From: NRDC
Published December 23, 2015 08:24 AM

Bison get Christmas gift from Governor of Montana

In a big step forward for wild bison and all Montanans, today Governor Steve Bullock agreed to expand year-round habitat for wild bison in Montana outside Yellowstone National Park.  Historically, thousands of wild bison have been hazed or slaughtered as they migrated from Yellowstone into Montana in the spring. This decision represents a significant change in bison management.

Following is a statement from Matt Skoglund, Director of the Northern Rockies Office at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Giving wild bison from Yellowstone year-round habitat in Montana is a welcome holiday offering from Governor Bullock. While I’d certainly love to see the state go further, this decision is a big step forward for wild bison in Montana, and it will show that wild bison and people can successfully share the Montana landscape outside Yellowstone National Park. When you consider this from a science, economics, public opinion, or common sense perspective, it makes sense for Montana to give wild bison from Yellowstone year-round habitat in the state.”

Wild bison have largely been blocked from staying in Montana year-round like other wildlife due to a concern by livestock interests that brucellosis, an introduced disease that can cause infected pregnant animals to miscarry, may spread to domestic livestock from the migrating wild bison, despite the incredibly small potential for infection and the management tools available to prevent such a transmission from happening. In fact, no documented transmission from wild bison to livestock has ever occurred. Interested stakeholders will now have the opportunity to begin to learn how wild bison will use the Montana landscape outside Yellowstone year-round.

Herd of Bison image via Shutterstock.

Read more at NRDC.

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