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Being raised and living on an Eastern Montana ranch for 60 years, I follow with interest the articles on bison, wolves, etc. in the news. I just wanted to add a few thoughts and reflections of mine on the subject.

I remember how hard we worked to eradicate brucellosis from our cattle herds in the '50s and how proud we were of the products we raised for our country, including beef, wool and lamb.

My dad would not dehorn our Hereford cattle because he could remember the cattle bawling at night, gathered in a circle with horns out, with the calves in the middle, fighting off the wolves, and he said they got the last wolf out of that area in 1927. We were raised by the rule, "take care of your livestock and they will take care of you."

Bison are a majestic animal, and I like them. There is also a niche market developing for bison meat and products. However, in this day and age, I believe they need all the healthcare and vaccinations as the rest of our bovines. That includes being cared for and fed in winter instead of standing in the snow starving with a wolf standing there, watching them get weaker. Ranch people work very hard for a living. They don't deserve any new diseases or fences destroyed by public bison.

To have a natural ecosystem balanced out for all wildlife, bison, wolves, coyotes etc. would work, if you remove one factor, and that is people — both urban and rural.

Do we really want to go backwards several hundred years?

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D.J. Milroy

Billings

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