Yellowstone Bison: Madison Valley Landowners Get Tough with Montana DOL

A couple just bought much of the top of Horse Butte, a place bison love to come when they leave Yellowstone Park searching for grass, and where Montana DOL loves to capture them for slaughter and haze them back in the Park to “protect” the non-existent cattle from getting brucellosis from the bison.

The new landowners will not tolerate the DOL trespassing on their property (we will see if DOL cares about private private rights. I’ve said they don’t. Hope to be proven wrong). There will be a confrontation this winter because a lot of bison are going the leave the Park because this summer’s drought has left the range in bad condition according to biologists I have talked with.

It will be winter of starvation for elk and bison . . . worse if the bison are confined to the Park.

Here is the story in New West.  Yellowstone Bison: Madison Valley Landowners Get Tough with Montana DOL. By David Nolt.


  1. kim kaiser Avatar

    he he ,, this ought to be one heck of a confrontation when the occasion arises!!!

  2. d. Bailey Hill Avatar

    I am absolutely thrilled with this news !!

    Kim— I agree whole heartedly!! This is going to be interesting and I bet the sparks are going to fly! I know if I were in that situation I would consider the MDOL as TRESPASSERS and do whatever it takes to keep them off the property. This may lead to a resolution sooner than we think. And it may lead to keeping the MDOL from trespassing in the rest of the community. No more “free-reign” for the DOL!!! and peace and quiet for the entire community!!

  3. Anthony Criscola Avatar
    Anthony Criscola

    Why not form an organization to buy the remaining
    private land around W.Yellowstone. A national campaign
    for donations could pay for it. Each donor would receive
    a certificate of ownership depending on the amount donated.

  4. Mack P. Bray Avatar
    Mack P. Bray

    If you read the statues and rules attached to the letter from DOL to Janae and Rob Galanis you can see that the State of Montana allows the DOL to enter private property. So DOL thugs will probably enter the Galanis’ property.

    You can bet the Galanis have set a master plan – I hope it’s to get this issue back into court, perhaps the Montana Supreme Court. Private property rights (no trespassing) vs the State of Montana’s right to “protect” private cattle from brucellosis carried by buffalo.

    I hope the Galanis document and use any entries as a huge PR tool. I’d like to be there…! How about a human barricade with arms locked?

    The Galanis are my kind of people…! Here’s their contact info – I hope you support them; I guarantee I am:

    Janae and Rob Galanis
    Yellowstone Ranch Preserve LLC
    360 East 4500 South, Suite 7
    Salt Lake City, UT 84107

  5. catbestland Avatar

    Anthony Criscola,
    Excellent Idea, I would gladly donate to that cause.

  6. Jon Way Avatar

    Why doesn’t the park service buy the land. That would seem to make sense if we had a couple million dollars to spend on national (homeland) issues vs. trillions overseas. Then the hazing could officially stop.

  7. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I need to add some history.

    Several years ago some conservation organizations bought out the Horse Butte public grazing allotment with the idea that would prompt the Montana state government to let the bison roam west of the park, because this removed all but a few private cattle behind fences.

    No deal. If anything, it only made Montana DOL more truculent, probably because now their hazing and killing had been shown to be absurd. Worse, the Bush Administration got the Park Service and the Forest Service in on the act, so when Montana DOL comes calling they’ve got the Forest Service with them and the local law enforcement. The Park Service lets DOL use machines to “haze” the bison far into Yellowstone Park, doing things that would get a private citizen a prison sentence.

    Because their mission is pointless, they are spoiling for a fight . . . like the old saying . . . when people have lost their sense of purpose fanatics redouble their efforts.

  8. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    I would urge everyone to start an e-mail campaign to the gov. of Montana now. That seemed to have a huge effect last winter when they were all set to slaughter all the bison that were still outside the park. Talk about not spending any tourist money in Montana and that you will be telling all your friends and family to do likewise. Nothing like the threat of reducing income to get a politicians attention. Don’t just write one e-mail. Write one a week.

  9. Chuck Avatar

    This just makes me sick, my wife and I wittnessed it first hand this last spring. In my book, private property means just that,keep out, should not matter who you are.

  10. Buffaloed Avatar

    Boy, the discussion over there is pretty informative. Of course Marion is spewing her vitriol as usual but some good stuff is being said.

  11. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Discussion over where?

  12. skyrim Avatar

    I’ve read some of that too. I especially like Marion (who is enamored with Elk, but obviously has nothing good for Bison) questioning Bob Jackson on Bison issues. That would be like me questioning GWB on buffoonery…

  13. skyrim Avatar

    Ralph They have a comment section at the bottom of the article. I’m guessing that’s what Buffaloed is referring to.

  14. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Skyrim. Yes they have a number of major players discussing it.

    I think this winter’s bison battle will be national news. Montana DOL and the Stockgrowers Assn. can’t keep this bottled up.

  15. Buffaloed Avatar

    Yes, that’s what I’m referring to.

  16. d. Bailey Hill Avatar

    It is time that MDOL and their hired guns are held accountable for “crying wolf”.
    Their most visible mistake was “hazing” bison with all those onlookers when the park opened in the spring. They have dug a hole so deep that they are going to have a fit and fall in. They will make more mistakes. Icing on the cake for the bison.

    If you haven’t read the comments below the story/link it is worthwhile reading if you have some time to spare. Since May 2006 I have read all the comments on every story I found about this bison issue. Most of the comments were nothing but pure ignorance, name calling and threats of violence/physical harm. They even included the names of specific people. ***But it is quite different with the Galanis story. The people who know the truth are writing intellegent, long comments and and being respectable. I am impressed for the first time.
    I am hopeful that more folks will be joining in to put an end to this once and for all. Maybe even change the way other wildlife is treated/managed. {have I gone of the deep end ???}.

  17. JB Avatar

    A couple things…

    (1) Jon Way asked, “Why doesn’t the park service buy the land.”

    Response: You mean the Park Service that GWB would just as soon abolish? The Park Service, FWS, BLM, FS, etc. don’t have any teeth with this administration in power.

    (2) As much as I agree that this is good news, I can’t help remembering that a few years ago Mike Jimenez, an FWS employee who was tagging wolves, got charged with trespassing and littering for collaring and dropping wolves on private property. Eventually the court let him off, but I’m betting the same people that were miffed about Mike’s situation are those that are cheering the Galanis’ efforts. You can’t have your cake and eat it too…well, unless your GWB…or Republican…or a baby-boomer…oh never mind I guess you can have your cake and eat it too! What do I know?!

  18. d. Bailey Hill Avatar

    Hello all, and especially Mack, be, and catbestland who asked for this specific info:—- I believe I have found that bison film I spoke about. “The Buffalo Wars”, director and producer, Matt Testa; completed in 2001. This film was chosen for the 2005 American Conservation Film Festival, in Shepherdstown, WV. It is supported by the West Virginia Humanities Council.
    Check out the web-site , and you will find quite a few interesting films and info.
    I have sent an email query to the council about a copy or transcript. This year’s festival just ended so I am not sure how quickly i will recieve a reply.
    I will keep you posted.

  19. d. Bailey Hill Avatar

    Update—-This IS the show and it was on PBS.

    Mack— the part i refered to about the IBMP being “misrepresented” is in this movie.

    Copies for purchase—

  20. Mack P. Bray Avatar
    Mack P. Bray

    Thanks, d.Bailey Hill.

    I saw this production several years ago when the Jackson Hole Film Festival “opened it’s doors” to the general public – normally it’s $1K+ to participate.

    Excellent production – as I recall, Testa was the only non-native allowed to join the Lakota Sioux in their 500 mile walk protesting the buffalo slaughter.

    “A scathing exposé of the fiendish state-supported conspiracies to exterminate the last vestiges of a noble creature–and a people–who once dominated the western plains.” Timothy McGettigan, Professor of Sociology, University of Southern Colorado

    The DVD’s $250. They’d probably increase sales if the price was more reasonable.

  21. d. Bailey Hill Avatar

    That’s right, Testa was the only non-native.

    I almost fell off my chair when I saw the price!! However, I have an idea….. I’ll let you know what happens.


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Ralph Maughan