Magazine article International Wildlife

NWF, Affiliate Go to Court to Protect Yellowstone Bison

Magazine article International Wildlife

NWF, Affiliate Go to Court to Protect Yellowstone Bison

Article excerpt

SEVERAL CONSERVATION GROUPS, including the National Wildlife Federation and one of its affiliates, the Wyoming Wildlife Federation, are suing the U.S. Forest Service over its decision to allow continued cattle grazing on important bison winter ranges adjacent to Yellowstone National Park.

The suit charges that the Gallatin National Forest reissued a ten-year livestock grazing permit for the Horse Butte allotment, located just west of Yellowstone, without first evaluating the impact of grazing on the bison.

The bison naturally migrate to Horse Butte during the winter to find food and escape deep snows. Fearing that they might transmit the bovine disease brucellosis to cattle, the federal government and the state of Montana have undertaken a program of killing the bison or hazing them back into the park, even though there has never been a known case of disease transmission from wild bison to domestic cattle. During the harsh winter of 1996-97, 310 bison were shot along the park's west boundary and 48 more were sent to slaughter. …

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