Montana Public Radio

livestock

Electric fencing can be an effective tool for protecting livestock such as chickens, goats and young cattle.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Grizzly bears are repopulating areas of Montana that haven’t seen them for decades, creating more conflict between livestock, people and bears. Some ranchers are learning they need to do something that doesn’t come naturally — change how they live on the land.

As bears were hibernating in their dens this winter, the Blackfeet Stockgrowers Association held a meeting in Choteau to provide a space for ranchers like Mark Hitchcock to talk about working alongside the growing number of grizzly bears on the Rocky Mountain Front.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced Monday that an elk herd in the Bangtail Mountains has tested negative for brucellosis. State wildlife managers recently completed the two-year project aimed at understanding the risk and spread of the disease in wildlife and livestock.

A landowner advocacy group in Montana filed a complaint this week against Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks saying that the department has not thoroughly explored the consequences of allowing free-roaming wild bison in the state.

Herford cattle.
USDA

A Wyoming rancher was awarded nearly $340,000 last month after disputing wildlife managers’ initial offer to pay for several livestock killed by grizzlies and wolves. 

While the large payout is unusual, Montana ranchers say it’s calling attention to funding issues for livestock losses on this side of the border.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks this week released a document nearly eight years in the making that outlines how bison could be restored in the state as publicly managed wildlife. 

Cattle.
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BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — The state of Montana has made more payments to ranchers for livestock killed by predators in 2019 than any previous year.

The Montana Livestock Loss Board has paid ranchers more than $247,000, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported Thursday.

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The Montana Department of Livestock says a brucellosis-infected cow from a Madison County ranch was identified during a voluntary whole-herd test. The animal was euthanized, and the infection confirmed at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Iowa. The cow tested negative last year.

Frank Van Manen, team leader at the United States Geological Survey's Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, presents at an annual meeting of bear managers in Missoula, MT, December 17, 2019.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

Bear managers pushed back on recent concerns over grizzly bear deaths during a meeting of state and federal wildlife officials in Missoula Tuesday.

This story was supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

A privately funded, nonprofit organization is creating a 3.2 million-acre wildlife sanctuary — American Prairie Reserve — in northeastern Montana, an area long known as cattle country.

The Trump administration reauthorized a controversial device used to kill livestock predators Thursday, despite strong opposition. 

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