Yellowstone Holds Online Bison Plan Hearings | State and Region

Alternative 1 (No action, continue current management): NPS would continue to manage bison in accordance with the Interagency Bison Management Plan, maintain a bison population range similar to the past two decades (3,500-5,000 bison after calving), would continue hunting-coordinating traps to balance population regulation within the park using the cull at Stephens Creek and hunting opportunities outside the park, increase the number of brucellosis-free bison transferred to tribal lands through the Bison Conservation Transfer Program and work with the State of Montana to manage the already low risk of brucellosis spreading from bison to livestock.

Alternative 2 (Enhance Restoration and Tribal Engagement): Bison would be managed within a population range of approximately 4,500-6,000 animals after calving with an emphasis on the use of BCTP and tribal hunting outside the park to regulate the numbers. The NPS can use proactive measures such as low-stress hazing of bison toward the park boundary to increase opportunities for tribal hunting outside the park. The NPS would reduce shipments to the slaughterhouse based on the needs and demands of tribal nations.

Alternative 3 (Food-Limited Carrying Capacity): The NPS would rely on natural selection, bison dispersal, and public and tribal harvesting in Montana as primary tools to regulate numbers, which would likely range from 5,500 to 8,000 or more animals after calving. Trapping for slaughter shipments would cease immediately. The NPS would continue captures to maintain the BCTP as in alternatives 1 and 2.

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