One unfortunate side effect of winter: the inevitable debate over how to handle the Yellowstone bison cull. This winter should be no exception.
The issue of managing the Yellowstone bison cull — the bison who head north and west of the Park in search of better winter grazing — is certainly not new. And it’s not going away anytime soon. In fact, it’s perhaps even a muddier situation than before: the Interagency Bison Management Plan is still working out a management plan, and that won’t appear any time soon. Add to uncertainly some transitions within Yellowstone — Dave Hallac is leaving Yellowstone, and Dan Henk is on a one-year leave — and you have lots of folks wondering how many bison will be managed and how many will be culled this winter. From an excellent report on the subject from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle’s Laura Lundquist:
Gardiner resident Bonnie Lynn is bracing herself for another gut-wrenching bison hunt north of Yellowstone National Park.
Some people have recently suggested ways to take the pressure off Beattie Gulch – move hunting farther inside or farther outside the park — but both have legal hurdles.
But it’s possible that two imminent changes – one to bison management near West Yellowstone and the other to management of Yellowstone bison overall — may lead to better possibilities in the future.
Read the story. And then be prepared for another winter of discontent when the bison do inevitably leave the Park boundaries.
Image courtesy National Park Service.