Montana Stockgrowers' Suit Over Bison Management Dismissed

I’d say this is a minor victory. The Stockgrowers wanted even more severe “management” of bison that we already have to witness.

Stockgrowers’ Suit Over Bison Management Dismissed. Matt Gouras. Associated Press Writer



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  1. Virginia Avatar

    It does seem minor as victories go, but I hope it shows that the judicial trend is on the side of wildlife.

  2. buffalawyer Avatar

    This did not dismiss the entire complaint, just two of the claims. There will still be arguments on the merits of whether DOL needed to do MEPA analysis before agreeing to the “adaptive adjustments” to allow a few more bison out of YNP for a little more time during the year, and whether allowing bison out of YNP in these areas violates Stockgrowers’ rights to a clean and healthful environment as guaranteed by the Montana Constitution. . .

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      Thank you, buffalawyer.

      It is disgusting they had any chance of winning because of Montana’s Constitutional guarantee of a right to a clean and healthful environment!

    2. Save bears Avatar
      Save bears

      As with many other things, the constitutional provision in Montana is being perverted, the provision was actually placed in the constitution, because of mining…and now has been used by others for their agendas…If you look at the constitution, the provision for a clean and healthful environment is in the constitution and the next provision is the reclamation provision:

      Article IX:

      Section 1. Protection and improvement. (1) The state and each person shall maintain and improve a clean and healthful environment in Montana for present and future generations.
      (2) The legislature shall provide for the administration and enforcement of this duty.
      (3) The legislature shall provide adequate remedies for the protection of the environmental life support system from degradation and provide adequate remedies to prevent unreasonable depletion and degradation of natural resources.

      Section 2. Reclamation. (1) All lands disturbed by the taking of natural resources shall be reclaimed. The legislature shall provide effective requirements and standards for the reclamation of lands disturbed.
      (2) The legislature shall provide for a fund, to be known as the resource indemnity trust of the state of Montana, to be funded by such taxes on the extraction of natural resources as the legislature may from time to time impose for that purpose.
      (3) The principal of the resource indemnity trust shall forever remain inviolate in an amount of one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000), guaranteed by the state against loss or diversion.
      History: Amd. Const. Amend. No. 1, approved Nov. 5, 1974.

      It could be surmised that trying to argue this provision, the Livestock Association is acknowledging the Bison are a Natural Resource.

      This could be a double edged sword…

  3. Jon Way Avatar

    What about Environmental Groups suit against the hazing. Where does that stand?

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      There was an article about that the other day in the NYT, although it was mostly about Ted Turner getting custodial possession of the wild Yellowstone bison that were captured five years ago with the statement they that they were be introduced somewhere new, brucellosis free, to start a new wild herd.

  4. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    My own view of this lawsuit is that it’s a friendly one, cooked up between DOL and the Stockgrowers in an attempt to stave off ANY “adaptive management” changes envisioned and authorized by the IBMP. Such changes, albeit extremely minor, were demanded by the other agencies and ostensibly agreed to by the DOL in the wake of the GAO report on the failures of the IBMP. In truth, the DOL doesn’t support changes in the IBMP that allow bison to spend even the least amount of time in Montana. Thus this “lawsuit” from the Stockgrowers.

    What the stories about this lawsuit,or about the IBMP in general, don’t reveal is that the IBMP Record of Decision from 2000 acknowledges that although all the agencies, including DOL, signed onto the IBMP with its adaptive management provisions, DOL is still in charge of bison once they cross the Park boundary into Montana, regardless of what the other agencies want or decide what to do. So much for the “partnership.” DOL is in charge of the show and the other agencies are just going along to get along with the livestock industry. Just another aspect of the brucellosis fraud.


  5. Stephany Avatar

    The Bison Habitat Lawsuit (that pertains to hazing) is still pending. There’s some good stuff coming through, so we are hopeful. Guess these things take a really long time, though.

    1. Save bears Avatar
      Save bears

      Much longer than you think Stephany! Way to long!


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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