American Prairie will defend the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) decision to allow bison grazing on 63,065 acres of public land in north-central Montana. On Friday, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen announced an appeal to the permit, and the Montana Stockgrowers Association announced an appeal this morning in partnership with North and South Phillips Grazing Districts. Earthjustice will represent American Prairie in the appeal.
Statement from Pete Geddes, American Prairie vice president and chief external relations officer:
“We’ve heard from thousands of people; hunters, small businesses, biologists, Native Americans, and citizens across Montana who share a commonly held view that bison have a right to graze and restore the health of our nation’s public lands. That’s why we plan to defend the Bureau of Land Management’s grazing decision.
“We are very confident with the Bureau of Land Management’s long-established legal authority to authorize bison grazing on federal grazing allotments. By getting involved, we aim to create more opportunities for future generations of Montanans to access and explore our shared public lands and to protect the public’s right to legally restore native wildlife.”
Mary Cochenour, senior attorney with Earthjustice’s Northern Rockies Office, said:
“Restoring bison to their homelands of northern Montana will have cascading positive impacts throughout the entire ecosystem. By creating a more resilient landscape, these bison herds provide benefits to all those who live in this region as well.
“The Bureau of Land Management’s decision is consistent with the law, which specifically authorizes public lands grazing by privately-owned indigenous animals, including bison. We look forward to fighting this appeal to allow American Prairie and its partners to continue this important work.”