Montana Governor Vetoes Three Anti-Bison Bills

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Despite vociferous protest from tribes, Montana’s state legislature has processed no fewer than four bills related to bison this year.

One of them passed into law, and Montana Governor Steve Bullock vetoed the other three, the last two on May 6, as reported by the Missoulian. Together the four pieces of legislation, all introduced by Republicans, constituted “another attack on Buffalo Country,” said Indian law expert Ryan D. Dreveskracht in a recent interview with Indian Country Today Media Network.

Bullock signed HB 328, introduced by Representative Ted Washburn, which permits state officials to identify "the actual physical location" of buffalo to hunters, according to the bill’s text. He vetoed HB 396, introduced by Representative Mike Lang, which would have given county commissioners veto power over bison restoration plans within their counties, including tribal lands and federal public lands. HB 396 also allows bison to be sold by the state Department of Livestock to pay for capturing, testing, quarantining and vaccinating wild bison. Essentially the bill gives county commissioners veto power over tribal lands in relation to bison restoration.

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network