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Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

3 Responses to GAO (congressional agency) report rips the bison slaughter.

  1. avatar JB says:

    “It’s been clear for some time now that the current (bison-management plan) is not working,” Rahall said in a prepared statement.”

    A more accurate statement would be that it is been clear for sometime that the plan has not been implemented–you have to implement the plan in order to judge whether it works.

  2. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    The main point the GAO report missed is that the agencies have never had any intent to implement the so called “adaptive management” aspects of the plan. The intent all along has been to prevent bison access to Montana and to accomplish this through intensifying bison “management” through hazing, capture, testing (sometimes), slaughter, quarantine, and vaccination. The proposed RB51 vaccination “experiment” with bison inside the Park is simply one more aspect of the determination to keep bison inside the Park and use any tech-vet means to accomplish that.

    The Park is claiming that the vaccination program is coming late because of concerns over the effectiveness of RB51, a cattle vaccine, in bison. That’s not wholly true. I’ve talked with the biologists and the main problem with the delay is that the Park lacks adequate quantitative baseline pre-vaccination data on the amount of Brucella abortus organisms shed into the environment with which to compare post-vaccination data. That is, the Park has no scientifically valid basis of comparison for this particular experiment. What that means is that they have no experimentl. The Park has been trying to get around this “little” problem by trying to develop a very complex statistical analysis package to massage what little pre-vaccination data they do have. Would anyone care to predict just how valid that will be?

    And in any case, vaccination is a sham from the get-go because the diagnostic tests for brucellosis seroprevalence have never been and still are not and are not likely ever to be adequate for bison, a fact which the scientists all know, so in fact, we actually don’t know the degree of seroprevalence and certainly infectiousness in bison. So how is anyone going to claim that RB51 works?

    By lying about it, that’s how.

    It doesn’t matter because the intent of the IBMP is bison control, not disease control.

  3. avatar Cory Sutherland says:

    Finally, someone in the Government can see what’s really going on in Yellowstone.
    I hope this is just the first step on the road to recovery for the Tatanka Oyate.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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