Judge to FWP: Don’t Move Quarantined Bison


Northern Ag Network received an email from the Blaine County Clerk of District Court Wednesday at noon telling us that they had received a 38-page “Order Granting Preliminary Injunction” in the case of Citizens for Balanced Use, et al v. Joseph Maurier, et al.  

Cory Swanson, Attorney for the Plaintiffs, explained to Northern Ag Network that this decision means that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks cannot:

  1. Enter into any agreements or memorandums of understanding with any other tribal, public, or private entity to transplant or move Yellowstone National Park bison;
  2. Move bison at Fort Peck to Fort Belknap;
  3. Transfer or move any Yellowstone National Park bison from existing quarantine pastures or facilities.

Through this granted injunction, these restraints are in place until the full case can be heard.  Swanson says that this cannot happen until Montana FWP produces their “administrative record.”  That record, which is expected to be very large, would include all documents and analysis that went into their decision. 

Swanson plans to ask for a status conference in the next couple of weeks so that they can get an expected timeline.  Without knowing how soon they can get that information and how long it will take to go through it, he says that it is hard to put an exact time on when the case could be heard.   Assuming the administrative record will be quite large, he adds that he’d be surprised if it could all be before the court by the end of this summer.

After he had a chance to read the 38 pages in the decision, Kerry White with Citizens for Balanced Use (CBU) spoke with the Northern Ag Network.  CBU is a plaintiff in this case. 

Listen to Haylie Shipp’s full interview with Kerry and get specifics on McKeon’s decision.

Senate Bill 212 (read it here), passed during the 2011 Montana Legislature, has also been a hotly contested aspect of the movement of Yellowstone National Park Bison by FWP.  The now-law requires a management plan be in place before bison can be transplanted or released onto private or public land.

Attorney Cory Swanson outlined Judge McKeon’s discussion of SB212.

For more details on the court hearing leading to this decision, please read “Thirty Days until Final Bison Relocation Decision.”


© Northern Ag Network 2012

Haylie Shipp


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