The Valley County commissioners voted 2-1 Tuesday to join other plaintiffs in a lawsuit aimed at halting Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ transfer of quarantined Yellowstone Park bison to the Fort Peck and Fort Belknap reservations.
The lawsuit alleges that FWP violated Montana law by enacting a bison translocation plan without a having a management plan and without adequate analysis of the impacts upon the human environment. SB 212, passed by the legislature in 2011, establishes multiple requirements for FWP in the management of bison that the lawsuit alleges are not being observed.
There are 15 plaintiffs, including Jason and Sierra Stoneberg Holt and Rose Stoneberg, who ranch on Timber Creek south of Hinsdale. Also listed are people representing Citizens for Balanced Use, United Property Owners of Montana and Missouri River Stewards, plus some ranchers in Blaine County. The defendants are FWP director Joseph Maurier, Montana FWP and the FWP Commission.