This Friday is the last day that public comments can be made on the draft Environment impact statement on bison conservation and management in Montana. Many ranchers and landowners feel that for many years, Fish, Wildlife and Parks has not listened to the citizens of the state of Montana's rural communities and put the interest of environmentalist's above farmers and ranchers. MSU's Dr. Clayton Marlow of the College of Agriculture shares insight on what needs to be considered by FWP.
Dr. Marlow: I think we may be to far behind now. Again, I'll use the term coordinated resource management planning, where we bring all aspects of the community and sit down at the table and again describe the goal of our community and landscape. Once we have that goal and unity, then we go back to FWP and other agencies and tell what we as a community want to see. instead of a polarized action in which we see FWP walk a tight rope between two very different points of view, of bison in this case.
Lane: With the proposed Bison EIS, the Charles M. Russell and UL Bend Wildlife Refuge is rumored to be a location of interest for the placement of bison.
Dr. Marlow: some of the work being done now, and with bison being big ugly cows, bison like level to gently rolling areas. somebody said 20 30 years ago bison will use more steep country than cattle. which is true, but somehow or another the attitude has developed that bison like steep country. they don't. we have data off the bison range and the Gardiner basin shows, that preferred habitat is gently rolling topography. on the UL bend that's the river bottom. Bison, have to be viewed as another wildlife species that have to managed. we cannot release this animals on the landscape and walk away thinning we did something good. the population still have to managed.
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