Bison Management

Bison Position Statement

Bear Creek council endorses the concept of bison as free-ranging wildlife managed by appropriate wildlife agencies.

Because of this endorsement, Bear Creek Council believes that:

  1. Access to adequate winter range needs to be available for whatever population range is deemed appropriate.
  2. Accurate information on brucellosis needs to be provided to the public.
  3. Advocate the use of all nonlethal means of preserving bison, i.e. transfer to tribes for quarantine, before lethal removal.

Bison News

Bison Action Plan

Category One: Gathering & Distributing Information
  • Collaboration: Maintain contact with other conservation groups active in this issue—Greater Yellowstone Coalition, National Wildlife Federation, Intertribal Bison Committee, Buffalo Field Campaign, etc.Bison in Yellowstone—to find out their latest plans and ensure we are not duplicating efforts.
  • Gather information: Ask a general member to write DOL asking for general information about the issue so we can evaluate information DOL disseminates about the issue.
  • Disposition of slaughtered bison: continue researching this issue.
  • Bison genetics: Determine what the recent results confirming genetic purity of YNP bison mean to our position, to the uniqueness of this population, to policy; and how it affects our actions.
  • Education: Disseminate new information on any of the above to our members and the general public using public forums, letters to the editor, articles, etc.
  • Education: Help people understand the rationale for bison population limits.

Category Two: Watching/helping government agencies and any private interests.

  • USFS: Watch for USFS grazing leases coming up for renewal; when bison-related leases come up, meet with the USFS and/or comment in writing. [More on this below]
  • CUT: Continue periodic communication with CUT, meeting as needed to discuss issues.
  • CUT: Stay informed about status of CUT land exchange negotiations, especially regarding provisions in the ROD for grazing suspension, adoption of CUT management plan, etc.
  • Voluntary cattle vaccination: Ensure this requirement of the ROD is being met. Obtain the records regarding this process.
  • Wildlife vaccine: Find out status of safety and efficacy research for bison and elk; if one is approved, when will it be administered and how.
  • Field testing: Advocate development of true disease field test to replace antibody test.
  • Quarantine: Endorse the InterTribal Bison Cooperative’s bison quarantine proposal (treat as wildlife, in family units, on large acreage with minimal handling).
  • Legislation: Participate in the Montana legislative process for bills pertaining to bison and related issues.

Bison Links