Ralph Maughan by Mike Hudak
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The Montana Conflict between Cattle and Bison
Although raised in the midst of Utah’s livestock-degraded landscapes, Ralph Maughan did not take a great interest in environmental conservation until he returned to the West after completing a PhD in political science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Dr. Maughan went on to co-found the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and has held leadership positions in the Sierra Club, including that of chair of the Northern Rockies Chapter. Dr. Maughan is a professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University, and is the president of the Wolf Recovery Foundation, an organization that advocates for the presence forever of wolves in places where they have been extirpated.

Citing the threat of transmitting brucelosis to cattle, the Montana Department of Livestock has since the mid 1980s, hazed, killed, or otherwise harassed bison that migrate from Yellowstone National Park to lower elevation winter range in Montana. In this video, Ralph Maughan provides his perspective on the politics behind the department’s actions.

Recorded in August 2003. This video is an excerpt from Ralph Maughan’s interview in Western Turf Wars: The Politics of Public Lands Ranching.