Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bison as a Condition of the Land

Last week, the Montana Supreme Court upheld a century of wildlife management in Montana by saying some fairly simple words: Bison exist as a condition of the Land.

That might sound like a no-brainer, but for Park County, that point wasn’t clear until the Montana Supreme Court said so.

Bison, like all wildlife, existed before people came to settle the valleys and rich plains of Montana. They existed before first nations made their way down the Old North Trail from the Yukon. Bison, like the air and the water that surrounds us, are held in public trust.

That ruling could have the potential to help change the way the State of Montana manages wild bison. To be sure, there will always be those who choose to use fear in managing bison. There will be more legislation trying to undermine 100 plus years of wildlife management. There will be more efforts to exterminate the last, remaining wild herd of bison in Montana.

There will be considerable resistance to those efforts by Montana’s hunters, anglers and conservationists. 

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