National Parks Conservation Association Praises Governor Schweitzer, Park Superintendent Stop Slaughter of Yellowstone Bison

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   June 1, 2007
Contact:   John Wilson, NPCA, 406-495-1560


National Parks Conservation Association Praises Governor Schweitzer, Park Superintendent Stop Slaughter of Yellowstone Bison

Statement by John Wilson, NPCA Associate Regional Director, Northern Rockies Regional Office

"Our congratulations go out to Governor Schweitzer and his staff, together with Yellowstone Park Superintendent Lewis and her staff, for working tirelessly to protect Montana’s cattle industry and prevent what appeared to be an immanent slaughter of nearly 300 of Yellowstone’s bison, including approximately 80 bison calves. This is a positive event that reveals what can be accomplished when innovation and leadership are brought to bear. We are thankful for their work and for this outcome.

"However, it is important to recognize that we have only dodged a bullet and these kinds of events will continue to happen unless the fundamental elements of the interagency bison management plan are changed. The same innovation that solved this immediate problem needs to be applied to the stalled and unsuccessful bison plan that currently governs bison within and outside park boundaries.All agree that eradication of the brucellosis disease is the ultimate goal.

"But science has not yet given us a solution to that problem, so in the meantime, the issues here are how to manage until such time as a vaccination can be used to eradicate the disease. Brucellosis sub regions need full investigation. And a pending agreement to provide bison winter habitat outside of Yellowstone’s north entrance needs to be completed and funded with the help of Congress.

"There are effective ways to protect Montana’s cattle industry, while protecting Yellowstone’s bison. But it will take innovation and the leadership of all interested parties, just like that displayed today by Governor Schweitzer and Superintendent Lewis in solving this immediate problem."

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