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

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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  1. Atlas Avatar

    So will these bison be free range?

  2. Jeff Avatar

    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 Avatar

    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 Avatar

    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 Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    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.


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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