National Park Service seeking comments on Bison Management Plan at Grand Canyon National Park

The Bison Management Plan would impact bison on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Loretta Yerian/WGCN

The Bison Management Plan would impact bison on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Loretta Yerian/WGCN

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - The National Park Service (NPS) announced a 30-day public comment period for changes to the scope of the Bison Management Plan at Grand Canyon National Park.  The focus is to shift from development of a long-term management plan for North Rim bison to initial herd reduction.

In 2014, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the NPS initiated public scoping for an environmental impact statement (EIS) to develop a long-term, coordinated approach to manage the current and future effects of bison on the park's natural and cultural resources.  As a result of the change in scope to initial herd reduction, the NPS proposes to complete an environmental assessment (EA) instead of an EIS.  

NPS proposed actions to be analyzed in the EA include:

·     Implementation of a suite of management tools (e.g., capture/removal, sharpshooting, and localized fencing of sensitive park resources) that would be used, in collaboration with state and federal partners, to reduce the bison population, currently estimated at 400 to 600 animals, to approximately 80 to 200 animals; and

· Development and implementation of monitoring protocols to help improve understanding and to inform decisions about long-term bison management. 

Cooperators on this effort include Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the InterTribal Buffalo Council.  

More information, including the purpose and need for the action and the proposed actions is available on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at Grand Canyon Park Planning..

Those interested in commenting during the 30-day scoping period may use one of several methods. The preferred method for submitting comments is on the PEPC website. Comments can also be made by mail or hand-delivery. Mail comments to Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park, P.O. Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023.

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