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Release of FWP Bison Background Document

Posted Date: 
September 15, 2011
Margaret Morelli, 406-994-6780,

A new summary of bison history and activities in the West is being offered online by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks to provide additional information related to the possible restoration of bison in the state.

"The document examines wild bison programs in other regions, the overall conservation history of bison, and some of the management activities and philosophies that have found various degrees of success in other areas of the West," said Ken McDonald, chief of FWP's wildlife bureau. "It offers FWP a chance to share information with the public and to take one small step toward a more formal bison restoration and evaluation process."

The document chronicles bison natural history and the bison’s current distribution and legal status. Additionally, the document presents information on the bison's genetic and disease history and on management concerns related to fencing, ecological interactions, public safety and grazing. A brief synopsis of different bison management initiatives and philosophies among an array of private groups and organizations is also offered.

The document can be downloaded here.  It can be found on Click "Bison Background" under "For Fish & Wildlife Information" in the right column. The document may also be obtained on CD or other formats by calling Margaret Morelli at 406-994-6780 or via email

Any evaluation of bison restoration would require the development of a programmatic environmental impact statement that must begin with a series of public scoping meetings. Those meetings are expected to take place later this year.

Margaret Morelli, 406-994-6780, |