Bison. It’s about bison. I know. You’re asking, “Bison. So what?” Right? Let’s think about this for a minute. When was the last time you paid under $5.00 per pound for a strip, t-bone, sirloin steak at the grocery store? It’s been a while, right? And with Moochelle Obama and Obamacare guidelines pushing healthy eating, why would the federal government, specifically the parks service want to discourage the population growth of bison? Bison is a very healthy, and tasty I might add, protein. Well, it’s true. The feds are fearful that the bison population may grow exponentially and they mean to put a stop to it.
And let’s throw a few other components into the mix. Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve noticed the feds have mad a concerted effort over the last several decades to eliminate cattle ranching. One tactic is has been to squeeze ranchers out of business by taking their land. We are most recently witnessing that with the Hammonds in Oregon. It raises the question, Why does the federal government fear the population growth of bison? There’s almost no private land left in the west. They own almost all of it. Plenty of room for bison to roam, as they once did before America became America. And, I’ll go out on a limb to say, the eco system was none the worse for wear for their existence. Right? Why could we not become a bison raising country again?
Here’s the story on KPAX8.com.As winter sets in, the bison in Yellowstone National Park move out.
This year, as in previous years, many of the animals that leave the park will be killed as part of a plan to reduce the herds.
“There are roughly 4,900 bison in Yellowstone National Park which is too many, according to Interagency bison managers. So, they’re planning to reduce the number by 600-900 animals.”
“Overall we are trying to reduce the population because without this the population will continue to increase and maybe exponentially,” said Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokeswoman Andrea Jones said.
This will accomplished two ways – by trapping the animals at Stephens Creek near the park’s north entrance and by shipping the bison to be slaughtered for various tribes and hunting outside the park by permitted state hunters and tribal hunters.
“Over the years we have upped the numbers of bison permits we have, working closely with tribes to separate them, have a safe and effective hunt,” Jones said.
Right now there are 80 bison tags, with a wait list of other hunters if needed. The tribes manage their own hunt and the roundups at Stephens Creek will begin later this year.
“Many people are uncomfortable with the practice of culling bison, including the National Park Service,” Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk told MTN News.
“The Park would gladly reduce the frequency and magnitude of these operations if migrating bison had access to more habitat outside the Park or there was a way to transfer live bison elsewhere,” he added.
“The bottom line is we need expanded habitat for bison and more places for them to roam as wildlife,” added Scott Christensen with the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.
The Greater Yellowstone Coalition is working to increase bison habitat and applauds a recent decision by Governor Steve Bullock that still needs to be ratified to open up an addition 250,000 acres near the park for bison to roam.
“We still have a long way to go managing bison like wildlife and ending the slaughter that happens,” Christensen said.
Bison hunting is already underway in the area.
Wouldn’t it be a boost to the economy and perhaps even aid in lowering food inflation if American ranchers could raise bison? While I speculate, the government will absolutely raise land management questions, I call B.S. The parks services and conservation commissions are constantly meddling with species rein-habitation, and knocking the balance of the food chain all over the place, for purposes unknown, but the larger questions remain with these acts of conservation; how does it help the people of America?
Here’s the brainchild of someone behind a federal desk, somewhere. Missouri has not had elk within its borders since 1865. Since that time, our state has seen a lot of growth and I can tell you with absolute certainty, that while we have plenty of rural land, our federally controlled lands do not come anywhere close to the size and scope of federally controlled managed lands in the west. So a few years ago, someone decided that elk needed to be reintroduced into the state. I’m sure it’s a lovely thought. Who wouldn’t want to watch the majestic beasts off in the distance grazing on a farmer’s corn field? Ok, look! Elk are big suckers. Much bigger than our white tailed deer, of which now are in such huge supply they are causing serious hazards in urban areas across the state. So, in a few more years, we won’t be having traffic accidents involving white tailed deer, we will be running into bull elk and I’m pretty sure that’s gonna be a bigger mess. Why do we need elk in Missouri? Who’s paying for it, and what kind of damage can farmers expect when the herd grows? How is this going to help the Missouri economy or anything else for that matter? I dunno. You tell me.
So, back to the bison. Instead of killing 900 bison, why not encourage bison ranching? Why would you want to minimize an already severely diminished population of the species, especially when it could be great for the American food supply and economy?
Here’s another rub. More than half the land in the western part of the United States is owned by the federal government. Plenty of room to raise bison or cattle. Hmmm.
Here’s another interning bison fact. The species is classified as “Near Threatened.” So, seriously? Why reduce the heard? In fact it is listed as a conservation dependent species!
This species is listed as Near Threatened in light of its dependence on an ongoing conservation programme, a very limited number of viable populations (five), and small populations. The North America bison population underwent a drastic decline in 19th century caused by over hunting but has since partially recovered. There has been a modest increases in the number of conservation herds and individuals in populations managed for species conservation and ecological restoration, however, all mature individuals occur within active management programs which is ceased would result in the species qualifying for a threatened status. About 97% of the continental population is managed for private captive commercial propagation; very few of these herds are managed primarily for species conservation and none is managed in the public interest for conservation. Herds managed for conservation purposes in the public interest are typically small (< 400), and populations are widely dispersed with few geographic situations that provide conditions for natural movements between subpopulations. The total number of mature individuals in wild free-ranging and semi-free-ranging populations is estimated to be approximately 11,250 and only 5 subpopulations have more than 1,000 individuals, thus making this species nearly qualify for Vulnerable C2a(i). The species is not currently in decline but wild mature individuals could be greatly reduced if current management regimes are changed. This is a conservation dependant species.
So why do Interagency Bison Managers feel the need to cull the heard? Just goes to show you. Government doesn’t really do anything well. Especially as it relates to land management. But I bet the Bundys and the Hammonds and the over 100 ranchers in the west, who have lost their ranches, could tell you that.