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Bison management still at crossroads

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (1) – 9/21/20

According to the Buffalo Field Campaign, 12,575 Yellowstone bison have been killed and another 540 have been captured since 1985 with the sole purpose of keeping bison from migrating into Montana from Yellowstone National Park. A long thread of documentation since that time has revealed that officials, including former park superintendent Dan Wenk and then-Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, spoke of managing bison “more actively like cattle on a ranch.” Biologists note that such a move would require Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to conduct an assessment and develop a management plan, something the new Custer Gallatin National Forest management plan failed to address. Ideally, biologists say, bison would be allowed to roam freely in or out of the park, much like elk, yet the plan to make this happen has been stalled many times.

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