Target: Jonathan Jarvis, Director of The National Park Service
Goal: Commend Yellowstone’s cancellation of its bison removal program
Recently, park officials announced the removal of all bison traps from Yellowstone National Park. The traps were initially set up to help reduce the population of wild bison in the park, catching 600 bison before their removal. The majority of the trapped bison were slaughtered, with about 10% reserved for contraception testing.
Yellowstone Park is home to the largest herd of wild bison in America, a species which have seen a staggering decline in the wild. Bison are now extinct from much of their previous roaming ground, with only six wild herds remaining in America. Despite this, the American plains bison enjoys no federal protection.
Neighboring Montana ranchers are pressuring the park to cull bison populations as they are considered a nuisance to farming. They are thought to spread disease to cattle herds, as well as graze pastures intended to feed local cattle herds.
The plan aimed to reduce the bison population in the park to around 3,500, despite evidence indicating that the park could support populations far larger than the current 4,500. A carrying capacity study concluded that the park could sustain over 6,000 of the creatures, while additional public lands surrounding the park could support far more.
Removal of the traps is, however, no guarantee that further trapping won’t be done in the park. Up to 1,000 bison still remain near the park’s borders. Commend Yellowstone for removing its bison traps, and demand no further removal of the animals from the park.
Dear Jonathan Jarvis, Director of The National Park Service,
Recently, Yellowstone National Park announced the removal of its bison traps. The traps were part of an effort to cull wild bison populations, which neighboring Montana farmers consider a nuisance. Over 600 bison were removed from the park, 90% of them slaughtered.
Yellowstone’s grasslands are home to America’s largest population of wild bison, with only six public herds remaining in the country. It currently sustains just under 4,000 bison, and is able to support thousands more according to a carrying capacity study.
I applaud the removal of bison traps in Yellowstone park, and implore you to end the bison cull entirely. Bison are extinct from many of the areas they have previously populated, and are in need of protected areas such as national parks where they may thrive. I ask that trapping and slaughtering of bison be banned in the future, keeping intact one of the only remaining sanctuaries in the United States.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Thomas Wheatley via Wikimedia Commons