The following is portion of an article from the New York Times:
The legal battle continues over the fate of a herd of wild bison that are roaming the plains of northern Montana for the first time in more than a century.
In March, 63 bison from Yellowstone National Park were relocated to the Fort Peck reservation in northern Montana by federal, state and tribal officials with help from environmentalists. The animals were received with great fanfare by members of the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes, and witnesses described it as an emotional event. “It’s something I’ll never forget,” said Jonathan Proctor, an official with with the group Defenders of Wildlife, which helped arrange the transfer. “I’ve worked on a lot of issues, prairie dogs to grizzly bears. But never before have I seen an animal that’s so important to people.”
But three days after the transfer, a livestock and property rights collective sued, saying that the buffalo could spread disease and compete with their cattle for grazing.
This month a federal district court judge issued a restraining order blocking more bison transfers. Now the state of Montana is appealing the ruling to the state’s supreme court.
Montana’s governor, Brian Schweitzer, contends that the collective behind the lawsuit just wants “the cheap grass.” (Cattle graze on public lands under federal permits, and the fee is heavily subsidized — $1.35 per head of cattle, in contrast to the $22 per head that ranchers pay for their cattle to graze on private land.) “The most vocal opponents are the who’s who of public grazers,” Governor Schweitzer said
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Source: New York Times
Posted by Haylie Shipp