For Immediate Release
June 8, 2007
CONTACT: Steve Merritt
Public Information Officer
Montana Department of Livestock
Bison May Be Captured & Moved to North End of Yellowstone Park
State and federal officials tomorrow morning plan to capture up to approximately 50 bison outside the western boundary of Yellowstone National Park and transport most all of them – all the cows and calves – to the Park’s northern border, the Montana Department of Livestock announced.
The bison will be released into the Park’s permanent corrals on Stephens Creek near Gardiner, from which they will be allowed to migrate back into Yellowstone once they have settled from the move.
Because the Stephens Creek facility can’t handle bull bison, bulls among the captured bison might be shipped to slaughter, and their meat donated to native American tribes that have requested it, explained Christian Mackay, executive director of the Montana Department of Livestock.
“We appreciate the Park Service’s help with this effort, and hope to save most all of the bison we deal with tomorrow,” Mackay said. “We’re long past the time of year when the Interagency Bison Management Plan calls for zero tolerance of bison outside the Park in the West Yellowstone area,” he explained, “and while the IBMP calls for bison to be removed for slaughter at this time of year, we’d like to avoid or at least minimize that outcome.”
Last week, state and federal officials herded hundreds of errant bison back into the Park from outside the western boundary, as they have on numerous occasions this year. “At this point, fewer and fewer of the bison are coming out of the Park once they’ve returned, so we’re hopeful that we may soon be finished with active bison management operations for this season,” MacKay concluded..