Bison Assn commends fed decision on bison in Yellowstone
January 15, 2016
Westminster, CO (January 15, 2016) – The National Bison Association today commended the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) decision to turn down two petitions requesting that Yellowstone bison be declared as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
The decision by USFWS to not consider Yellowstone bison as endangered was published in Tuesday's Federal Register as a part of the agency's "90 Day Review" of 17 petitions that had been filed requesting various species to be listed. Yellowstone bison were one of six petitions that the agency ruled did not warrant further review.
In the Federal Register notice, USFW wrote, "Based on our review of the petitions and sources cited in the petitions, we find that the petitions do not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the Yellowstone bison (Bison bison). Because the petitions do not present substantial information indicating that listing the Yellowstone bison may be warranted, we are not initiating a status review of this subspecies in response to these petitions."
Petitions filed in November 2014 and March 2015 requested that Yellowstone National Park bison be listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Under the Endangered Species Act, USFWS is required to conduct a 90-day review of any petition to determine whether or not there is "substantial information" indicating that the petitioned listing may be warranted. If there is no substantial information presented, USFWS dismisses the petition.
NBA Executive Director Dave Carter said, "We commend the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for making the correct decision on this petition. These latest petitions contained nothing new over the petition that Fish and Wildlife turned down in 2011 to declare wild plains bison as endangered."
Carter noted that the Interior Department's bison management plan, and the recent program to identify brucellosis free Yellowstone bison for introduction in other herds, demonstrate that restoration is continuing without the need for endangered species designation.
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"Private producers have demonstrated their commitment to work with public herd managers, the conservation community, and with tribal leaders to restore bison to the North American landscape without the need for any listing under the Endangered Species Act," he said.
–National Bison Association