08 December 2011 Are America’s Bison Finally Heading Home? Posted by: Jonathan Proctor | Leave a comment | Share: Bison gather near the road at the archway marking the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Montana poised to approve the return of 68 bison to tribal lands We’re almost there! This Friday the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission will decide what to do with some of the last genetically pure bison left in America: keep them locked in a quarantine facility or relocate them to start new wild herds on the Fort Belknap and Fort Peck Indian Reservations. As part of a government experiment to see if the disease brucellosis could be removed from a herd of genetically pure Yellowstone bison, hundreds of bison were placed in quarantine. These bison have been proven time and again to be free of brucellosis, yet they remain in quarantine more than 5 years later. Governor Schweitzer and the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks staff have recommended that the Commission approve the transfer of the 68 Yellowstone bison remaining in quarantine to these tribal lands. Defenders of Wildlife supports release of these bison for restoration on tribal lands. After years of working towards restoring additional herds of these American icons, one final approval remains. The Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of Fort Peck Reservation and the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes of Fort Belknap Reservation have stepped up to the plate and welcome the responsibility of living with these respected animals, the way their ancestors did for years before. This is an offer our state should not refuse. If the relocation proposal passes, these bison could be moved anytime in the next few months. Read more about bison in the latest issue of Defenders magazine… Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Senate Wakes Up to Climate Change…At Least Some of Them Tonight more than 20 senators will be taking over the Senate floor to pull an all-nighter to “wake up” Congress to climate change. Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Helicopter gunning kills 23 wolves in Idaho; Urge Secretary Jewell to abandon gray wolf delisting proposal — Call your representative by March 14; Washington wildlife agency urged to end support for abolishing federal wolf protections; The latest on Governor Otter’s wolf control board. Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential.