NWF welcomes report on restoring wild bison to public lands

Group urges Interior Department to follow through on consulting with tribes to relocate Yellowstone bison

06-30-2014 // Judith Kohler

BisonThe Interior Department has released a report in response to a May 2012 directive to identify public and tribal lands to locate bison from Yellowstone National Park. The goals are to reduce conflicts with bison migrating from the park, conserve and expand the nation’s wild, genetically pure bison herds and restore an important species missing from the Western landscape.

Garrit Voggesser, the National Wildlife Federation’s national director of tribal partnerships, said:

"The National Wildlife Federation is pleased that a long-delayed federal report on restoring wild bison to more of our nation’s public lands is being released today. We’re encouraged that the Interior Department has identified priority locations for Yellowstone bison and we support collaborative efforts to restore and protect bison. However, we’re disappointed the report might not fully meet the goals called for by former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, most notably formally consulting and collaborating with tribes and taking concrete actions to advance bison restoration to their lands. When Salazar issued his directive in May 2012, we saw it as an opportunity for him and Interior to build a legacy of bison restoration on tribal and public lands across the West. That opportunity still exists. We encourage Secretary Sally Jewell to use this report to rebuild a critical element of our Western landscape and national heritage, and, in partnership with conservation organizations, tribes, and sportsmen, return wild bison to tribal and public lands and the people whose culture and history are so intertwined with the iconic species."

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