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National Park Service provides alternatives to Yellowstone bison management

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PHOTO BY ADOBE STOCK

EBS STAFF 

The National Parks Service on Aug. 10 released a draft Environmental Impact Statement for bison management in Yellowstone National Park.

“This plan allows the NPS to evaluate bison management based on new scientific information and changed circumstances, explore ways to reduce bison being sent to slaughter, and to continue working closely with Tribal Nations and agency partners in management,” the release stated. 

The draft included three alternatives with varying activities and population ranges for managing bison. 

The first alternative is maintaining the status quo in which the NPS would continue bison management abiding by the Interagency Bison Management which was approved in 2000. 

The release stated that this would “maintain a population range of bison similar to the last two decades (3,500 to 5,000 bison after calving)” and “increase the number of brucellosis-free bison relocated to Tribal lands via the Bison Conservation Transfer Program (BCTP),” among other practices. 

The second alternative explains that bison populations would be maintained at a 3,500-6,000 range after calving. An emphasis would be placed on restoring bison to Tribal lands and population management outside of the park through Tribal treaty hunting. 

A third alternative would be relying more on natural selection, bison dispersal and Tribal harvests in Montana to regulate bison populations. 

The press release included links to Yellowstone National Park public meetings where people can learn more about the plan and ask the NPS questions: 

Webinar 1:

August 28 at 10:30 a.m. MST

Link: bit.ly/YellowstoneBisonEIS

Webinar 2:  

August 29 at 4 p.m. MST

Link: bit.ly/YellowstoneBisonEIS2

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