Bison Reintroduction in Montana

Montana reintroduces bison from Yellowstone National Park, causing some farmers and ranchers to express mixed feelings.

| July/August 2012

Some farmers and ranchers in Montana are unhappy with the reintroduction of bison from Yellowstone National Park to the wild, saying they fear the large animals might be mismanaged, damage private property, and compete with their own herds for grass, reports Nate Schweber of The New York Times.

Montana has 3 million cattle, and agribusiness is the state’s largest industry.

The Rural Blog's entry, Ranchers upset about bison's return to Montana, looks at Schweber’s article in an April 30 post.

Last month, Sioux and Assiniboine tribe members celebrated as about 60 bison ran into a prairie that hadn’t been grazed by bison in almost 140 years. Just 11 days prior, 71 pureblood bison, descendants from one of Montana’s last wild herds, were released nearby, Schweber reports.

A 2011 National Wildlife Federation survey showed that a majority of the state’s residents supported reintroduction of huntable bison into the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge.

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