Government Agencies Join To Create New Bison Management Plan - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Government Agencies Join To Create New Bison Management Plan

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The National Park Service and the State of Montana announced on Friday they will work together to prepare a new bison management plan.

"We really believe this is the time to take another look at bison management," said Al Nash, YNP spokesman.

The plan would consider possible changes for managing bison in Yellowstone National Park and the spread of brucellosis.

"At this point, the state and the National Park Service have assigned a memorandum of understanding to begin the process," said Nash.

"We will look at changes on the landscape, changes to what we understand about the science and the disease brucellosis," said Andrea Jones, Fish Wildlife and Parks spokeswoman.

The last Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) was created in 2001. In efforts to control the large bison population that plan allowed Yellowstone National Park to capture and slaughter bison that roamed outside the park.

"The previous plan make some assumptions on how bison might react to the environment," said Nash.

The new plan would reduce the risk of brucellosis transmission to cattle, damage to property and threats to human safety.

"We are still going to use hunting as a primary tool," said Jones. "We intend to continue to use as a way to control bison population."

Bob Hoppe owns a ranch outside Gardiner. He said bison come on his property on a daily basis and have caused him thousands of dollars of damage.

"I put up fence three times in the last three weeks.. I've been fixing fence every day," said Hoppe. "I lost three horses one year and no one even paid the vet bill."

Nash and Jones both said it will be a while before a plan is drafted.

This year, Yellowstone National Park has captured and slaughtered more than 600 bison.

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