2015-12-22. Governor issues decision on year-round bison habitat.

posted Dec 24, 2015, 3:12 PM by Alan Gould   [ updated Dec 24, 2015, 3:12 PM ]
By Michael Wright, Bozeman Daily Chronicle. For GSS Losing Biodiversity chapter 2. Excerpt: ...Gov. Steve Bullock proposed Tuesday to expand a year-round tolerance zone for bison on the west side of the park from the Horse Butte area north to the Taylor Fork area and let bull bison to stay north of the park to Yankee Jim Canyon year-round. “This decision is a very modest expansion of the conditions under which bison may remain outside of the park,” Bullock said in a statement. “While at the same time I am confident our livestock industry is protected.” ...The decision would get rid of the annual dates when state officials chase bison back into the park, but won’t eliminate that practice entirely. Hazing could still be used to keep bison within the borders of the tolerance zones, the document says, and would be used to prevent “imminent or anticipated conflict,” like if a bison is getting too close to cows or might damage private property. ...cows and bison won’t be allowed to co-mingle, something that stems from rancher concerns about the spread of brucellosis.  ...Some bison advocates hailed the decision as a step forward, while others said it doesn’t go far enough. ...Glenn Hockett, of the Gallatin Wildlife Association, said he was disappointed that ...the decision seemed to prioritize cattle over wildlife on public lands by explicitly saying that bison and cattle couldn’t co-mingle. On the other side, Jay Bodner of the Montana Stockgrowers Association said his organization had concerns that the decision didn’t tie closely enough to reducing the number of bison in Yellowstone. Right now, there are about 5,000 bison there, and Bodner worries that if the number isn’t decreased “that there will just be this continuing need to expand tolerance zones.”....  http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/environment/governor-issues-decision-on-year-round-bison-habitat/article_3f907cf0-0b5e-5530-a925-f05793625b9a.html