Wednesday, August 17, 2022

What Survey Results Didn’t Make Bison Report?


In a survey of Montana voters done earlier this year, 70{e7e4ba4d9a3c939171d79cae1e3a0df1d41e5a91c3c4158fbb92284b490bc9d3} of the 400 polled said that they were in favor of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) investigating possible locations in the state where wild bison populations could be restored.  Twenty-four percent were opposed.  The survey (read it here) was commissioned by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and conducted by Moore Information, Inc.

While that tidbit of the survey favoring wild bison made it all the way to page 142 a recent FWP report on bison in Montana, there were other survey questions a bit more pessimistic about a free-roaming herd that didn’t make the cut. 

Below are a few of the results from the poll of those opposed to bison restoration that didn’t make it:

  • 79{e7e4ba4d9a3c939171d79cae1e3a0df1d41e5a91c3c4158fbb92284b490bc9d3} say that it will be impossible to keep bison off privately-owned lands.
  • 82{e7e4ba4d9a3c939171d79cae1e3a0df1d41e5a91c3c4158fbb92284b490bc9d3} say that bison will compete for food with cattle on private lands.
  • 91{e7e4ba4d9a3c939171d79cae1e3a0df1d41e5a91c3c4158fbb92284b490bc9d3} say that bison will cause damage to private property like fences.
  • 61{e7e4ba4d9a3c939171d79cae1e3a0df1d41e5a91c3c4158fbb92284b490bc9d3} say that bison will pose a threat or danger to people.

This FWP bison report comes after public input was taken in 2010 on the idea of Montana having a free-roaming bison herd.  FWP says that they are currently working on a “statewide bison conservation strategy” that they hoped to have fully developed by 2015 to determine whether or not there is a place in Montana’s landscape for the animals.  To get more on the report, go to “Read Arnie Dood’s Free-Roaming Bison Report.”

Meanwhile, as FWP reports that they are still trying to identify if there is a place for a free-roaming herd, they’ve got the animals that will make it up if it becomes a reality.  A short while back, they released the environmental assessment (EA) and corresponding public comment period discussing where those very bison can be held in the interim.  For details on the EA and comment period, please read “MT’s ‘Free-Roaming’ Bison Herd Needs Pasture.”  That comment period will close on October 19.

© Northern Ag Network 2011

Haylie Shipp



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