Wildlife, not sheep, should have priority in Upper Yellowstone

 

Editor:

Recently, domestic sheep were introduced into the Gardiner Basin by a lifelong Gardiner area resident. These sheep are being pastured in the middle of the largest winter range in the lower 48. Among other wildlife, bighorn sheep and bison make this area their winter home. Domestic sheep can spread deadly disease to the bighorn sheep and bison.

Several years ago, the state of Montana banned all game farms in Montana, including Brogan’s elk farm at Corwin Springs. Why can’t domestic livestock that can spread disease to wildlife be banned in the Gardiner Basin or at the very least take measures to prevent the spread of disease?

Several domestic sheep were thought to be killed by a pair of wolves, knowing there were wolves in the area. Why would a person turn these sheep out to pasture? This is not fair to any animal involved. In our society, this would be entrapment against the wolf and launching a germ warfare attack against the bison and bighorns.

What is to be gained by this? Wildlife should have priority in the Upper Yellowstone.

Ralph Johnson
Jardine