Bison Hazed Into Capture Facility Near Gardiner
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2015
INTERAGENCY BISON MANAGEMENT PLAN
A group of approximately 300 bison was hazed into the Stephens Creek bison capture facility on Monday. The facility, located inside the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park, northwest of Gardiner, Montana, is operated under the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP).
A large number of bison had been hazed back into the park after moving nearly 10 miles during the night onto private and public land north of Corwin Springs on Saturday and Sunday.
Under the IBMP, when hazing bison back into the park becomes unsafe or ineffective, bison can be captured at the Stephens Creek capture facility.
Since a large number of bison were discovered well north of the park boundary again Monday morning, the IBMP partners made the decision to haze them into the capture facility.
The partner agencies have agreed at this point in the winter that captured bison will be tested for exposure to brucellosis, that seropositive bison will be shipped to slaughter, and that they endeavor to hold seronegative bison for spring release back into the park. Meat from bison shipped to slaughter will be distributed to tribal groups and regional food banks.
The IBMP partners are looking for opportunities to alleviate the need to hold and ship bison to slaughter this winter. Looking beyond this winter, they also continue discussions for the long-term on how and where Yellowstone bison might be tolerated in areas surrounding the park or relocated outside of the park if captured.
To-date, no bison have been shipped to slaughter during the winter of 2010-2011. State permitted and tribal hunters have taken approximately 90-110 bison this season. Three bison have been killed due to management actions. The late summer 2010 population estimate was 3,900 bison.
For safety reasons, the area around the Stephens Creek facility is closed to the public when capturing, holding, and releasing bison. A map and information on the closure is available for public review during normal business hours at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park at the Albright Visitor Center and the Office of the Chief Ranger.
This is the eleventh winter the IBMP has been used to guide brucellosis risk management actions.
The cooperating agencies operating under the IBMP are the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Montana Department of Livestock, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the InterTribal Buffalo Council, the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes, and the Nez Perce Tribe.
More information on the IBMP can be found at http://ibmp.info/.
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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.