Yellowstone Bison

Judge: Hazing of Yellowstone Bison Can Continue

U.S. District Court Senior Judge Charles Lovell denied a request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, which argued helicopter hazing should be halted because it has a negative effect on grizzly bears, an endangered species.

Lovell denied the TRO both on procedural and substantial grounds, holding that the Alliance did not properly name the state of Montana in its filings. He also held the state of Montana had legitimate reasons to haze the bison back into Yellowstone: hazing is a way to ensure brucellosis won’t be passed from bison to cattle. (Yes, he did, despite the lack of any evidence that any cattle has been injected by bison; the more likely culprit for brucellosis transmission is the elk.)

The case is not done, however, and it sounds like Lovell is pretty eager to have a court hearing on the issue: the Alliance tried to withdraw its application for a TRO, and Lovell denied that request. He further ordered the U.S. Forest Service to prepare an answer to the lawsuit, saying the issue should be decided before the next round of hazing begins.


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