Jeers to the Montana legislative committee who is pushing for tribal bison hunts in Yellowstone National Park. The committee’s letter to Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk came a day after members voted 9-7 in favor of the plan—even though there are no requests by the tribes to hunt inside the park. Supporters of tribal bison hunts inside the park include Rep. Sen. Theresa Manzella who pitched the idea as a potential solution to the dilemma posed by bison leaving Yellowstone and getting on private property.
We have a better idea, why aren’t legislators pushing for expanded habitats for bison outside the park. The wild bison is being threatened with extinction because of the actions of the agencies entrusted with protecting them. These agencies and legislators should be basing decisions on the best available science, not political pressure from the livestock industry.
In July, Friends of Animals, Buffalo Field Campaign and the Western Watersheds Project took the first step to sue the Dept. of the Interior and U.S. Fish & Wildlife (USFWS) for failing to provide Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for the distinct population segment of bison in Yellowstone National Park in response to two citizen petitions. Next week we will have an update on our litigation.