sprawling refuge in central Montana raises questions about federal intrusion into state wildlife management.

Interior officials this week said they are anticipating a years-long process to examine potential bison reintroductions at the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge north of Lewistown. Bison roamed Montana in huge herds until they were wiped out by overhunting across most of North America in the late 19th century.

Gianforte, a Republican, has sided with livestock interests opposed to returning bison to more places because of fears about disease and potential competition with cattle for grazing space.

In response to the Interior Department’s plans, Gianforte’s office said in a statement that bison pose “unique challenges” that should be addressed at the state level.

Read move: https://flatheadbeacon.com/2021/04/30/gianforte-pushes-back-on-plan-to-look-at-bison-in-refuge/

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Reply U.S. Agency to Look at Bringing Back Bison on Montana Refuge (Original post)
TexasTowelie May 9 OP
Siwsan May 9 #1
2naSalit May 9 #2

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun May 9, 2021, 08:11 AM

1. I say let the Bison roam free, and corral the republicans

Seems to me to be a logical solution.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #1)

Sun May 9, 2021, 08:19 AM

2. If only.

I suddenly feel like I have to relocate, and that really hurts. I love this place and have fought and argued for it's wildlife and their habitat but it's a losing battle with these knucklehead assholes.

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