Montana, feds negotiating areas for buffalo to roam

If these negotiations are successful and result in the goals outlined then this would be a significant milestone in the buffalo wars that have raged since the mid 1990’s.

The arbitrary nature of the hazing and slaughter that has taken place over the years has taken a large toll on bison and cost millions of tax dollars with absolutely no positive results to show for it.  Allowing bison to use the Hebgen Lake Basin by moving the tolerance zone out to Quake Lake and allowing bison to use the Gardiner area by moving the tolerance zone out to Yankee Jim Canyon would give bison much needed winter habitat.

This is a step in the right direction.

Montana, feds negotiating areas for buffalo to roam.
Associated Press







  1. SBH CLAY Avatar

    This is good news.

    The one thing I’m especially pleased to read is that Dan Wenk, new YNP superintendent, is refusing to allow hunting of the bison in the park.

    The one thing I’m less than thrilled to read is how those who are intent on reducing the roaming range keep introducing the words “disease” and “brucellosis” — as if saying them often enough will persuade people that this is an actual threat. If I’m not mistaken, never has a bison infected a domesticated animal with any disease. So it is wrong to perpetuate that myth and use it as a fear tactic to bludgeon people into buying into false arguments.

    Nonetheless, if a compromise that permits the bison to graze in peace in all seasons is reached, the majority of Americans will be very happy that the expensive and cruel hazing has ended. I hope forever.

  2. Jon Way Avatar

    A great start, but treating them like wildlife and not allowing any imaginary lines (except maybe on private land if landowners don’t want them) should be the important end goal of all of this. But positive news for sure and I agree with sbh clay’s comments that hiding behind disease is going to keep this argument going for years. After all, 13 miles to Yankee Jim is a 1 day walk for bison.

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Isn’t this the first time we have heard this from a MT elected official?

    1. Ken Cole Avatar

      Yes, I think it is, but Schweitzer also asked the Park Service to allow hunting of buffalo inside Yellowstone National Park. That went over like a fart in church.

      1. JimT Avatar

        My old brother once farted in church…he looked over at my mother, said “Mom…SHHHHH”….she never did manage to forgive him, or live it down…LOL..


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.

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Ken Cole