Bison, © Annie Griffiths Belt

A Rally for Bison

Jonathan Proctor, Rockies and Plains Representative 

As I wrote last week, there are a number of anti-bison bills sailing through the Montana state legislature this year. These bills pose all kinds of threats to wild bison, including stopping restoration of wild Yellowstone bison to other parts of the state and allowing landowners to kill all bison that set hoof on private land. We have been working hard with Native American tribes, sportsmen’s groups and other conservation organizations to stop these bills.

On Tuesday, we all held a rally inside the Montana capitol building in Helena. Bison supporters from across the state were there to show legislators that the people of Montana want wild bison. Native American tribes from across Montana ran the event, and the crowd was predominantly from Montana’s seven Indian reservations. Dr. Ken Ryan, tribal elder from the Fort Peck Reservation Assiniboine tribe, held what we think is the first-ever pipe ceremony in the capitol building. Senator Sharon Stewart-Peregoy, a member of the Crow tribe, gave a talk that brought the crowd to their feet. A performance from Fort Belknap Reservation’s Wahkpa Nakoda Drum Group reverberated throughout the building. The message was clear: Kill the bills, not the bison.

News of the rally appeared in the Great Falls Tribune with a nice video of the event, the Bozeman Chronicle, Montana Public Radio, and local television stations. With so many Montanans speaking out in support of bison and against these harmful bills, we hope these attacks on Montana’s wild bison will soon come to a close.

We’ll keep you posted on our progress. In the meantime, check out these photos from the rally:


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2 Responses to “A Rally for Bison”

  1. Rob Gatian

    Thank you on behalf of all wildlife especially the bison right now. Those of you that have dedicated your time to protecting wildlife are at the top of the chain as far as I’m concerned. I hope one day I can do more.

  2. diane smart

    i may be thick, but i don’t understand what the landowners have against the bison, except that the bison may take away some land that they want to grab. they want to have some bison labeled as livestock, does any of this make sense? no more than the way they have gone after the wolves, i read the bozeman chronicle tonite, and they ran a survey that said that homeowners were in favor of the wolf, the landowner was not in favor of the wolf. we’ve gotten to alot of people with our outcry and with all the wonderful people and websites that are dedicated to the wolf and the bison, but we need to keep working harder, to keep the wolf and the bison roaming free. the thing i can’t see is, if the hunters would stay out of the wolves forest, thrashing around, then the wolves wouldn’t be driven towards towns, etc…. or is there a method to their madness??

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