Montana Department of Livestock is expected to haze the bison off of Horse Butte today, despite the fact that most are on private property, whose owners welcome the bison.

The hard pressed bison have been gaining much needed nutrition from the lush grass and forbs after the winter of starvation and slaughter. The excuse from Montana DOL is that the Montana Stockgrowers Association has filed a lawsuit to get all the bison back inside Yellowstone Park lest brucellosis be spread to all the non-existent cattle in the area (they didn’t mention the later, as they like to pretend there are cattle present).

Of course we known what this is really about — to show us who is boss and that the average Americans’ private property rights are beneath contempt when confronted with the whims of the mighty livestock industry.

It is important to remember this offensive action the next time you hear these welfare ranchers whining about their property rights.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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.

13 Responses to Bison to be hazed off of Horse Butte, despite private property

  1. Save bears says:

    I am really surprised, this could be the test case, if the private land owners were to file for an immediate emergency injunction to stop the illegal trespass on their lands, I can guarantee you, if it were me, I would be in court right now presenting my case to a Judge….This is not an eminent domain issue, but trespass, which is a 100% violation of Montana state law, I have not been able to find anything in our code that allows them to disregard the landowners right in this situation.

  2. Robert Hoskins says:

    Unfortunately, it appears that there was no physical trespass on the Galanis’ property; bison were hazed by helicopter through a fence, destroying it, onto USFS property, where they were picked up by DOL thugs on horseback.

    Interestingly, when I talked to Steve Merritt, the DOL press guy, he claimed the only purpose of the operation was to protect human health. When I asked him what the threat to human health was, he said I’d have to ask a biologist or a MD.

  3. Save bears says:

    As a biologist,

    I can tell you for a fact in this situation, there was absolutely no threat to human health, in order to transmit the bacterium, there would have to be repeated contact through open wounds by and individual handling meat or birth by products. Yes there is a risk, in the meat handling business, when working with infected cattle in slaughter house operations or birthing operations, but the chances of wild bison transmitting brucellosis to humans is virtually nil, with the exception of those who handle the slaughtering operations during the winter.

    It is just another power play by the Montana Dept of Livestock, it stinks…

  4. Save bears says:

    Another thing I will add, and I have studied it for over 15 years now, both in an official capacity as well as a private venture, there are many thousands of hunters in the area each and every year, who harvest elk that are positive for brucellosis, many of them butcher their own animals as well as the outfitters involved in several of these operations who are exposed several times a year, and we have yet had one case of transfer to humans because of it.

  5. Yeah, no one worries about “diseased” buffalo meat going to Native Americans or to Montana’s poor.

  6. Robert Hoskins says:

    My point exactly. There is no public health threat. It’s part of the brucellosis fraud.

  7. Save bears says:


    He told you to ask a biologist or an MD, Well tell him next time you speak with him you did and point him to my response…those are proven facts based on science and not propaganda, and he is more than free to contact me at any time..I will be MORE than happy to provide 15 years worth of research study to back up my position, by many biologists!

  8. . . . . and so all of this is why my posts about DOL are so hostile in tone.

  9. Indamani says:

    I am so sick of the Montana DOL’s abuse of power. They’re constantly spewing lies about the threat of brucellosis transmission from bison to cattle. They will use every lame excuse to harass and traumatize the buffalo. Not to mention the trap and slaughter of thousands of these animals.
    I really, really hate the Montana DOL and the rest of the IBMP lot.

  10. Jon Way says:

    I hope they get sued big-time from the property owners.

  11. Save bears says:


    Do you know who owned the fence that was destroyed?

  12. April Clauson says:

    Too bad this happened. sorta wish some one with a bazoka was there and could have shot that helicopter down! That is how mad I am. I wonder if the land owners need money to fight this in court (for next year, too late this year) if so I would give some money to them to sue DOL. and DOL should fix the lines and fence that got broken because of it. Anyone have a private helicopter on this site? if so maybe you should do some real low flying over a few ranch’s and upset their livestock! I hope all of the Buffs make it…

  13. We actually have a member of our group that flies helicopters; we’ve talked about flying a banner (he also flies planes). However, it’s easier said than done to create an airplane banner. Anyone can help with something like this?



‎"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