National Park Service Seeks Public input on Grand Canyon Bison Herd Reduction


azgf_logoThe National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comment on proposed changes to the scope of the Bison Management Plan at Grand Canyon National Park. The focus of the planning effort will shift from development of a long-term management plan for North Rim bison to initial herd reduction.

Proposed National Park Service actions that will be analyzed in the Environmental Assessment include:

  • Implementation of a suite of management tools (e.g., capture/removal, sharpshooting, and localized fencing of sensitive park resources) that would be used, in collaboration with state and federal partners, to reduce the bison population, currently estimated at 400 to 600 animals, to approximately 80 to 200 animals.
  • Development and implementation of monitoring protocols to help improve understanding and to inform decisions about long-term bison management.

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission believes licensed citizen hunters should be considered as a significant part of a comprehensive solution to reduce and manage the bison herd. Allowing volunteer sportsmen and women to assist in managing the bison population would take the financial burden off the taxpayer and is the most economically and logistically effective option.

How to provide comment

The preferred method for submitting comments is through the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website. You may also mail or hand-deliver your comments to the Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park, PO Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023. Comments will be accepted through March 26, 2016.

Additional information can be found at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/grca_bison.

 

Background

The bison herd occupying Grand Canyon’s North Rim lands and adjacent land is estimated at between 400 and 600 animals. The population must be reduced to minimize impacts to natural and cultural resources within the park. In 2014, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the NPS initiated public scoping for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to develop a long-term, coordinated approach to manage the current and future effects of bison on the park’s natural and cultural resources.  As a result of the change in scope to initial herd reduction, the NPS now proposes to complete an Environmental Assessment instead of an EIS. Cooperators on the project include NPS, U.S. Forest Service Bureau of Land Management, Arizona Game and Fish Department, and Intertribal Buffalo Council.

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6 thoughts on “National Park Service Seeks Public input on Grand Canyon Bison Herd Reduction”

  1. Im more then willing to do my part to help keep the Bison numbers in check. Probally best to take out some of the Older Bulls that dont need to be passing on their genes anymore. That being said. Might not be a bad idea to catch a dozen or so and swap them out this a dozen or so from somewhere else.

  2. Hunting would be a great option, and because they are on federal land, people from all states should be able to harvest them, not just Arizonans.

  3. Can’t the top people making this final decisions take into consideration the actual lives of these Bison and find an alternative location for them. I heard Yellowstone just killed off a bunch of their animals….so apparently they have room now. But why can’t these Bison have a new home where they can live out their lives in peace? We have millions of people in the USA that we seem to be able to accommodate as a nation but we can’t collectivly think of any solution other than to kill a couple 200-300 hundred of these Bison aka “harvest” them.

  4. I am mot in favor of reducing them by hunting them and i am a life long hunter. Hard to.believe that few animals have that much of an impact on such a huge area. And reducing them to 20 is not enough to ensure survival and genetic diversity. The animals that can’t remain should be relocated either to another park.so their survivability can be improved

  5. Gee I was under the impression that you actually protect animals to some extent, but looking at your webpage is like looking at hunters mecca. I suppose it’s all about providing for the hunters, right?

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