In 2010 Montana adopted a Bighorn Sheep Conservation Strategy. The plan was to transplant bighorn sheep herds, hoping to increase the economy that comes with hunting and animal viewing. The sheep conservation was set to create five sustainable herds throughout the state, and also to help existing herds grow. After research Montana FWP biologists created a list that they brought to commissioners in the Spring of 2011 for some areas that would be most suitable for bighorn sheep herds.
Under the strategy Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has to work together with landowners. Landowners near Lewis and Clark Caverns area shot down the transplant of bighorn sheep into their area.
Neighbors stated that they had not been notified. Terry Murphy, a state senator, said he did not hear about the transplant until December 16th, and a portion of the plans included using his property for the bighorn sheep access.
“I literally never heard of the proposal until Dec. 16 and found my land was listed as a passageway for sheep to move from one side of the highway to the other,” Murphy told the FWP Commission at its meeting on Thursday. “The same kind of proposal came up 15 years ago. We opposed it and it wasn’t done. We are there using the land and trying to make a living on it, not making it a tourist attraction. There is absolute opposition to it on my part.” From The Billings Gazette .