House Joint Resolution No. 27
Introduced By anderson, grosfield, tash, grinde, sliter, ahner, ohs, cole, l. taylor, knox, barnett, hayne, masolo, mesaros, hargrove, swysgood, beck, jenkins, nelson harp, stang, m. hanson, rose
By Request of the House Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation
A Joint Resolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the state of Montana supporting the Governor for his stance on federal bison management and urging him to remain firm in his demand that the President of the United States direct the United States Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior to resolve their differences over bison management in a way that will not expose Montana citizens or the agriculture industry to harm.
WHEREAS, agriculture is Montana's largest industry, and beef livestock is Montana's largest cash crop; and
WHEREAS, bison in Yellowstone National Park are the responsibility of the federal government; and
WHEREAS, brucellosis is a disease that causes undulant fever in humans and that causes cattle to abort; and
WHEREAS, the federal government has stated that brucellosis can be transmitted from bison to cattle; and
WHEREAS, the Montana livestock industry has spent $30 million to eradicate brucellosis in Montana and to obtain a brucellosis-free status and, after a 40-year industry battle to eradicate brucellosis nationwide, the Legislature is alarmed that the federal government has abdicated its responsibility to combat the disease in a herd owned by the people of the United States; and
WHEREAS, numbers of park bison have grown beyond the natural carrying capacity of Yellowstone National Park; and
WHEREAS, overgrazing inside Yellowstone National Park has resulted in increased winter migration of bison into Montana; and
WHEREAS, the federal government has stated that if infected bison enter the state, Montana stands to lose its brucellosis-free status; and
WHEREAS, the federal government is exposing the citizens of Montana and their livestock to brucellosis infection by its failure to adequately manage diseased bison in Yellowstone National Park; and
WHEREAS, the only proposals presented to the Governor by the federal agencies have been inadequate to resolve the problem, and the Legislature has grave doubts about the intent, purpose, and implications of previously prepared federal proposals.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That the federal government be actively responsible for bison management within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park and that whatever management program the federal government adopts does not expose the citizens of Montana or their livestock to brucellosis infection.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Legislature supports the Governor's efforts to address the problem and urges the Governor not to relent in his demand that the President of the United States require a federal solution to protect America's bison in a responsible manner that will not harm the health or property of the citizens of Montana.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Secretary of State send copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, the United States Secretary of Agriculture, the United States Secretary of the Interior, and the members of Montana's Congressional Delegation.