Reducing Conflicts with Landowners and Building Social Tolerance

The Yellowstone Bison Coexistence Program was started in 2011 as a collaborative effort between the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, and Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, aimed to help landowners coexist with wild bison on the landscape outside the Park.

Specifically, the goal of the program is to help mitigate concerns over wild bison that roam beyond park boundaries by offering financial & technical assistance to landowners interested in building exclusion fences on private property to prevent property damage and keep bison out of potential conflicts (e.g. gardens, landscaping, yards or livestock pastures.)


Since its inception in 2011, we have completed 32 fencing projects in the Gardiner and Hebgen Basins and contributed >$35,000 in reimbursements and materials and likely an equal amount in additional project expenses such as staff time, travel, etc.

Participants of the program have been very happy with the results and we believe this has been a huge success in helping to build public tolerance and acceptance toward bison on the landscape in Montana.  With the potential changes to future bison management as well as new year-round tolerance for bison on the landscape outside the park, we will continue to expand these efforts to ensure that people in these communities have the means to successfully coexist with bison on the landscape.

“This program is a shining example of conservation groups working directly with landowners to solve problems and build tolerance for our wildlife resources here in Montana.” “….in my opinion this remains a great effort.” Sam Shepard, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Region 3 Regional Director

For more information or to participate in this program, contact Shana Dunkley at: