A recent court ruling stands to benefit Yellowstone’s bison population. This week, a judge dismissed a lawsuit that would have prevented bison from migrating into a new 70,000 acre tolerance zone. This zone was created as part of a plan to give Yellowstone’s bison more roaming room during the winter months.
Recently, several groups backed by ranchers and other concerned parties attempted to shoot this plan down. Their main concern was that increased bison migration room could lead to higher chances of brucellosis being transmitted to their cattle. Brucellosis, a disease which many bison carry, can be fatal for livestock if they contract it.
Despite these worries, the act, known as the Interagency Bison Management Plan, will be updated with new regulations. Once it goes into effect, state officials and park management are to allow bison to roam freely in the new tolerance zone, a portion of land along the Yellowstone River valley.
This new plan was backed by groups like the Buffalo Field Campaign, advocates for bison freedom and safety. Members of this group, among others, are happy that the bison of Yellowstone will now have more roaming room during the winter season. However, the judge in his ruling stated that he understood the concerns ranchers had, and noted something more still needs to be done about Yellowstone’s rising bison population.
Source: Yellowstone Gate