More on the Montana brucellosis

While this article is a bit repetitive, it shows the evolution of the controversy. The Paradise Valley, in particular the Emigrant cattle ranch, seems not be the source of brucellosis. Some still suspect elk from somewhere, but some are thinking it came from infected cattle from somewhere else. Some folks who have posted have suggested this is completely a cattle industry outbreak, with nothing to do with the wildlife.

Cattle herd tests negative for brucellosis. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer.

Governor Schweitzer is pushing his idea (although he did not originate it) that the Greater Yellowstone should be separated from the rest of State of Montana by the federal agency APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) in terms of brucellosis free status. They have the power to do this.
McMillion writes that Montana Cattlemen’s Association backs Schweitzer’s plan, but the apparently more powerful Montana Stockgrowers Association and the Montana Farm Bureau have criticized Sweitzer. “Federal officials have been lukewarm or nonresponsive.” Schweitzer said.

Hopefully, Schweitzer will repeat his earlier call to simply eliminate the few cattle that live adjacent to Yellowstone Park, but the cultural hegemony of livestock requires that people see Yellowstone and its wildlife as a negative thing, as a source of dangerous disease. That may explain the opposition of the more powerful ag political interest groups to his plan.

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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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Ralph Maughan