The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Ron Garwood
Nashua 

APR's Request to BLM

Letter to the Editor

 

April 18, 2018



Dear Editor,

My name is Ron Garwood, I am a 17 year supervisor of the Valley County Conservation District from Nashua. I am also a member of the FWP’s CAC from region 6.

I have been hunting since 1957 on private CMR (Fort Peck Game Range) state lands and BLM lands. I believe the APR’s request to the BLM to allow the APR to be able to take out cross fences on BLM and state lands and to be able to run up to 1,600 bison on the Timber Creek grazing unit in Valley County in one large pasture is ridiculous.

This action would be detrimental to hunting and fishing in this area. I, and many others, continue to bow hunt for elk, deer, antelope and bighorn there when we get permits! We hunters are against the BLM allowing the APR to take out the cross fences and to allow bison to free range over thousands of acres. This would be dangerous for us hunting there when we are out walking miles from our vehicle holding only a bow.

I know there are numerous state lands within this grazing unit that would be affected by these herds of buffalo. They are a dangerous animal and have very bad tempers. I went to the BLM open house in Glasgow [on April 12] on the APR proposal. The APR’s proposal to take over approximately 3.5 million acres of buffalo habitat in eastern Montana would devastate the sustainability of the ranchers. farmers and businessmen in this area. There are a lot of fishermen that utilize ponds in the area that would or could be affected by this free ranging APR bison proposal.

I brought up to the BLM that these cross fences should not be taken out until it is proved to the BLM personnel that these free roaming bison wouldn’t destroy the soil and water resources in this area. I believe that the APR, if they want to have bison graze this huge area in one pasture, must be mandated by keeping and maintaining all cross fences, and they must, every quarter or half miles, put in corner posts and leave open gates for bison and wildlife passage for 10 or 20 years. This would leave all cross fences in place for the time being. If it is found out that this open grazing proposal is detrimental to the soil and water resources, then the gates could be added to make the pastures smaller so that prescriptive grazing could be put back in affect.

 

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