It is fairly offensive that the National Wildlife Federation would put out the following statement before the end of the FWP BISON EIS comment period.
Why would anybody oppose restoring at least some of the West’s most iconic animals to the wild?
Much of the opposition boils down to competition for grass: bison eat pretty much what cattle eat.
But the time when wild bison again roam the Montana prairie is fast approaching. That’s the inescapable conclusion of a thorough environmental-impact study from Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
The agency’s analysis of various bison-restoration scenarios clearly shows that wild bison can be successfully managed in some large areas of native habitat in Montana with many benefits and few potential negative impacts, all of which can be mitigated.
Ranchers don’t want the negative impact “mitigated” we don’t want negative impacts in the first place. That is like telling a store owner after a riot with burned buildings and turned over cars, “these damages can be mitigated.” Mitigated is becoming an offensive word in its self. Thrown out there in a condescending way of saying “See it isn’t really that bad, you are just being stubborn.”
Marias River Livestock Association is tired of NGO’s saying that losing a 3rd, 4th or even 5th generation ranch can be mitigated, made less painful, less severe. That to lose the community and culture of rural life that has preserved that lands that they covet can be mitigated. These are deep wounds that farmers and ranchers do not find the salve dollar bills or new business opportunities to heal.
Rancher have survived centuries of harsh weather, grasshoppers, fire storms and drought it would be sad if our own government agencies destroyed us.