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MT – HUNTING – Yellowstone bison hunting lawsuit should be dismissed, federal attorneys argue

A Gardiner-area woman’s lawsuit against the federal government over bison hunting near her home should be dismissed because she waited too long to file and because she is suing in another court citing the same facts. Federal attorneys made the arguments in a motion to dismiss, which was filed last week in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. In the lawsuit, Bonnie Lynn is seeking $500,000 in compensation for loss of revenue to her cabin rental business. At the heart of her case is the issue of bison hunting on nearby Forest Service property at Beattie Gulch. Beattie Gulch is just north of Yellowstone National Park on the west side of the Yellowstone River. The location provides one of the first places for state and tribal hunters to kill the animals when they migrate out of the park in winter. The carcasses and gut piles left by hunters are sometimes moved onto adjoining property by predators, scavengers and birds, which Lynn has argued is a taking of her property rights without compensation. The hunt and resulting carrion has resulted in a loss of revenue for her cabin rental and RV park businesses, Lynn’s attorneys have claimed. The Forest Service has responded to area landowners’ complaints by not allowing hunting or shooting near the county road — Old Yellowstone Trail — that provides access to Beattie Gulch and Lynn’s property. Yet nearby homeowners and conservationists in the area have contended that hasn’t been enough. Bison hunting outside of the park is regulated by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, but tribes with treaty rights kill the majority of the bison and they aren’t governed by the agency.  [full article]

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