The deadline for public comment regarding a potential bison quarantine program has been extended.
We previously reported on the proposal, which would quarantine bison at a facility on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in northeastern Montana. The facility would screen bison for brucellosis and eventually lead to a disease-free population, which could then be used to augment existing conservation herds.
Originally slated to end by midnight MDT February 15, 2016, comments will now be accepted until February 29—two extra weeks for people to study the Environmental Assessment. Previously, park officials held an open house at the Yellowstone Association headquarters in Gardiner, MT regarding the quarantine program. The announcement to extend the deadline also coincides with the beginning of bison operations at Stephens Creek.
The announcement also comes on the heels of an announcement from the Montana Stockgrowers Association, condemning the EA and calling for a more intensive study of the program, citing concerns over the spread of brucellosis. According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, bison advocacy groups such as the Gallatin Wildlife Association have also questioned the program, saying they would prefer to see bison stay wild rather than be fenced in.
As previously reported, anyone interested in commenting on the quarantine program should do so through the Park’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website. You can also deliver comments in person to the Yellowstone park administration building. Finally, comments can also be mailed to the following address:
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park
Faxed and/or emailed comments will not be accepted or acknowledged. All comments must be submitted by individuals. Bulk comments will not be accepted by any means.