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Bison Heading Back to Summer Ranges

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Date: May 19, 2008
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2015
Contact: Stacy Vallie, 307-344-2015

National Park Service

U.S. Department of the Interior


Yellowstone National Park

P.O. Box 168

Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190



May 19, 2008  08-034            

Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2015






Bison Heading Back To Summer Ranges


Bison image


Winter is finally releasing its grasp on Yellowstone National Park. Recent warm temperatures and abundant sunshine have led to rapid snowmelt and new spring plant growth.


Grazing wildlife including elk, pronghorn and bison have started moving back to the interior of the park to their higher elevation summer ranges.


The improved conditions allowed park managers to open the gates to the corrals at the Stephens Creek bison capture facility northwest of Gardiner, Montana, this morning.


About 300 bison are headed south toward Mammoth, and then east into the Lamar Valley or south toward Fountain Flats, the Central Plateau, and Hayden Valley. 


The majority of the bison released this morning had been held in the Stephens Creek facility since early April for release at spring green-up in order to protect Montana’s brucellosis-free status without sending the bison to slaughter.


The park operates the Stephens Creek facility under the Interagency Bison Management plan in conjunction with state and federal partners to conserve a viable, wild bison population and manage the risk of transmission of brucellosis to livestock.


The temporary closure of the area around the Stephens Creek facility will be lifted in a few days once all the bison have left the area.




Producers/Editors note: Digital stills of today’s bison release will be available upon request after 2:00 p.m. MDT today. 

Did You Know?


Climate is one of the primary drivers of the physical and ecological processes that determine the distribution, structure, and function of ecosystems.