For Immediate Release:
September 16, 2010

Darrell Geist, Buffalo Field Campaign habitat coordinator (406) 531-9284

What: U.S. District Court Judge Charles C. Lovell will hear arguments for summary judgment in a lawsuit filed by a coalition of conservation groups, Native Americans, and Montanans against Yellowstone National Park and the Gallatin National Forest for harming wild bison and associated species.

When: 10 AM, Tuesday, September 21, 2010.

Where: Helena, Montana, Federal Court House, 901 Front Street, 3rd floor Room 2.

Who: The plaintiffs are Western Watersheds Project, Buffalo Field Campaign, Tatanka Oyate, Gallatin Wildlife Association, Native Ecosystems Council, Yellowstone Buffalo Foundation, and Montana residents Daniel Brister, Meghan Gill, and Charles Irestone.
The defendants are Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior; Suzanne Lewis, Park Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park; National Park Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Interior; Leslie Weldon, Regional Forester, US Forest Service Northern Region; U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Mary Erickson, Gallatin National Forest Supervisor.

Why: The plaintiffs' suit claims:

  • U.S. Forest Service decisions are precluding native bison and associated species from occupying and using Gallatin National Forest lands.

  • U.S. Forest Service is not providing for diversity of plant and animal species on the Gallatin National Forest, is not managing habitat for bison, and is not ensuring viable populations of bison and associated species exist on the Forest.

  • National Park Service decisions are causing impairment or unacceptable impacts to native bison populations by allowing the wanton destruction of wild bison and not conserving the wildlife species and related resources in the Yellowstone ecosystem.

The plaintiffs have asked for court review of both agencies' refusal to analyze and disclose new information and changed circumstances relating to bison management and brucellosis.

The plaintiffs seek relief from the court requiring the federal agencies to take a hard look at environmental impacts and make informed decisions with the best available science about wild bison and related species in the Yellowstone ecosystem.

Bison Habitat Lawsuit Legal filings online