Bison have thrived across most of North America for over 100,000 years. Today their range has been reduced to just a few small protected areas like Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks (pictured here). We restrict their instinctive desire to expand out of Yellowstone, citing disease concerns. Yet bison persist, forcing @yellowstonenps to cull herds every year. In an attempt to find other solutions, the park has established a quarantine program with hopes of transferring bison to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Earlier this week, someone, in a misguided effort to “free the bison,” took bolt cutters to fence, and the quarantined herd was cut loose, putting their return to the reservation in jeopardy. .
I empathize with those who want to see wild bison again outside the parks. We should have free roaming bison on our public lands. This action does nothing to help achieve that goal. For now we must recognize that preventing the spread of disease to domestic cattle is important, and also that we can expand our wild bison herds in other, productive ways. .
Photo from my current multiday with @jacksonholeecotours