PNS Daily Newscast - November 13, 2019 

Public impeachment hearings in Washington; dreamers protest in Texas; roadless wilderness areas possibly at risk around the country; and an ozone indicating garden, at the North Carolina Governor's Mansion.

2020Talks - November 13, 2019 

Supreme Court hears DACA arguments, and likely will side with the Trump administration, but doesn't take up a gun manufacturer's appeal. Former SC Gov. Mark Sanford drops out of presidential race; and former President Jimmy Carter recovers from brain surgery.

Daily Newscasts

Public Offered Chance for Bison Harvesting on MT Prairie Lands

There are 16 chances open to folks to harvest bison on the American Prairie Reserve. (Dennis J. Lingohr/American Prairie Reserve)
There are 16 chances open to folks to harvest bison on the American Prairie Reserve. (Dennis J. Lingohr/American Prairie Reserve)
July 23, 2019

HELENA, Mont. — American Prairie Reserve is offering the public bison-harvesting opportunities on its property for the third year in a row.

The organization will allow more possibilities in 2019 because of the growing bison population on its land - currently up to roughly 800. Reserve superintendent Damien Austin said limited harvests like this mimic natural predation and provide a check on bison numbers.

"The landscape only can accommodate a certain amount of grazing on it,” Austin said. “And so the harvest is part of our overall bison-management strategy for maintaining bison numbers and health of the ecosystem."

Folks can enter the drawing for free for 16 spots through July 31. Six of the spots will go to Montana residents in the seven counties where the reserve is located, four to Montanans in the rest of the state, four to residents of Fort Belknap, Fort Peck, or Rocky Boy and two to people from anywhere in the world. Results will be announced on August 1. Four more opportunities will go to local nonprofits or charities.

Austin noted there is a cultural and historical context for harvesting the bison on the northern Great Plains. Archaeologists estimate people native to the region have relied on the species for about 15,000 years. However, European settlers nearly wiped out the bison population in just over 150 years.

Austin noted bison are not just a species on the prairie - they helped shape the prairie.

"They were a major source of food and sustainability,” he said. “And also, they're a keystone species in the prairie ecology, helping form the habitat for many of the other species to exist and to thrive out here - including many, many plants and ungulates, insects."

APR said hunting and bison harvesting always have been part of their long-term plans for the region. Information on the bison harvest is available at

Disclosure: American Prairie Reserve contributes to our fund for reporting on Endangered Species & Wildlife, Public Lands/Wilderness, Sustainable Agriculture. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - MT