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Public meetings scheduled to discuss bison management plan

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The State of Montana and the National Park Service in early June will hold three public scoping meetings in southwest Montana related to the development of a new Yellowstone-area Bison Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement.

Meetings will be held June 2 in Bozeman at the Hilton Garden Inn; June 3 in Gardiner at the Gardiner School; and June 4 in West Yellowstone at the Holiday Inn. The meetings will have identical agendas and run from 6-8 p.m.

An approval of the Record of Decision related to this new bison management plan is expected to in mid- to late-2017. Until then, bison management in the Yellowstone area will continue under the current Interagency Bison Management Plan.

The meetings will begin with a brief presentation on the history of bison management in the Yellowstone area, and the need for a new management plan. Following the presentation, there will be an open house during which time staff from the NPS and State will be available to answer questions. The meetings will also provide an opportunity for attendees to submit comments pertaining to the six preliminary alternatives and related issues set out in the public scoping newsletter.

This new bison management plan will replace the Interagency Bison Management Plan – implemented in 2001 – taking into account available science and agency experience in managing the animals. The new plan will serve as a management guideline aiming to conserve a wild and migratory population of Yellowstone-area bison. It will also attempt to minimize the risk of brucellosis transmission between wild bison and livestock.

The 90-day public scoping period closes June 15. At that point, the NPS and State of Montana will analyze and consider all feedback received and begin the preparation of the draft EIS.

Visit to find more information, or comment on, the new Yellowstone-area Bison Management Plan.

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