Montana's governor calls on Idaho to ban game farms

The Story in the Casper Star Tribune.

Montana’s Schweitzer, who has sky high popularity, was in Idaho campaigning for fellow Democrat Jerry Brady who is tied in a recent poll with Butch Otter in the governor’s race (many are skeptical, of course, about such poll results in the reddest state in the country).Schweitzer became the second governor to tell Idaho to ban the controversial facilities. Earlier Wyoming’s Governor Dave Freudenthal sent a letter to Idaho’s Governor Jim Risch with similar concerns. Risch steps down at the end of the year. He became governor when he ascended to the post when Governor Dirk Kempthorne became Secretary of Interior.

Brady has campaigned strongly on public lands issues. On the other hand, Otter introduced a bill in Congress to sell off 15% of the nation’s public lands in the Western States to raise money to deal with Hurricane Katrina. When keeping all of America’s public lands like national forests became very popular in Idaho and the West last winter, Otter withdrew his bill and said he had made a mistake, and sad he now supports public lands. The issue had come to a flashpoint when Richard Pombo of CA and Jim Gibbons of Nevada devised a scheme to allow “mining companies” to stake claims on essentially unlimited swaths of public land, and then privatize them after paying a fee. This is chronicled in my earlier “Congressional land grab page.”

Idaho critics of Freudenthal had pointed out the chronic wasting disease spreads unchecked in Wyoming, but has not been detected in Idaho.




  1. Jon Way Avatar
    Jon Way

    Montana’s Schweitzer supports getting rid of game farms – great. Now do something about the pointless and inhumane bison roundup outside of Yellowstone every winter/spring. Idaho should send Schweitzer a letter urging him to do just that.

  2. Buffaloed Avatar

    Idaho will not tell Schwietzer to do that since Idaho, when the occasional bison does enter the state from Yellowstone, either kills them where they stand or, in one instance, traquilizes them and hauls them back to the park.

  3. Jon Way Avatar
    Jon Way

    I didn’t know that. How pathetic. Thanks for the FYI. How pathetic (stressed again)

  4. Robert Hoskins Avatar

    Let’s not forget the hypocrisy of Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal calling on Idaho to ban game farms while doing nothing to close Wyoming’s elk feedgrounds, which are nothing but staterun game farms and are both a source of brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and will be the catalyst for a CWD epidemic in the GYE.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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