Glasgow Bison Meeting Starts with Walk-Out Protest


The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is nearing the halfway point for a series of scoping meetings designed to learn what action should be taken, if any, with bison management in the state.

The agency is currently putting together an environmental impact statement (EIS) that, when in the draft stages, will present a range of possible alternatives for the management of the species.  One of those alternatives will be “no action,” but others will look at “restoration” of a free-ranging bison population somewhere in the state.

Meetings have been held this week in Missoula, Kalispell, and Glasgow.  Those attending in Missoula tell us the audience was split 50/50 over the idea of a wild herd.  In Kalispell, we’re told that roughly 65{fd15d42d1b024b97d6d50958be27cc8145b6addb99e015780abccf2984117bb0} of the 40-person crowd was opposed.  With a group of around 120 people assembled in Glasgow Wednesday night, including Northern Ag Network’s Haylie Shipp, only a handful were in favor of a free-ranging herd.

Glasgow’s meeting was heated right off the bat.  As FWP personnel were explaining the process of breaking into small groups to provide feedback, comments started coming in from the audience.  Those people were quieted by FWP and, as a result, roughly 20 people stood up and left the meeting.

Once the small comment groups were established, local FWP staff wrote out the concerns voiced by each member of their group.  As expected, most sheets contained the phrase “NO BISON.”  Other comments focused on worries that a free-ranging bison herd would present.  Those concerns included reimbursement for bison damage and livestock health problems.  Many attendees focused on the thought that it should be a local decision to put bison in an area.  It was also brought up that if Montana FWP wants to manage bison, they should use the funds going into this EIS to better manage what is in Yellowstone National Park.

Arnie Dood with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks outlined feedback he’d heard at the first three meetings:

Five more meetings are on the schedule this week and next.  Public comment during this scoping process will be accepted through June 25.  For background details and the information you need to submit your official comments, read “Wild Bison? Give FWP Your Opinion This Week!”

© Northern Ag Network 2012

Haylie Shipp


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