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PNS Daily Newscast - April 20, 2018 


The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to Congress. Also on our rundown: More evidence that rent prices are out of reach in many markets; Wisconsin counties brace for sulfide mining; and the Earth Day focus this weekend in North Dakota is on recycling.

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Poll: Montanans Really Like Bison, and They Like Them Wild

PHOTO: A new poll, conducted by Tulchin Research and sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife, shows that Montanans strongly support efforts to restore wild bison. Photo courtesy of National Park Service.
PHOTO: A new poll, conducted by Tulchin Research and sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife, shows that Montanans strongly support efforts to restore wild bison. Photo courtesy of National Park Service.
January 12, 2015

HELENA, Mont. – The idea of wild bison restoration in Montana has strong voter support, according to a new poll by Tulchin Research.

Jonathan Proctor is Rockies and Plains program director for the advocacy group Defenders of Wildlife, which sponsored the pole. He says the results also show that Montanans aren't keen about the Legislature thwarting restoration efforts – and he says there's word of six bills being drafted that would do just that.

"People don't want the Legislature to try to ban wild bison from existence in the State of Montana,” he stresses. “On the contrary, they strongly support wild bison and have tremendous pride in the fact that Montana is bison territory."

The pole found nearly eight in 10 Montana voters support restoring wild bison populations on public lands and on tribal lands.

Wild bison are controversial because of concerns that they could transmit disease to livestock, compete for food when grazing and damage property.

Proctor counters that ranching and wild bison are not incompatible because it's a big state, so there's plenty of room. He maintains that most Montanans understand that, and the poll shows that voters don't want the animals to be a political football.

"In fact, 74 percent think that decisions about wild bison should be made by biologists and wildlife officials, not county politicians," Proctor stresses.

Fort Belknap and Fort Peck Indian Reservation leaders have said they want wild bison on their lands, even though Proctor says one of the proposals would ban that from happening.


Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MT