by Katherine Mozzone
BOZEMAN, Mont. — Wednesday begins a two part meeting where plan partners will discuss how to further progress in reaching their goal of conserving a wild, free-range bison population while controlling the spread of Brucellosis.
The Citizens Working Group is set to bring their recommendations to the table, Wednesday.
Thursday, partners will discuss a Winter Operations Plan for Yellowstone Bison. They will also provide updates on various lawsuits, including one the Alliance for the Wild Rockies filed against hazing.
Yellowstone National Park is also set to introduce their own management plan draft.
Yellowstone Spokesperson Al Nash says it’s a good place to start discussion and, so far, the plan has been well-received.
“The park staff has been listening to all of those who have a variety of interests and concerns and we’ve prepared a draft plan that we think helps move management one step forward,” says Nash.
They’re considering a number of alternatives including hunting outside the park and sending live bison to tribal entities.
Nash says the plan may require removal of a small number of bison, in order to eliminate big culls of bison they’ve seen in the past.
“Our biologists believe that a small number of bison need to be removed from the population each year to avoid those big pulses of bison and the potential for sending animals to slaughter,” says Nash.
Wednesday’s meeting begins at noon at Chico Hot Springs. Thursday’s meeting, also held at Chico, begins at 8am. The public is welcome to attend.