The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comment on an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Use of Quarantine to Identify Brucellosis-free Yellowstone Bison for Relocation Elsewhere.
The purpose of a quarantine program for Yellowstone bison would be to establish or augment new conservation and cultural herds of plains bison;conserve a viable, wild population of Yellowstone bison;maintain the low risk of brucellosis transmission from bison to cattle;reduce the need for shipment of bison to meat processing facilities to limit population growth;and provide cultural and nutritional opportunities for Native Americans.
The EA analyzes three alternatives to evaluate a quarantine program for Yellowstone Bison at one or more new quarantine facilities, which could be located within Yellowstone National Park, on tribal lands, or elsewhere.
* Alternative 1 is no action. Bison operations would continue as they currently are with no quarantine of bison.
* Alternative 2 includes conducting a quarantine program within Yellowstone National Park.
* Alternative 3 includes conducting a quarantine program on the Fort Peck Reservation and is the NPS preferred alternative.
The NPS is inviting public comment and engagement on the EA pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The EA can be found online at www.parkplanning.nps.gov/BisonQuarantine
. To request a hard copy of the EA, call 307-344-2015.
Respondents are encouraged to submit their comments online through the Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at www.parkplanning.nps.gov/BisonQuarantine
. Comments may also be hand-delivered to the park administration building, or mailed to: Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 82190. Comments will not be accepted by fax, e-mail, or in any manner other than those specified above. Bulk comments submitted in any format on behalf of others will not be accepted. The deadline to submit comments is midnight MDT February 15, 2016.
Once comments are analyzed, a decision on whether to implement the plan will be made by the Regional Director of the Intermountain Region of the NPS. If approved in time, the NPS may implement a quarantine program during the 2016 bison management operations period.