Montana Governor Greg Gianforte has ended a bison management plan that would have allowed the wide-ranging animals to be restored in more areas of the state. Governor Gianforte said that the state has settled a lawsuit brought by a property rights group over the plan’s adoption. That suit was filed last year against the administration of former Governor Steve Bullock.
In a statement Tuesday Gianforte said, “In its effort to spread bison across parts of Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks didn’t do enough to account for the impacts to local communities.” He said the agency also had relied on outdated data, and failed to consider the risks of disease transmission between bison and livestock.
The idea of restoring bison to more areas of Montana had been endorsed by wildlife advocates, who had long pushed for the animals to be recognized by the state as free-roaming wildlife.