Fort Peck Game Director: Bison bill unfair to tribes
"In 2005, about 100 wild Yellowstone bison that roamed out of the Yellowstone Park were spared from slaughter and placed in a brucellosis experiment. The goal was to provide a source of disease-free Yellowstone bison and make them available to start new herds elsewhere. Four years later, they are ready for relocation to willing, qualified landowners.

Montana Senate Bill 337 would prevent Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks from relocating these Yellowstone bison to any place in Montana other than the National Bison Range in Moiese. The bill's sponsor, Sen. John Brenden, R-Scobey, made his intent clear to the Senate Agriculture Committee: Prevent bison relocation to Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

SB337 is not about brucellosis; to say it is defies science. No cattle have ever gone through the amount of testing for disease as have these Yellowstone bison, and if these bison aren't good enough then neither are any of the livestock in this state. Rather, SB337 is about a continuing disrespect for our tribes and for wild bison.

We as Native peoples are trying to help ourselves and help America preserve a rare and vital resource - genetically pure wild bison - by restoring a small herd to a small part of our tribal lands. Yet it seems that every step of the way we get blocked by someone utilizing misinformation and scare tactics to prevent our progress."

Get the Story:
Robert Magnan: SB337 unfair to tribes, wild bison (The Billings Gazette 3/11)

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