The 2020 Yellowstone bison cull is now underway, as bison migrate from the interior of Yellowstone National Park into the Gardiner (Montana) Basin.
The Yellowstone bison cull began at the Stephens Creek administrative area in Yellowstone yesterday, according to National Park Service officials.
Bison operations at Stephens Creek happen on behalf of all Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) partners which include federal, state, and tribal groups. In December 2019, the IBMP partners agreed to a 2020 winter operations plan that recommends removing 600 to 900 animals from Yellowstone’s estimated population of 4,900 bison.
The population will be reduced using three methods: 1) public and tribal hunting outside the park, 2) capturing bison near the park boundary and then transferring them to Native American tribes for processing and distribution of meat and hides to their members, and 3) a quarantine program that results in brucellosis-free bison being moved to tribal lands.
Located in the northern section of the park near Gardiner, Montana, the Stephens Creek administrative area includes park corral operations, equipment storage, a native plant nursery, and the bison capture and quarantine facilities. The administrative area is closed to the public year-round.
Photo of frost-covered bison walking near Frying Pan Spring by Jacob W. Frank, courtesy National Park Service.