Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Good News for Yellowstone's Bison!

My husband sent me this link to Science Daily this evening. It confirms what many have been saying: that transmission of brucellosis from bison to cattle is very low risk most years and "periodically high only in certain localized areas." Not surprisingly, there are much more cost effective means of managing these issues than the current plan that hazes, rounds up, and slaughters the bison. Once again, elk seem to be the more likely culprit. For those interested in the bison issues in Yellowstone, this is a good article.

Even if it is possible to come up with a plan that will allow the Yellowstone bison herds to roam exist without the hazing and slaughter that is the reality today, eventually you have the future problem of what to do when the Yellowstone herd overpopulates its ecosystem. But after last year's needless slaughter (plus the deaths from the severe winter last year) of more than half of the herd, we are a long way from worrying about too many bison . . . Let's just hope enough of the herd survive this year's harsh winter weather.

I can hope and pray that scientists can come up with ideas that will work for the bison and the ranchers. Yellowstone National Park is a national treasure and the animals are a big part of that legacy. It is one of the largest natural ecosystems still left in the United States. We visit many national parks regularly and I can truthfully say that no other park has the diversity of wildlife that is so easy to observe.

According to the closing statement of this article: "The Yellowstone herd is the only one that has remained free-ranging and unconfined." Let's hope it stays that way!

1 comment:

Leslie said...

Hi Mary Ann, I went to a fabulous conference last year in Lander that was a coalition of Wyoming Christian Churches and environmentalists. That was the first one. and They now have them all over the state. Contact WY council of Churches, Warren Murphy, if you are interested. I highly recommend going to one and I am not a christian. Thanks. Nice post.