bison

Alexis Bonogofsky

Yellowstone National Park plans to use a temporary bison quarantine facility in the upcoming winter/spring for 54 animals it kept separate from the rest of the herd.

Park Supervisor Dan Wenk said last spring the herd was 5,500 strong but the bison management plan required it be whittled down to 3,800.

“Because we have a large population that necessitated we removed over 1,200 animals last year,” Wenk said. “That is not, unfortunately, unusual.”

National Wildlife Federation

The first bison calf has been born to the new herd released onto the Wind River Reservation. The herd was released there last fall. For the Eastern Shoshone tribe, it’s a sign of the herd’s health since it was a hard winter on many wildlife.

Eastern Shoshone Tribal Bison Representative Jason Baldes said the herd was brought to Wyoming from a long grass prairie in Iowa, but that the species is hardy and adapted well to Wyoming’s high plains. He says the herd did receive some supplemental feeding though.

Baldes was there right after the calf was born.

Threshold Episode 07: Oh Give Me A Home

Apr 2, 2017
AMY MARTIN

In the final episode of Threshold season 01, listeners will encounter pearls of wisdom from youth who have grown up with bison in their midst, and take a trip to the Oakland Zoo, which will soon receive buffalo from the Blackfeet tribe that will help jumpstart a conservation herd there. We also conjure the big ideas driving this first season - what's our future with this animal? How does that connect with our history? Can America ever have wild, free-roaming bison again?

Special Threshold Wyoming Episode: The Human-Bison Connection

Apr 2, 2017
AMY MARTIN - AURICLE PRODUCTIONS

On this special episode produced just for Wyoming Public Radio listeners, we travel back in time 150,000 years to trace the human-bison connection. We'll also hear bison stories from listeners. 

Each season, Threshold podcast explores one story from the natural world, and what it says about us. Season one focuses on the American bison. Dig into the history of the American bison, from their arrival in North America to current controversies surrounding their management today. 

Threshold Episode 06: Territory Folks Should All Be Pals

Mar 26, 2017
Amy Martin

  

Visit the American Prairie Reserve, a conservation project in the heart of Montana that could eventually be home to 10,000 bison. The vision is to stitch together 3.5 million acres of public and private lands to form the largest wildlife park in the lower 48. But some nearby ranchers feel the push to build the APR is pushing them off their land, and they're mounting a resistance. We also try to solve the Great Elk Mystery: why are elk that have been exposed to brucellosis allowed to roam free in Montana, while bison are not?

Threshold Episode 05: Heirs To The Most Glorious Heritage

Mar 26, 2017
Amy Martin

  

In 1908, the National Bison Range was created by carving 18,000 acres out of Montana's Flathead Reservation. Now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is willing to transfer the land back to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. But, a lawsuit has been filed to stop the proposed transfer. In this episode, we meet tribal members who feel they are the rightful stewards of the land and the historic bison herd, and others who are trying to stop the transfer.

Threshold Episode 04: Tatanka Oyate

Mar 12, 2017

In episode four of Threshold, we meet Robbie Magnan of the Fort Peck Tribes. He believes his community can prosper in the future by reconnecting with their roots as the Tatanka Oyate — the buffalo people. Magnan has built a quarantine facility that could be an alternative to the Yellowstone bison slaughter, but right now it sits empty while more than a thousand bison are being culled from the herd. Why? We'll learn more about Magnan's vision for bison restoration, and investigate why some people are opposed to it.

Threshold Episode 03: Born Free

Mar 12, 2017
Amy Martin

Many cattle ranchers view wild bison as a threat to their livelihoods. But some think cattle and bison can coexist. On episode three of Threshold, you'll meet two cattle ranchers with different perspectives on wild bison — and, we'll take you on a controversial bison hunt.

Each season, Threshold podcast explores one story from the natural world, and what it says about us. Season one focuses on the American bison. Dig into the history of the American bison, from their arrival in North America, to current controversies surrounding their management today. 

Threshold Episode 02: 'The Red Man Was Pressed'

Mar 5, 2017

How did we go from more than 50 million wild bison to just 23 free-roaming animals? And how does the decimation of the herds relate to the oppression of Native Americans? Find out on this episode of Threshold.

Threshold Episode 01: For The Benefit And Enjoyment Of The People

Mar 5, 2017
AMY MARTIN

Yellowstone National Park is where we saved the American bison from extinction. But each year, we slaughter hundreds of animals from this prized herd. Why? Find out now on the first episode of Threshold.

Each season, Threshold podcast explores one story from the natural world, and what it says about us. Season one focuses on the American bison. Dig into the history of the American bison, from their arrival in North America, to current controversies surrounding their management today. 

'Threshold' Season 1 Preview: The Story Of Bison And People

Mar 2, 2017

Each season, Threshold podcast explores one story from the natural world, and what it says about us. Season one focuses on the American bison. Dig into the history of the American bison, from their arrival in North America, to current controversies surrounding their management today. 

Henry Mulligan

  

 

Yellowstone National Park officials said at a meeting in Nevada last week that their wild bison population is larger than ever, with over 5,000 animals in the herd. This could be a challenge for the park, which is charged with controlling the numbers that migrate into Montana. The park met with a group of federal and state agencies to discuss updates to their Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP). 

 

Alexis Bonogofsky

For as long as 75-year-old Dick Baldes can remember, his tribe has tried to bring wild bison back to the Wind River Indian Reservation.

“Some of the old timers would talk about that and how important the bison was. I mean, that’s always been that way,” said Baldes.

Alexis Bonogofsky

For the first time in 130 years, wild bison left their hoof prints on the land on the Wind River Indian Reservation last Thursday.

It’s a goal the Eastern Shoshone tribe say they’ve been working toward for over 70 years. And Wind River Native Advocacy Center Director Jason Baldes has been working toward it his entire career. He said, while only ten young bison were released this time around, the goal is to breed them and eventually grow a larger herd.

It’s that time of year again when Yellowstone’s herd of 4,900 bison start migrating down to lower elevations, often taking them outside park boundaries. Ranchers worry the animals will spread brucellosis to cattle and since the 1980’s the bison herd has been culled in response.

A new winter management plan released Tuesday says this year 600-900 bison can be killed through hunting or by capturing as they leave the park. Park spokesperson Sandra Snell-Dobert says the decision isn’t the park’s preference.

Durham Ranch – Wright

Sep 22, 2015
Durham Ranch

In the 1930’s Armando Flocchini Sr., Durham Ranch owner’s grandfather, purchased the Durham Meat Company in San Francisco where he worked as a butcher. In 1965 he purchased a 65,000 acre bison ranch near Wright, Wyoming and renamed it Durham Ranch. Three generations later, this same ranch is operated by the Flocchini family and remains one the largest bison operations in North America.

Durham Ranch Tours

Elk
Wikimedia Commons

The National Elk Refuge in Jackson has completed their annual classification count. For the second year in a row more than 8,000 wintering elk were counted, well over the refuge’s 5,000 elk goal.

That goal comes from the refuge’s 15 year management plan which began in 2007. The plan outlines sustainable elk and bison populations for habitat conservation and disease management in the Jackson area. The refuge has been trying to reduce the animal’s reliance on winter feeding at the refuge.

Anna Rader

Erin O’Doherty and photographer Dan Hayward, whose image we're using on our Fall 2015 gifts, proudly model the new bison long sleeve t-shirt and mug that we are offering as thank you gifts for membership donations to Wyoming Public Media. 

Yellowstone National Park has rejected the adoption of new methods to vaccinate bison from Brucellosis.

Brucellosis is a disease that can cause bison and other large animals to abort their calves. Yellowstone currently hand-vaccinates just a few bison, and only when they leave the park. But nearly a decade ago, there were legal disputes over bison management, and the park agreed to look into vaccinating bison in the wild, using air guns.

The National Park Service does not wish to start using air guns to vaccinate Yellowstone bison for Brucellosis.

Brucellosis is a disease that can cause bison and other large animals to abort their calves. Currently, the park only vaccinates bison when they leave the park, and even then, only a few animals are vaccinated. But Park Spokesman Al Nash says after some legal disputes regarding bison management over a decade ago, Yellowstone agreed to look into new options.

The State Legislature passed a bill that would allow hunters to try and thin wild bison herds in northwest Wyoming.  But an amendment added in the Senate led to a lot of debate in the House. 

The Senate amendment would give $250,000 to the Wyoming Attorney General’s office to defend the second amendment rights of Wyoming citizens “to possess and use any firearm” that is useful in hunting bison.  Many saw this as a way to add a gun rights law to a bill that deals with bison hunting. 

Some environmental groups say they support a plan to alter bison hunting rules. The proposal by Rep. Keith Gingery of Jackson would end the once-in-a-lifetime limit on hunting cow bison and would drastically reduce the cost of nonresident licenses.

The goal is to get the bison population down to about 500, from a high of 12-hundred.

Lloyd Dorsey with the Greater Yellowstone Coalition likes the idea.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department received thousands of applications for bison hunting permits this year, and invited about 400 of those to hunt.

Spokesman Mark Gocke says hunters will be helping to reduce the herd size of the largest land animal in North America. The ideal herd size is 500 bison, but there are currently 900.

Gocke says the drought has driven the bison herd from its typical summer rangeland and onto the Elk Refuge seeking forage. The herd competes with elk and other animals for food.

Government officials plan haze a large herd of migrating bison back into Yellowstone National Park this week - an annual event that is again drawing opposition from wildlife advocates and American Indian groups.

Montana state veterinarian Marty Zaluski says an estimated 400 bison are outside the park in the West Yellowstone area. Government workers could start driving the animals back into Yellowstone using a helicopter as early as Wednesday.

Hundreds of bison leave the park annually during winter to graze at lower elevations.