Alternative 7: Manage for
This alternative departs from all other alternatives in that a range of bison population numbers would be the focus, and specific management scenarios would be put in place as the population approached either end of that range. This range would be from 1,700 to 2,500 bison. Agency controls would decrease as the bison population approached 1,700 and would cease at 1,700 bison in certain areas as described in management sections for each area. Additional measures to remove increasing numbers of bison would be implemented near the 2,500 mark if bison left the park or SMAs described in this alternative. Because bison removals occur at or outside the park boundary, the bison population could at times exceed 2,500 inside the park.
In the long term, the agencies might acquire access to additional winter range in the
Although alternative 7 is distinct, it has elements similar to other alternatives. Capture and slaughter of seropositives would be the primary means of managing risk, as it is in alternatives 1, 4, and 5. Most seronegative bison would be shipped to quarantine, as described in alternative 4. Also like alternative 4, low levels of hunting would be allowed in one or more of the SMAs outside the park. As in alternative 3, alternative 7 has a long-term phase that proposes the acquisition of winter range north of the park boundary. However, as described above, this alternative is much more specific in defining a population size and management tools to keep it at that size. It is also true that alternatives 1 through 6 are unique, as each emphasizes a particular strategy to manage bison or combination of strategies not analyzed in alternative 7.
Did You Know?
At peak summer levels, 3,500 employees work for Yellowstone National Park concessioners and about 800 work for the National Park Service.