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Reservation Wants Bison

August 22, 2012 Greater Yellowstone, Paradise Valley, State of Wyoming No Comments
Bison

A decision is to be made soon for 160 Yellowstone bison that have been staying at one of Ted Turner’s ranches in Montana and a list of viable options is due by the end of this month. Sixty-one animals went to Fort Peck earlier this year, and the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming is interested in taking some of the bison that remain on the Turner ranch. Shoshone tribal member and wildlife scientist Jason Baldes says the reservation welcomes the bison for cultural and spiritual connections, as well for what they represent for better health on the reservation.  He says the bison were the Shoshone’s original food source and their diets were so adapted for thousands of years.  Since the bison were removed from the diet, it has had detrimental effects. Other locations being considered for the animals include federal lands, such as refuges.  However, Tribal Partnership Director for the National Wildlife Federation Garrit Voggesser says the Wind River Reservation really is the best choice.  He says having looked at all the other places the agencies have to select from, the only near-term and best solution is the Wind River Reservation because they have the land and really want the bison. Tribal officials hope that once regulatory concerns and transportation issues are resolved, the bison can be on the reservation by the end of next year.

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