Environment | Law | National

Non-Indian ranchers unhappy with transfer of bison to tribes

Non-Indian farmers and ranchers in Montana continue to fight the transfer of bison from Yellowstone National Park to tribes.

Bison were once plentiful across the state. Over-hunting led to their demise, with the last pure animals left at Yellowstone.

The park can hold about 4,000 animals before they start wandering in search of food. Those that leave are usually slaughtered by the state of Montana.

Instead of killing the animals, Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) worked with the Fort Peck Tribes and the Fort Belknap Indian Community. More than 60 bison were transferred to the Fort Belknap Reservation last month until a lawsuit from non-Indians stopped further moves.

“I took a lot of arrows for this, but it was the right thing to do,” Schweitzer told The New York Times.

Non-Indian ranchers and farmers fear the bison will transfer a deadly disease to their cattle.

Get the Story:
As Bison Return to Prairie, Some Rejoice, Others Worry (The New York Times 4/27)

Related Stories:
Bison from Yellowstone gives birth at Fort Peck Reservation (4/23)
Editorial: Move of Yellowstone bison to tribes a good thing (4/10)
Opinion: Tribes looking to reclaim heritage with bison herds (4/6)
Group protests governor's visit to Fort Peck Tribe bison site (4/3)
Editorial: Allow transfer of bison to Montana reservations (3/28)
Judge's ruling puts hold on move of bison from Yellowstone (3/22)
Fort Peck Tribes accept transfer of bison from Yellowstone (3/21)

Join the Conversation