Deal opens up land to some Yellowstone bison: Officials praise plan as critics say it will make little difference. By Matthew Brown. Associated Press.
I just read some comments on this blog with opinion that the headlines were saying this is a great deal. Above is the exact headline as the Billings Gazette printed it today. Others to the same story do make it seem a bit grand.
The mainstream media usually gives the “official” position some deference at first, but it doesn’t seem to me like the Gazette headline or the actual Matthew Brown story hails this “as breaking an eight-year impasse on one of the National Park Service’s most divisive wildlife issues.” That’s what YNP superintendent Suzanne Lewis called it.
As the true magnitude of this winter’s losses become apparent, the issue will not go away. The tokenism of this gesture will become evident.
There needs to be a petition adding the Yellowstone bison to the endangered species list and separate populations established. Before anyone says “Oh, there are hundreds of thousands of bison in the United States,” it should be pointed out that none of them are pure bison. They have cattle genes, an animal not native even to this continent.
This is a classic example of the danger of having all of a rare species in one place. If a species is all in one small space, it doesn’t matter a great deal if there are 10,000, 4000, or 1000. They can all be reduced to dangerous territory by the coincidence of a couple adverse events.
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Update: the story in the Bozeman Chronicle. The plan is utterly worthless. Read this part. “Plans now call for toleration of 25 bison that have tested negative for the disease. In future years, up to 100 would be allowed, but only until April 15, when all bison would be hazed back into the park.”
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“This is the first time since the (bison plan) was implemented that they’ve done anything on the conservation side,” said Michael Scott, executive director of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. “It sets us on a course for finding more room for bison around the park.”
GYC, the National Wildlife Federation, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Montana Wildlife Federation have pledged to help with the fundraising.
Errol Rice, executive director of the Montana Stockgrowers Association, said he wasn’t surprised at the announcement and that his group will carefully monitor the situation to make sure bison don’t stay out of the park past April 15. [Boldface mine]
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These groups are going to cooperate with these greedy bastards! Give your money to the Buffalo Field Campaign and Western Watsheds Project instead.