Public input sought for Yellowstone bison management plan

A bison stands near road signs in downtown Gardiner, Mont. in January 2006. (Jim Peaco/NPS - click to enlarge)

Jim Peaco / NPS

A bison stands near road signs in downtown Gardiner, Mont. in January 2006.

The National Park Service and the State of Montana will begin preparing an Environmental Impact Statement for a new plan to manage a wild and migratory populations of Yellowstone-area bison, while minimizing the risk of brucellosis transmission between bison and livestock to the extent practicable.

A Notice of Intent has been published in the Federal Register. The new plan is needed because conditions have changed since implementation of the Interagency Bison Management Plan began in 2001, including agency experience in managing bison and new science.

A range of six preliminary draft alternative concepts has been developed by the NPS and the State of Montana, with input from cooperating agencies. The preliminary alternative concepts primarily differ in terms of bison abundance, bison tolerance outside of the park, and the tools that could be used to manage the bison population within the park and on lands adjacent to the park. A newsletter with additional details about the plan and the preliminary alternative concepts is available online on the plan’s NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) web page at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/YellBisonPlan.

Members of the public are being asked to participate in the planning process by offering input on the scope of issues and range of alternative concepts that may be considered in the new plan. The preferred method for submitting comments to the NPS and State of Montana is on the plan’s NPS PEPC web page. Comments may also be mailed or hand-delivered to the Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park, Bison Management Plan, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190. The deadline to receive comments is June 15, 2015.

During the public scoping comment period, the NPS and State of Montana will hold public open houses in West Yellowstone, Gardiner, and Bozeman, Montana. Details about the date, time, and location of each meeting will be announced in a future press release and online on the plan’s NPS PEPC web page.

At the conclusion of the public comment period, the NPS and State of Montana will analyze and consider all feedback received and begin the preparation of the EIS. When completed, the draft EIS will be released for public review and comment.

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