|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||November 22, 2011|
|Contact:||Patricia Dowd, Yellowstone Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, (406) 585-1580, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Billington, Senior Media Relations Manger, National Parks Conservation Association, (202) 419-3717, email@example.com
Well reasoned, comprehensive approach needed for Yellowstone's bison
Statement by: Patricia Dowd, National Parks Conservation Association
"Tens of millions of bison once roamed North America. Today only about 20,000 wild bison remain, and Yellowstone’s 3,700 bison are considered to be among the most genetically pure. It’s November and a familiar sight is taking shape in Yellowstone National Park. Snow. Freeze/thaw cycles. Ice. Snow. Wind. Single-digit temperatures. More snow.
"With the arrival of winter weather in Yellowstone comes the issue of bison management. For decades winter has brought death to Yellowstone’s bison, usually in the form of a slaughter by state and/or federal agencies. Recently a bison management proposal created by the National Park Service was leaked to the Associate Press. The National Park Service document proposes to “cull” as many as 360 migrating wild bison.
"The proposal calls for 200 female bison, 50 calves and 50 yearlings from the park's northern herd to be shot by hunters, captured for relocation, or captured for slaughter. Thirty bull bison from the park's central herd would be harvested by hunters. An additional 20 to 30 bulls from the northern herd could be removed during a late-winter hunt targeting animals that resist returning to the park.
"This proposal does not reflect the on the ground progress recently made that increases bison habitat outside of Yellowstone and instead reverts to past unsuccessful approaches to bison management. An increase of tolerance and an effort to co-exist with bison outside of Yellowstone National Park boundaries is occurring.
"A comprehensive proposal to translocate Yellowstone’s wild bison to the Fort Peck Reservation and Fort Belknap Reservation has been developed. NPCA encourages Yellowstone National Park officials, state and federal agencies to fully consider translocating some of Yellowstone’s bison herd to the Fort Peck or Fort Belknap tribes.
"NPCA continues to support and encourage the co-existence efforts that are occurring north and west of Yellowstone National Park. The National Parks Conservation Association supports public hunting outside national parks, but opposes public hunting for either sport or for management of wildlife in existing national park units. Specifically, NPCA opposes hunting bison in Yellowstone National Park."