Success: Bison Allowed to Roam in Natural Habitat

Bison-USFWS

Target: Montana Governor Steve Bullock

Goal: Applaud plans to allow bison to roam in Montana beyond Yellowstone National Park and encourage governor to further extend habitat.

Ending a decades-long disagreement, Governor Steve Bullock of Montana has finally moved forward with plans that will allow bison to return to their native habitat in Montana. In response to polls stating 76 percent on Montanans wanted to see bison roaming public lands, as well as campaigns such as a ForceChange petition on the subject, the governor opted to take a step forward in the conservation of this iconic American species.

Currently confined to Yellowstone National Park, local bison populations will now have access to an additional 400 square miles of year-round land to roam and graze outside of the park. In the past, little tolerance was given to bison that strayed from the park. The impressive creatures were either forced back into the park limits or shipped out for slaughter.

Despite repeated attempts from the Montana Board of Livestock (BOL) to cull bison to limit grazing, the species will now be managed as a valued wildlife population. Take this opportunity to thank for the governor of Montana for his decision, and to urge him to continue making strides for bison conservation.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Bullock,

I am delighted by your decision to allow bison to return to native lands in Montana. Allowing for contiguous habitat outside of the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park is an important step in wild bison recovery. The additional 400 square miles of grazing lands you have provided will make all the difference for these animals.

Although 76 percent of Montanans reported wanting to see wild bison roam public lands, I’m aware that many cattle ranchers and landowners would prefer the animals to remain within park boundaries. Managing bison as a valuable wildlife species, rather than as a nuisance animal to be culled, is crucial in adapting the public to live with these elegant animals.

Bison are a symbol of the beauty and resilience of the American west. Their passage across the great plains long predates colonization and agriculture. Allowing bison to return to native lands is a step toward a better future of balance between the needs of wildlife and people. I would like to thank you for your decision, and encourage you to continue your support of conservation efforts for bison and other wildlife.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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