Bill Giving Counties Say on Bison Under Consideration

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by Kristen Inbody, Great Fall Tribune

HELENA – A Scobey lawmaker's bill that would give county commissioners veto power on moving bison into their counties met with strong objections from the representatives of Montana tribes.

Sen. John Brenden, R-Scobey, told the House Agriculture Committee on Tuesday that the bill is about local control and wouldn't affect reservations.

“We are constantly pushing in northcentral and northeastern Montana to have all the problems there are in Yellowstone pushed up into our area because we have a lot of land and not a lot of people,” Brenden said. “There is pushback saying that we want some say in our future.”

Groups representing ag interests and county government backed Brenden's Senate Bill 284, saying they were concerned about brucellosis and property damage.

“The county commissioners are elected by the people in their counties to be their voice,” said Jay Bodner of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. “If you want grass-roots decisions on local issues, it seems like the county commissioners should be involved in making those decisions.”

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Source:  Great Falls Tribune

 

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