"Appeals Court Backs Wildlife Activist In Free Speech Case"

"BILLINGS, Mont. — A federal appeals court on Monday ruled in favor of a wildlife activist who said his free speech rights were violated when a sheriff's deputy barred him from watching livestock agents herd wild bison into Yellowstone National Park.

The case dates to 2012, when a Gallatin County deputy issued a misdemeanor citation to activist Anthony Reed alleging he obstructed a peace officer, after Reed initially would not get behind a barricade that was out of sight of the herding operations near West Yellowstone.

Reed's attorney, Rebecca Kay Smith, said the lawsuit was needed after law enforcement officials inside and outside Yellowstone issued citations to multiple activists attempting to document the treatment of the park's wild bison over a span of years.

'The whole reason we have the First Amendment is so that people can observe what the government is doing and provide counter narrative,' Smith said. 'That applies not just to the government's buffalo operation but in everything the government does.'"

Matthew Brown reports for the Associated Press July 24, 2017.

Source: AP, 07/25/2017