Montana FWP Director on Wild Bison Restoration


In January, Montana’s Fish, Wildlife, & Parks released its long-awaited Environmental Impact Statement Record of Decision (ROD) on the feasibility of bison restoration in Montana. Bison almost always stir controversy and the ROD was certainly no exception.

So what is the decision and how will it affect the state? Montana land owners, farmers, and ranchers, knowing the risk of disease and the potential impact on Montana’s landscape associated with bison, are naturally concerned. Some Montanans, weary of the agenda of the environmental community, see the ROD as an invitation that could further the erosion of Montana’s rural communities.

This week, Tom Schultz, the host of Northern News Network’s Voices of Montana talk show, was joined in studio by FWP Director Martha Williams and Lauri Hanauska-Brown of the FWP Wildlife Division to talk about the ROD and if it is appropriate to restore Bison in Montana.

To hear the entire interview, check out the podcast on the Voices of Montana website.

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Robin Peters

Every time I see deer in the haystack I invision bison. This would put every farm and ranch out of business.


I do not agree to the Prairie Reserve tactics and do not support Bison as wild life like a deer. Bison need to have areas that are fenced to protect them and others from them. We need to save them from slaughter because of hazing.

Jack Murnion

Has FWP lost all touch with Montana farmers and ranchers or just me? Maybe they could kill some coyotes and try to help instead of making ranching harder.

Deanna Robbins

The wildlife specialist on the program with Director Williams was more candid than the Director. She stated clearly that bison as wildlife would be just like elk and deer. In contradiction, Director Williams kept to the misleading rhetoric that we have come to expect from FWP and this administration; that bison would be geographically contained…. lines would be drawn…. When we know from experience that if FWP can find a way to circumvent state statute that says all bison in Montana must be managed as livestock, they will be out on the landscape and when they show up on our place we’ll be told they are wildlife and there is nothing we can do about it.

Dennis Teske

And the divide grows deeper in America. As a farmer rancher it is heart-rendering to see what the bureaucracy is doing in our state and the country. Thank God for Trump and sanity. There will come a time, however, when these bison will just be slaughtered by the rural residents because we have been left without option. Private property means private property, wildlife designated or not. Can a government make criminals out of all of us?

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