Jackson, Wy – Bison numbers in Yellowstone National
Park have reached their highest documented level -- 49-hundred
That's according to park spokeswoman Cheryl Matthews. She says
that recent tally is up roughly 700 from last winter's count.
The population growth is renewing concerns -- in some quarters
-- about how federal and state officials manage bison.
Some of the animals have brucellosis, and Montana livestock
officials and ranchers worry that bison that leave the park could
transmit the disease to cattle in this state. Brucellosis can cause
cows to abort.
Jake Cummins is the executive vice president of the Montana Farm
He says the burgeoning bison population represents a serious
risk to Montana's livestock industry -- and believes the National
Park Service should be controlling the animals.
But Amy McNamara, of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, says
bison should be treated like wildlife and deserve more habitat
outside the park.