Recognition of the role of bison in Yellowstone

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Posted by Granite Head ( on 07:04:35 11/19/15

In Reply to: Bison Cull posted by DG

Recently heard an excellent presentation by Richard Keigley, retired USGS scientist, who has meticulously researched the historic and pre-historic presence of bison in Yellowstone and has documented that bison were never in the park in the numbers they are now. They were abundant in many areas around the park - notably, Paradise Valley and the Madison Valley (where they still want to go to spend the winter) and that there's no question of degradation of the landscape due to their current high numbers (and I mean, it is amply evident even to the casual observer that they are incredibly abundant now). For example, the sage brush in Lamar Valley is being destroyed and due to drought and other effects of climate change, may not be able to recover even in the case of bison reduction - which in turn results in less forage for other animals like pronghorns, and erosion of the land. The point being that the vegetation in Lamar, Hayden, and other areas isn't designed to withstand that much use by bison. An unintended, unforeseen consequence of bison reintroduction. This stuff is complicated!!

Photo taken last Saturday between Blacktail Lakes and the Nature Trail. Needless to say, many more of her tribe were in front of my car. 30-minute bison jam.

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