According to the Great Falls Tribune, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department is asking residents for their comments about re-introducing bison into the Big Sky State wild.
Over-hunting eradicated the bison from Montana around the 1880s. There are currently some herds on tribal lands and a few more on federal land, but according to the Great Falls Tribune, none that are publicly managed.
The new proposal could bring new bison herds to federal land, private land and more tribal lands.
As part of its environmental impact statement, the Montana FWP is asking residents to vote for one of four options:
- Allow publicly managed bison herds on private and public land.
- Allow publicly managed bison herds on tribal land.
- Allow publicly managed bison herds on private, state or federal land.
- Take no action.
There are dissenters to the idea. Some farmers worry that bison could spread diseases to their cattle. Other opponents don't want to see the bison brought back because the plan includes herd management, which potentially allows for them to be hunted.
The Montana FWP plans to have a decision on the proposal by Sept. 11. Our vote (if we had one) is for a safe and successful re-introduction. It seems too natural to vote against.
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