Winter is the time bison start migrating out of the snowy, high-elevation habitat that makes up most of Yellowstone National Park. In past years, these huge beasts have been met at park borders by government agents who either kill them, place them in pens or attempt to herd them back into the park with helicopters and snowmobiles. They do this because ranchers fear bison will compete with livestock for forage and bring diseases which cows might contract.
But thanks to the National Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Conflict Resolution project – and thanks to those of you who support this work—bison are now finding secure winter habitat when they leave the Yellowstone. NWF has been instrumental in creating safe havens for bison outside the park. We achieve this by offering ranchers payment in exchange for retiring their livestock grazing privileges.
But just this week another threat to Yellowstone’s bison emerged, this time from Montana’s state legislature, where a bill has been introduced that would allow bison to be shot on sight when they leave the park. It only demonstrates that the same mentality that resulted in the slaughter of American’s bison over 150 years ago is still alive and well in some quarters.
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