The bison of Yellowstone National Park have been a controversial issue since man moved westward. The bison are a prime example of the tragedy of the commons, meaning that because they were not managed, they became extinct rather quickly. It was rapidly realized that the number of bison was decreasing to near extinction when fewer than 1,000 remained. Management practices improved, and the number of bison is nearly 500,000 today. However, many of these bison are not pure bred; the only pure bison that remain live in and around Yellowstone National Park. These particular bison require modified management practices not only because they roam within a national park, but because they roam outside of the park and interact with cattle herds, the lifeblood of the economy of Montana.
This management is not an easy process to accomplish, and there are two distinct groups that want two different management styles. On one side, ranchers, related interest groups, locally elected representatives, and the Montana Department of Livestock all support more controlled management, in hopes of saving cattle herds from exposure to brucellosis. On the other side, environmental groups, Native American tribes, and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks want the very opposite management style, believing that the bison should be able to roam free as they did in the 1800’s before the species was exploited. The National Park Service that operates Yellowstone National Park sits somewhere in the middle of these two groups, struggling to “mandate and conserve nature and wildlife and to leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations” (Turner, 2016).
The economy of Montana relies on the success and health of cattle her...
... middle of paper ...
...e effectiveness of bison management is to look at the size and health of the herd. If the size of the herd remains at a manageable level for the ecosystem, and there is no increase in the number of cases of brucellosis in bison, elk, and cattle in and around the park, the management could be deemed successful. One other thing to watch would be the size of the Montana cattle industry- although this fluctuates from year to year, it could provide good insight into the health of cattle herds around the park. Public opinion would also be another good measurement of the success of the bison management. Those throughout the state of Montana and around the part have very strong opinions on the bison throughout Yellowstone, and getting a representative sample could be a good indication of the success of the policy, as policy is designed to serve the people and their wishes.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- ... This habitat is home to nearly 60 species of mammals including bison, bears, elk, deer, pronghorn, mountain lions, and wolves. These mammals and many others, along with the parks flora, create the ecosystem that is enjoyed every year by visitors from all over the world. However, due to many political pressures and misconceptions, the ecosystem has been modified due to human impacts. Starting in 1914, the U.S. Congress appropriated funds to be used for the purposes of destroying wolves on public lands in an effort to protect the current elk populations (Frank, 2008).... [tags: gray, wolf, park, populations, decline]
2126 words (6.1 pages)
- The bison are an emblem of the wildness of the West and a Yellowstone icon. A struggling population that was almost extinct at the turn of the century has been successfully recovered. An occurrence that Superintendent Wenk describes as “the greatest conservation success story in the country”. More than 5,500 bison now live inside and in areas surrounding Yellowstone park (Wenk). This park contains the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states (Wenk). In addition to bison, those inhabitants include wolves, lynxes, grizzly bears, foxes, elk, and moose (Powers) Due to the large number of animals, Yellowstone results in an almost Serengeti-type situation that has no equivalent in t... [tags: National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park]
1877 words (5.4 pages)
- Preservation in its purest form is an interesting concept because if followed exactly it would allow nature to grow freely, which would include the animals that cohabitate the land with the plants. Preservation in practice however is slightly different. We get national parks that glorify certain aspects of land that we now view as appealing simply because they are grand and rare. This type of thinking has lead to humans altering the environment so that it fits the way they want it to be. For instance, in Yellowstone they had an issue with wolves and elk populations that were slightly too high.... [tags: National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park]
1114 words (3.2 pages)
- On March 1, 1872 President Ulysses S. Grant signed a bill into law that established the Yellowstone region of what is now Wyoming, Montana and Idaho as the worlds first National Park. The park was not greeted with much local support following its creation. Those living in the Yellowstone area believed their economy and industry would suffer after the lands fell under government control. To the contrary the towns bordering the park have boomed as a result of their proximity. After seeing the environmental, cultural and monetary results, the nature conservation movement as well as businesses began to see the benefits of protecting lands for public use.... [tags: National Parks, Nature Conservation]
1185 words (3.4 pages)
- According to the Huffington Post, the bodies of three bison were found in Yellowstone National Park on March 18, 2014. These bison, or buffalo, are believed to be shot and killed between March 13 and March 15. Hunting bison has been banned in Yellowstone since 1894 in order to protect the then highly endangered buffalo. In recent years cases of bison being killed have been infrequent, however, when someone kills a buffalo it is taken seriously. There is a $5,000 reward for anyone who has any information on the poacher that killed the three bison.... [tags: Tiger, Elephant, Endangered species, Hunting]
1078 words (3.1 pages)
- Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone National Park is one of the largest and oldest national parks in American history. Yellowstone was the first park to be protected by private investment on March 1, 1872, and the first to be put under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service in 1918, no doubt due to its unique and inspiring landscape and geothermal features. In fact, Yellowstone National Park is home to half of the world’s total hydrothermal features. These awesome attractions draw an incredible amount of visitors, an average of two to three million each year, to Yellowstone’s immense landscape.... [tags: Parks Recreation]
1252 words (3.6 pages)
- Reintroducing the Wolf to Yellowstone Wolves have always been a symbol of the wild, free in spirit and roamers of the land. These animals are considered majestic and protectors of the wilderness. They have always roamed the western United States, although their population has fluctuated over time. Over the past 10 years wolf reintroduction into Yellowstone National Park has been a controversial topic to those of the United States. As of 1995, wolves have been reintroduced into the park. This has come with some strong opposition and yet has prevailed.... [tags: Wolves Park Animals Papers]
4205 words (12 pages)
- Grand Teton National Park is a United States National Park in northwestern Wyoming. It is approximately eight hundred and fifteen miles, or a thirteen hour and ten minute drive, from Boise City, Oklahoma. Grand Teton offers a multitude of attractions, some of which are located in a quaint town only five minutes from the national park. With its ski slopes and hot springs in the winter, and its scenic hiking trails through the pristine and natural beauty of the mountains, there is something for every member of the family year round.... [tags: Wyoming parks]
997 words (2.8 pages)
- The Reintroduction of the Gray Wolf to Yellowstone Gauss’ Law states that no two organisms can occupy the same ecological niche without excluding the other, but what happens when man gets involved with nature and tries to introduce a species where it doesn’t belong which in turn provides a second organism to fill the same niche as the first. The results of human intervention have often been disastrous for the organism that we’re supposedly helping. Humans often times do not understand the complexity of the implications that are caused directly through our intervention.... [tags: Environment Wolves Species Essays Papers]
1484 words (4.2 pages)
- One of the biggest reasons for the reintroduction of wolves back into Yellowstone was that they had originally roamed from Yellowstone all the way down to Mexico. While a lot of people were in favor of the reintroduction of the wolves, there were many who were against it. The main people who were against the reintroduction of the wolves back into the park were the ranchers who made a living in the areas surrounding the park. During 70 years of absence from the Rockies, the Grey Wolf had been protected under the Endangered Species Act that was passed in 1973.... [tags: Nature Animals Ecology Essays Papers]
1463 words (4.2 pages)