Bison plan public comment

PatrickK

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https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=111&projectID=50877&documentID=64791

I posted a short comment asking for more hunting and less shipping to slaughter houses. Bison is the hunt of a lifetime for most and it is nothing short of a travesty that they are rounded up at the border (at least on the Gardiner side of the park), placed in a holding pen and then trucked to slaughter all at the taxpayers expense.

The link is above.

Patrick
 

theat

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Thanks for the link, I was just about to start looking for where I could express my opinion on this when I saw this thread.

The whole Yellowstone Bison issue is pretty screwy, and it seems a lot of backroom deals get made without much public knowledge/input.
 

cmc

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Meanwhile in Arizona....

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Brian Rogers or Julie Tarallo
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 (202) 224-7130

SENATORS JOHN McCAIN, JEFF FLAKE & CONGRESSMAN PAUL GOSAR INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN BILL TO ENLIST VOLUNTEER HUNTERS TO CULL BISON AND PRESERVE LANDS INSIDE GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK

Washington, D.C. ¬– U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) today introduced in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, respectively, the Grand Canyon Bison Management Act, bipartisan legislation that would allow authorized hunters who cull bison from inside Grand Canyon National Park to take home the full animal carcass. Typically, federal regulations require that the meat from an animal culled inside a National Park must be partially or fully donated to food charities. Congressmen Trent Franks (R-AZ), Matt Salmon (R-AZ), and David Schweikert (R-AZ), and Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), also sponsored the bill.

“The animals wreaking havoc on Grand Canyon National Park are no ordinary bison,” said Senators McCain and Flake, and Congressman Gosar. “They are cross-breeds between bison and cattle that continue to destroy the natural vegetation and pristine lands that make the Park a national treasure and destination for millions of visitors. Our legislation advances a common-sense proposal that would cull these unmanageable herds and eliminate federal barriers by allowing volunteer hunters to recover the full animal carcass.”

About 600 bison have migrated from the Kaibab National Forest to inside Grand Canyon National Park where hunting is prohibited. The Park acts as a safe haven for the exploding bison population that continues to damage and overgraze the Grand Canyon’s natural resources. For more than a decade, the Park Service has tried numerous methods to remove the bison with little success. Last year, the National Park Service proposed employing a strictly regulated hunting program to cull the bison from inside the Park.

There are more than 269,000 hunters in Arizona. In addition, hunting supports for 5,700 jobs and generates $208 million in salaries and wages for the State.

Whit Fosburgh, President and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and Jim Unmacht, President of the Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation, applauded the proposed legislation:

“The proposed legislation is consistent with the best science, will prevent undue degradation of Park resources and also provide sportsmen with an opportunity to harvest an iconic American species,” said Fosburgh. “It will also generate funding for habitat conservation and management, which is key to our mission of guaranteeing sportsmen quality places to hunt and fish.”

“The House Rock Valley bison herd has long been a highly prized herd and one of the few remaining wild and free ranging herds in North America,” said Unmacht. “The fact they have now have learned that they are safe on the Grand Canyon National Park hasn’t diminished their allure to sportsmen, but has essentially placed them off-limits from hunting and harvesting. Arizona sportsmen and women are pleased that Senators McCain and Flake, along with Congressman Gosar have found a common-sense solution to allow sportsmen to not only help the Grand Canyon National Park manage this herd, but also allow them to hunt, harvest and retain the carcass in the process.”

Senator McCain introduced a similar proposal as an amendment to the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 in the 113th Congress.
 

bbarber1

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I just returned from an attemted hunt of these Bison. It seems that the only access to them is a road that the Forest Service closes for the winter and re-opens May 15th. The "Season" to hunt is Janualry 1 - May 31st. The only way to get to thes area is to wak in or take a horse and that about 5-6 miles each way no matter what direstion you take. This walk happens if you park at the closed gates. Thats a long way if you kill a buffalo and need to make multiple trips to pack out the meat. The gates are closed due to heavy snow and the the roads are not not driveable due to snow drifts. And this gest you to the park boundy lines not necessarily to when the buffalo are.

Tha leave you two weeks at the end of a 5 month hunt. This gets you close to the park boundry lines at the hottest part of the season basically ending the hunt Memorial Weekend.and leaves you with the holiday crowd to deal with. It seems that if they really wanted to cut the numbes of this herd down, the season dates need to be changed. The herd only leaves the park and drifts onto the National Forest to drink at some of the water holes that are on the boundry lines after the snow melts when the weather gets warmer.

When I read that they are attemtping to allow an hunt on the National Park property and the problems that this hunt will encounter it seems crazy. Stop trying to re-invent the wheel, let hunters have an better opportunity with an adjusted hunt schedule and more buffalo will be harvested. This is a one in a lift time hunt. Lets treat this hunt like it really is. Before we round up buffalo like cattle and shoot them for slaughter lets fix the hunts in place and the harvest numbers will go up.
 

James Riley

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I've got a couple of questions:

1. Are bison indigenous to the area during the Holocene?
2. Is McCain correct that the bison are not pure bison?

Thanks in advance for any education.
 

katqanna

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I've got a couple of questions:

1. Are bison indigenous to the area during the Holocene?
2. Is McCain correct that the bison are not pure bison?

Thanks in advance for any education.

James, we are currently still in the Holocene epoch, which began at the end of the Pleistocene, though there have been discussions and a move to designate an Anthropocene epoch (man influenced) to cover the last 10,000 -12,000 years. Part of the problem is that some areas were still covered by glaciers and not all had growing or high impacts from men at that time. Also, as glaciers are receding and archaeology tries to find and document evidence of men in places they previously thought they werent before degradation, they are finding evidence of men that is older and currently there is much flux and changing as to where men where and how far back. So you kep seeing articles about, "science being rewritten", or "this changes history as we have known it." You hear anthropocene a lot from the neoconservationists as a way to justify bloody zoo parks that man has touched everything, therefore there is no true wilderness left.

Anyway, Plains bison are native to vast lands from Canada down south in Mexico. But the bison that we have currently is a smaller version which has evolved from the Steppe bison.

As to purity, due to nearly 60,000,000 bison from across North America being decimated and almost extinct by the late 1800's, early 1900's, there were only tiny pockets of bison that did not have domestic cattle genes mixed with them as people captured some of the bison to raise as livestock. That herd down there is one that is mixed. But understand that species evolve overtime by mixing with related species they come in contact with as they move or get moved around, which is why the Plains bison we have now are not Steppe bison. This mixing just happened to be more due to human involvement than nature.
 

James Riley

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James, we are currently still in the Holocene epoch, which began at the end of the Pleistocene, though there have been discussions and a move to designate an Anthropocene epoch (man influenced) to cover the last 10,000 -12,000 years. Part of the problem is that some areas were still covered by glaciers and not all had growing or high impacts from men at that time. Also, as glaciers are receding and archaeology tries to find and document evidence of men in places they previously thought they werent before degradation, they are finding evidence of men that is older and currently there is much flux and changing as to where men where and how far back. So you kep seeing articles about, "science being rewritten", or "this changes history as we have known it." You hear anthropocene a lot from the neoconservationists as a way to justify bloody zoo parks that man has touched everything, therefore there is no true wilderness left.

Anyway, Plains bison are native to vast lands from Canada down south in Mexico. But the bison that we have currently is a smaller version which has evolved from the Steppe bison.

As to purity, due to nearly 60,000,000 bison from across North America being decimated and almost extinct by the late 1800's, early 1900's, there were only tiny pockets of bison that did not have domestic cattle genes mixed with them as people captured some of the bison to raise as livestock. That herd down there is one that is mixed. But understand that species evolve overtime by mixing with related species they come in contact with as they move or get moved around, which is why the Plains bison we have now are not Steppe bison. This mixing just happened to be more due to human involvement than nature.

Thanks katqanna. I'm pretty familiar (as a lay person) with bison evolution and Pleistocene distribution. I guess what I was trying to figure out with my first question is whether b. bison bison were native to the area in question, pre-Columbian, post-Pleistocene (i.e. Holocene). I know there were pockets here & there west of the Continental Divide (even as far west as Malheur Lake in Oregon), but they were isolated and there is evidence of some genetic constriction. I was wondering if the herd in question is physically located on land where b. bison bison were located prior to the arrival of Europeans. If not, then that would influence my opinion on this matter.

Likewise on the bos pollution. I suppose if the bottleneck of the late 1800s was such that an effort to maintain pure bison bloodlines would be futile and would actually endanger the pure bison, then I'd be inclined to turn a blind eye to the mutts. But if not (and it is my understanding there are pure b. bison bison (and b. bison athabascae) then that would also influence my opinion on this matter.

I don't want to see any invasive/introduced species, or any mutts. I'm trying to figure out if these "bison" are invasive/introduced and/or if they are mutts. :eek:
 
Last edited:

katqanna

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James, that population is on the border of documented historical use. Part of what determines historical territory is artifacts and written historical testimony, which can include pictographs. But it also involves geography. The Rocky Mountain Range cuts between known historical range and that area. So while some bison may have been there periodically, it probably was not in large numbers.

So from your questions, those particular bison would probably fall within non-native and mutts classification.
 

James Riley

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James, that population is on the border of documented historical use. Part of what determines historical territory is artifacts and written historical testimony, which can include pictographs. But it also involves geography. The Rocky Mountain Range cuts between known historical range and that area. So while some bison may have been there periodically, it probably was not in large numbers.

So from your questions, those particular bison would probably fall within non-native and mutts classification.

Thanks.
 

cmc

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When I read that they are attemtping to allow an hunt on the National Park property and the problems that this hunt will encounter it seems crazy. Stop trying to re-invent the wheel, let hunters have an better opportunity with an adjusted hunt schedule and more buffalo will be harvested. This is a one in a lift time hunt. Lets treat this hunt like it really is. Before we round up buffalo like cattle and shoot them for slaughter lets fix the hunts in place and the harvest numbers will go up.

Hunting permitted within the park will achieve more goals than just stratifying seasons which is only setup do to the constraint of not having the park open to hunting. If we can hunt the park we'll see hunting pressure disperse buffalo across Kaibab plateau and not keep them confined to a small portion of the overall habitat as it does now. Once dispersed the current management objectives of less than 100 buffalo can switch to one of decent sized herd year around. Which in turn hunters would have an increased opportunity of landing the once in a lifetime tag. More importantly they'd have that tag without the dreaded black cloud of worry of never seeing a buffalo during the course of their hunt. Which is what previous and current tag holders have solely based on a park boundary fence. A fence that isn't even standing in most of the places. I for one would love to see us have more buffalo but understand to do that cannot happen within the small chunk of habitat that they currently occupy. Carrying capacity will not allow for it.


The only way to get to thes area is to wak in or take a horse and that about 5-6 miles each way no matter what direstion you take. This walk happens if you park at the closed gates.

I'm curious, what road were you on when encountering a locked gate that's 5 miles from the park boundary? They locked the gate at Jacobs Lake but one that's only 5 miles from the boundary would be news to me.

Thanks,
cmc
 

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