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NPS Helps Fund Grazing Restriction & Bison Access Agreement

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Date: April 23, 2008
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2015

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
   
April 17, 2008                   08-024
   
Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2015

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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK NEWS RELEASE
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NATIONAL PARK SERVICE HELPS FUND GRAZING RESTRICTION AND BISON ACCESS AGREEMENT
Deal increases tolerance for bison north of park by removing cattle for 30 years

(Bozeman, MT)  – The National Park Service has agreed to provide federal funds in support of a grazing rights and bison access agreement which will allow the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) to move forward.  The deal was announced in Bozeman this afternoon by Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Suzanne Lewis, Church Universal and Triumphant, Inc., President Kate Gordon, and Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer.

Under the IBMP, the park works with other agencies to conserve a viable, wild bison population while cooperating to protect Montana’s brucellosis-free status.  That means keeping bison separated from cattle present on land outside the park.

The State of Montana and the Church Universal and Triumphant have reached an agreement which removes cattle from the Royal Teton Ranch (RTR) for a period of 30 years.  It would allow some bison to move onto and across RTR property and onto national forest lands covered under Step 2 of the IBMP.
 
Step 2 of the IBMP allows an increasing number of sero-negative bison on land between the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park and Yankee Jim Canyon, at the southern end of the Paradise Valley.

Under a cooperative agreement, the National Park Service will give the State of Montana $1.5 million to help fund the federal portion of the agreement.  The balance of the funds will be provided by the State of Montana and its partners.

Because of significant bison movement across the park’s northern boundary this year, the Church removed all cattle from the RTR Monday morning to reduce the risk of transmission of brucellosis from bison to cattle.

Removal of cattle from RTR property adjacent to Yellowstone National Park was called for in Step Two of the IBMP, to provide increased tolerance for bison outside the park’s northern boundary.   The need to complete this agreement was reinforced in the recent Government Accountability Office report on bison management.

This is the eighth winter the IBMP has been used to guide brucellosis risk management actions.   Nearly 1,300 bison have been shipped to slaughter from the Stephens Creek bison capture facility on the park’s northern boundary this year as part of brucellosis risk management actions under the IBMP.
 
The five cooperating agencies operating under the IBMP are the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Montana Department of Livestock and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.  

www.nps.gov/yell

Did You Know?

Bear Cubs

Even though the animals of Yellowstone seem tame they are still wild. Feeding the animals is not permitted in any way, and all visitors must keep 100 yards away from wolves and bears, and 25 yards from other animals.