Today Yellowstone National Park released a long-awaited decision to move forward with developing a quarantine program and facility to be used to restore brucellosis-free, genetically pure, Yellowstone bison to their native habitat elsewhere in Montana and beyond. This is great news as it means that fewer Yellowstone bison will be shipped to slaughter!
Greater Yellowstone Coalition has, and will continue to support a quarantine and translocation program that’s done right. Using disease-free Yellowstone bison to establish other tribal and conservation herds will not only contribute to the conservation and restoration of the species, it will also:
- Serve as an alternative to shipping bison to slaughter as a population management tool;
- Support the culture and nutrition of Native Americans, and;
- Help preserve the unique Yellowstone bison genome.
Throughout the development and implementation of this program we will continue to advocate that the program is science-driven and only used as an alternative to shipping bison to slaughter. GYC will work to ensure that Yellowstone bison are transferred to public and tribal lands within the historic range of plains bison for conservation and cultural purposes, and that priority be given to transfer that would keep wild bison in the public trust. And, we will ensure that this does not interfere with our ongoing work alongside our conservation partners to secure additional habitat for bison to use year-round outside Yellowstone National Park as well as efforts to increase their use of existing habitat outside the Park.
Please join us in thanking Yellowstone National Park for this decision. Though much work remains to improve the management of Yellowstone bison, this is indeed a very positive step in the right direction, and one that we should celebrate today!
--Shana Drimal, Wildlife Program Associate