Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Bison management group looks at new plan

August 12, 2009, 8:22 am

HELENA, Mont. -- A new Yellowstone National Park bison management proposal calls for more aggressive hazing of the animals back into the park and other measures to reduce the number sent to slaughter.

It is one option a group of state and federal agencies is reviewing as it attempts to build more flexibility into a program that killed a record 1,600 bison in 2008.

The effort follows a strong critique last year from the Government Accountability Office that said state and federal agencies have done little to stem the slaughter.

Ranchers want the animals contained to keep them from transmitting to domestic herds a disease that bison share with cattle. Advocates want more space and freedom for the animals to roam outside the park.

Other proposals being considered include more hunting, the expansion of areas outside the park where bison can roam without being captured, and development of a vaccine to control brucellosis.