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United Property Owners of Montana Files Suit Against FWP on Bison EIS

United Property Owners of Montana has filed suit against the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (“FWP”) seeking declaratory and injunctive relief related to violations of MEPA, MAPA, and environmental impact review requirements that occurred during the development and adoption of a recently-released Environmental Impact Statement related to free-roaming bison.

“Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks is determined to pursue this reckless free-roaming bison plan despite overwhelming opposition from the Montanans who would be impacted,” said Chuck Denowh, UPOM policy director. “The wild bison EIS released by FWP in January shows their disregard for local input. Someone has got to stand up for the Montanans whose way of life would be devastated by free-roaming bison—which is why we’ve filed suit to challenge FWP’s EIS.”

“FWP is seeking to implement their plan for wild bison without evaluating all of the risks. Bison are carriers of brucellosis, BSE, and other diseases that could decimate the livestock industry of our state and could be spread to other wildlife species,” Denowh continued. “Their EIS also fails to address the potential for damage to private property that could be caused by herds of wild bison. On a proposal this far-reaching, Montanans deserve to have a thorough analysis done of all the associated risks and impacts—not just the ones that are convenient for FWP to include.”