Environment | Law | Opinion

Editorial: Court makes right call in transfer of bison to tribes

Montana newspaper welcomes decision affecting transfer of bison from Yellowstone National Park to the Fort Peck Tribes and the Fort Belknap Indian Community:
In a unanimous opinion written by Chief Justice Mike McGrath, the court threw out a district judge’s injunction that barred the Fort Peck Tribes from transferring about 60 brucellosis-free bison to the Fort Belknap Tribes.

Judge John McKeon had granted the injunction on March 22, 2013. It was sought in a lawsuit brought by Citizens for Balanced Use, a group that includes Valley County commissioners, United Property Owners of Montana, Missouri River Stewards and several individuals.

McKeon based the injunction on a Montana statute that says Yellowstone National Park bison are a species requiring disease control and that the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks “may not release, transplant or allow wild buffalo or bison on any private or public land in Montana that has not been authorized for that use by the private or public landowner.”

Get the Story:
Editorial: Court delivers dose of rationality to bison dispute (The Billings Gazette 6/25)

Montana Supreme Court Decision:
Opinion - Citizens v. Maurier (June 19, 2013)
Synopsis - Citizens v. Maurier (June 19, 2013)

Related Stories:
Montana court upholds transfer of Yellowstone bison to tribes (6/20)

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