Archive for April 10th, 2008

by jhwygirl

With this winter being a record year for bison slaughter as part of a so-called Bison Management Plan, Yellowstone Park managers have placed a priority on saving pregnant bison due to the record number of bison sent off to slaughter this year – 1,217 shipped to slaughter from the Stephen’s Creek capture facility alone.

The number of bison killed last winter was 67. The second highest year was 1996/97, when 1087 bison were slaughtered.


The only known cases of transmission of brucellosis to domesticated animals have been from elk.

That is, in fact, what was confirmed of the last herd that had to be destroyed – the Morgan Ranch herd out of Bridger.

Yet the Montana Stockgrowers Association continues to say that bison pose a “real threat.” Vice President Errol Rice “applauds” the record slaughter operations this winter and says:

‘‘We’re still not discounting (the possible) transmission from bison to cattle.”

I bet Rice still believes there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, too.

So, Mr. Rice, please tell me, when are we going to start rounding up elk and slaughtering them?

Slaughtering an animal that is meant to roam, that will cross out of an artificial ecological border is inane. It won’t work. It isn’t working. We can slaughter all the bison we want, and we will still have brucellosis because its transmission to domesticated cattle (and horses, in the past) has been from elk.

From ELK.

Brucellosis is transmitted by the afterbirth. Bison birth on USFS lands surrounding the park that are leased for grazing. Bison give birth in March and April. The afterbirth is long gone, having been picked over by coyotes and raptors and ravens and other scavengers long before grazing begins on those lands in mid-June.

Here’s the thing – as long as winter elk mingle with cattle on grazing lands, we will have brucellosis.

So either slaughter the elk – which everyone knows isn’t going to happen – or start vaccinating cattle at a cost of $2/head.

It’s a disgrace. It doesn’t work. And it isn’t management.

Few local news agencies covered this story. (KPAX out of Missoula, KULR out of Billings, and the Helena Independent Republic) Could it be because of all the bullying that the Montana Stockgrowers Association is doing? At what point does common sense overtake strong arm tactics? Science overtake the hysterics of the Montana Stockgrowers Association?

Montana is playing politics with an issue that should be ruled by science and logic.

How much of Montana taxpayer money will continue to be wasted while these bullies quash fact and common sense and champion propaganda?

Look – when the GAO is telling you it is a waste of time and money? Well, someone needs to listen.

by jhwygirl

Denise Juneau, candidate for Superintendent of Schools. Could that be Molly, from Forward Montana nearby?

I had quite a few of Missoula’s Senator Dave Wanzenried…

I spied Mike McGrath, our current Attorney General and the next Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court, during Barack’s speech.

Shane Mason, of Montana Netroots, was the first to poach the floor and go for the deviled eggs. He said he just had to have one! (Truth is, it ended up being 5 or 6.)

Local Missoula Dems know this guy, Denver Henderson, is going places! Congrats to the Mr. & Mrs. on that new house too!

Matt Singer, CEO of Forward Montana, looking spiffy in a suit!

Does 4&20 get submittals? Why yes it does! From George Parisot to my inbox, George provides us with this lovely shot of some rowdies up in the stands!

Thanks George!

by Rebecca Schmitz

Ahhh, spring. It’s a marvelous time in the northern Rockies. It’s wonderful to see our fellow creatures–trout, wolf, waterfowl, grizzly bear–repopulate their historic range or return to Montana from their wintering grounds. Some creatures are even finding their ecological niche:

Former Sen. Conrad Burns has registered as a lobbyist

Isn’t it inspiring to watch nature at work?

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