The public can still comment on 3 proposed plans for managing Yellowstone’s iconic herds of bison. Park officials in Yellowstone have extended the period of time–you now have until February 29–to comment on the Environmental Assessment that will determine the wild animals’ fate when they exit Park boundaries.
Because of concerns over a disease called brucellosis (which, in theory, can be transmitted from bison to cattle) any bison that ventures outside Yellowstone National Park is carefully monitored and, in many cases, shuttled off to slaughter.
The burly creature that early Yellowstone park stewards and American Indians saved from the brink of extinction in the early 1900s finds itself again in a thorny predicament. The bison aren’t being mercilessly hunted as they were a century-and-a-half-ago, and we have the benefit of science to enlighten decision-making, but still the familiar tug-of-war goes on between wilderness and wild processes, and the demands of modern society.
The latest proposal, which establishes a quarantine space on public lands outside the park and invites more Indian tribes to participate, seems worthy. But we must still demand that more public lands–new and existing–be designated as wildlife migratory corridors, which would benefit a whole assortment of wild animals.
For more details, check out this great informational video produced by the National Park Service:
Other information is found here: http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/bisonmgnt.htm
And PLEASE go here: http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/16008.htm to weigh in on the current debate.