Finally, some Yellowstone bison moved to form the basis of a second (or more) herds-

Genetically pure bison were released in northeast Montana on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation today. The sudden move came after years of delay and after state officials signed an agreement with  Assiniboine and Sioux tribal leaders.

While there are many bison in the United States, all but the Yellowstone bison are polluted with cattle genes. Montana cattle barons and the livestock associations had delayed and harassed the plan for years. Agreement also had to be reached between tribes.

The move came suddenly, apparently catching opponents flat-footed.

Biologists supported the move because any rare population of animals is made safer if it is not all in one place. These were locked inside Yellowstone Park.

Here is the Associated Press story by Matthew Brown as it appeared in the Washington Post.

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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.

6 Responses to Finally a second herd of Yellowstone bison being reestablished at Fort Peck, Montana

  1. Atlas says:

    So will these bison be free range?

  2. Jeff says:

    No, eventually I believe the plan is to open up a significant amount of land, but initially I think I read they had 10,000 acres fenced and ready. Unfortunately, free ranging bison are a thing of the past.

  3. Craig says:

    Free range? That has become a term of acres for Wild or Domestic animals set in an artifical enveriorment! Nothing on this plantet is “FREE RANGE” it is all under juristiction! And 90% by people wanting to profit or develop it, or extract it!

  4. Jeff says:

    Why aren’t Utah’s herds of bison ever mentioned when discussing wild, gentically pure bison. The Henry Mtns. herd might be the least molested (albeit hunted) wild bison herds left. Is this only because it is state rather than federally owned?

  5. ProWolf in WY says:

    The Henry Mountains herd is hardly mentioned even though I think they are pure as they are descended from Yellowstone animals. Also, I thought the ones in Wind Cave National Park and the National Bison Range were pure.


March 2012


‎"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

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