What would happen to all of the bison presently in quarantine?  Would they be killed?

Senator John Brenden (R-Scobey) has introduced Senate Bill 337. It “Prohibits FWP from relocating wild buffalo or bison as a result of the state/federal bison quarantine feasibility study.” The Senate Hearing is next week on 2/17/09 in Helena.

The true colors of the livestock industry are showing with the introduction of this bill into the Montana State Senate. This makes it painfully obvious that the issue is not about brucellosis but about control over people, wildlife and public lands.

The recent defeat of HB 253 also made it clear that the issue isn’t about brucellosis. The bill would have protected the private property rights of people living on Horse Butte and other areas who welcome the presence of bison and would have handed over the management of bison to Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.

About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project. We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.

7 Responses to Bill in Montana Senate would prohibit bison relocation.

  1. Robert Hoskinsq says:


    Well, it’s never been about brucellosis and disease. It’s always been about propping up the feudal livestock oligarchy.

    From a tactical standpoint, maybe we should not oppose this bill and passively encourage its passage, and then let the recriminations among the IBMP partners over Montana’s “repudiation” of the IBMP fly. It might help invalidate the IBMP in the public eye and help us kill the IBMP once and for all.


  2. If they are willing, the federal government can introduce wildlife to federal lands, objections from a state to the contrary notwithstanding (that was fun to write).

    The introduction doesn’t need to be an officially endangered species.

  3. Salle says:

    And there are two new FW&P commissioners. Too bad Doherty is gone but I hear that one of the new appointees is favored by many wildlife advocates since he is a biologist.

    One can only hope that some of the new personnel in some of these states will be looking to move into the future rather than to regress into centuries past draconian practices, like in Idaho and Wyoming…

  4. So Workman is going to be gone !!

    – – – –
    Aren’t these comments posted to the wrong thread?

  5. Robert Hoskins says:


    Those lines were especially fun to write because they’re right (no pun intended).

    As went civil rights, so goes conservation. The determination of too many conservationists to kowtow to local and state “concerns” fails to acknowledge that local and state concerns are inherently contra conservation and pro-development, just as the southern states were pro segregation regardless of African-Americans’ constitutional rights.

    As for bison, we’ll never get a favorable response from the State of Montana, unless we can convince the state courts to support a public trust interpretation of bison management that changes the priority between bison and cattle and forces Montana to put public trust management for bison into place.

    In any case, to do right by bison we’ll have to bring federal power to bear on State intransigence.


  6. Ken Cole says:

    Associated Press – February 12, 2009 8:25 PM ET BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – Montana wildlife officials are seeking public comment on a proposal to relocate several dozen Yellowstone National Park…

    You can look at the EA here:

  7. JimT says:

    You know, I wonder if it is time to subject the whole public welfare ranching scheme to a “cost-benefit” analysis via the CRS or CBO. It is clear that the fate of ESA plus management of the lands and its inhabitants like bison are linked to getting rid of grazing interest power at the state level.


February 2009


‎"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