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Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

Yellowstone recommends removing about 900 bison

By Matthew Brown, Associated Press

Published: Mon, Aug. 11 10:49 a.m. MDT

 In this March 17, 2011, file photo, a free bison roams around the outside of a pen enclosing bison in Gardiner, Mont., in Yellowstone National Park.

In this March 17, 2011, file photo, a free bison roams around the outside of a pen enclosing bison in Gardiner, Mont., in Yellowstone National Park.

(Janie Osborne, File, Associated Press)

BILLINGS, Mont. — Yellowstone National Park administrators are recommending the removal of roughly 900 bison next winter through hunting, shipments to slaughter and for research purposes.

The proposal represents about 19 percent of the park's wild bison.

Officials say removing the animals will relieve population pressures that periodically push large numbers of migrating bison into Montana during harsh winters.

Wildlife advocates say a better approach would be allowing bison into areas outside the park where they are now barred.

Livestock interests and some local officials have opposed expanding bison habitat. They cite concerns over animal disease and public safety.

Hunters and government agencies removed 640 bison last winter.

Whether next winter's goal will be reached depends largely on weather conditions. Fewer bison leave the park to graze at lower elevations during mild winters.

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1. byronbca
Salt Lake City, UT,
Aug. 11, 2014

I think it's fantastic that the Bison population has grown to the point where it's becoming overpopulated, 100 years ago we almost lost them to extinction. I would love to see some of these Bison get transplanted to some of their old natural habitats. Why not send 100 to Utah, I'm sure we have some room for them.

2. Uncle_Fester
Niskayuna, NY,
Aug. 12, 2014

Great! A Bison cull. Just think how many homeless could be fed especially on the heels of the successful deer cull recently.

3. andreality
Centerburg, 00,
Aug. 12, 2014

It would be wonderful if some of the bison would be able to feed the homeless. Many restaurants here donate their end-of-day bread and other foods to our homeless shelters (Columbus, Ohio). But I am also wondering if letting bison roam into other unused government lands would be a good idea, there to be controlled and somewhere they can be seen and visited as they do in South and North Dakota. These animals are native to North America, and should be protected and preserved and as they breed that gives opportunities for meat that is needed; it also creates jobs for Americans that are out of work and love doing animal care and outdoor work.