Montana livestock agents are on track to push several hundred bison back into Yellowstone National Park by a Saturday deadline, despite the objections of advocates who want the bison left to roam outside the park. Workers are using helicopters, all-terrain vehicles and horseback riders to haze the bison, which ranchers don't want mingling in areas where domestic cattle will be grazing this summer. Advocates say roughly a third of the several hundred bison being pushed up to 10 miles or more are calves, some just a few days old. The critics argue the hazing is unnecessary. "I personally saw three babies collapse from being utterly exhausted," Stephany Seay, spokeswoman for the Buffalo Field Campaign, said of Wednesday's hazing. "It was a really, really hard day with absolutely no reason for these guys being out there doing this." B u t t h e Mo n t a n a Department of Livestock said it must remove all bison from public and private lands around West Yellowstone by May 15, or about a month before domestic cattle are returned to summer grazing areas. This year's operation is similar to those in the past, although occasionally the agency allowed the bison to linger outside the park well past the deadline. Ranchers have filed a lawsuit seeking strict compliance with the deadline.
Annual Yellowstone task is nearly completed
Published: Friday, May 14th, 2010
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