A dated management plan will force the National Park Service to ship upwards of 1,000 bison to slaughter this winter.
Bozeman, MT – This week, the National Park Service began shipping bison to slaughter from the Stephen’s Creek bison capture facility. This annual practice is done using a now outdated 2000 court ordered settlement and resulting bison management plan. This announcement comes after a delay by the State of Montana and after the National Park Service tried to secure an agreement for a “quarantine and translocation” program. The Park Service’s proposed program calls for holding some bison in secure pastures and testing the animals to ensure they are free of the disease brucellosis. The disease-free bison could then be used to augment or create public and tribal herds to further the conservation of the species.
Below is a statement by Stephanie Adams, Yellowstone Program Manager for National Parks Conservation Association
“It is a shame that agency decision makers continue to rely on 17-year-old guidelines, based on outdated science to manage Yellowstone bison. This dated management plan will force the National Park Service to ship upwards of 1,000 bison to slaughter this winter. While we await a full, renewed management plan, the National Park Service is working in good faith with the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of Fort Peck, and received thousands of comments to support a quarantine program to reduce the number of bison killed each year. The program would support Yellowstone bison conservation and tribal programs, but lack of an agreement by the management agencies is preventing its implementation.
“American bison are our national mammal, symbols of our National Park Service and represent an incredible conservation success with rebounding populations after being nearly driven to extinction in the early 1900s. There are far better, science-backed solutions to help write a new future for these animals.
“Decades of management experience demonstrate that the likelihood of disease transmission from bison to domestic cattle is extremely limited. Yet, the fear of the disease transmission continues to falsely drive the yearly bison slaughter under the outdated management plan. The National Park Service and the State of Montana need to work with the U.S Department of Agriculture, tribes, and the community to develop a common sense solution that maintains the proud legacy of North American wildlife conservation.”
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About National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan NPCA has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
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