U.S. Rep. Gosar Leads Passage of Grand Canyon Bison Management Act

Grand Canyon Bison Management Act
Grand Canyon Bison Management Act

Arizona Game and Fish DepartmentPHOENIX, Ariz. -(Ammoland.com)- The Arizona Game and Fish Department applauds the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee for approving a bi-partisan bill that will allow the Department to better manage and conserve the bison population within Grand Canyon National Park.

Today the Committee passed the Grand Canyon Bison Management Act, attaching it as an amendment to the larger Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act.

The Bison Management Act, introduced in June by U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, requires the U.S. Department of Interior and the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to coordinate on a plan that would allow sportsmen holding a valid state-issued hunting license to assist in management of the bison population within the park.

The amendment follows the release of a National Park Service plan that allows public volunteers to assist in culling an overpopulation of bison on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Wildlife surveys estimate that about 600 bison have migrated into the park, where hunting is prohibited and bison are impacting both natural and cultural resources.

Left unclear with the current National Park Service plan is whether a licensed, skilled volunteer would be allowed to harvest and keep the entire animal. The Service stated previously that it was legally prohibited from conveying the harvested animal to a private hunter.

Approval of the Bison Management Act will provide clear legal direction that allows skilled volunteers to keep the entire animal when leaving the park.

Rep. Paul Gosar
Rep. Paul Gosar

“While the National Park Service plan has some components that move in the right direction, it will surely face endless litigation while a bison herd continues growing unabated on the Grand Canyon National Park,” Arizona Game and Fish Commission Chairman Jim Ammons said. “This federal legislation will allow Arizona Game and Fish Department and Park Service to apply the best wildlife management practices to manage the bison herd effectively and immediately. Right now, Grand Canyon National Park simply cannot properly manage the unhealthy growth of the herd without this legislative fix.”

Rep. Gosar stated that the Bison Management Act provides a direct, cost-effective solution that strives to protect Grand Canyon resources.

“This is another important step in the legislative process to provide local wildlife managers the authority to utilize state licensed skilled volunteers to provide a timely solution, with no cost to taxpayers, to address the exploding bison population problem in Grand Canyon National Park,” Rep. Gosar said.

Biologists predict that the herd could grow to nearly 800 in the next three years and be as large as 1,200 to 1,500 animals within 10 years without further management actions to control the size of the herd. AZGFD continues to collaborate with the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the InterTribal Buffalo Council on bison management guidelines for herd reduction.

“The Arizona Game and Fish Commission and Department thank Dr. Gosar for continuing to pursue this issue for the conservationists who appreciate the Park’s historic landmarks and want to protect them and prevent undue degradation to habitat and native species by managing the bison herd at sustainable levels,” Ammons said.

The bipartisan House bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Tom O’Halleran, David Schweikert and Trent Franks.

Operational details of herd reduction under the National Park Service plan are still being worked out and more information, including potential volunteer opportunities, will be announced at a later date by the National Park Service.

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    Vanns40Wild BillTionicoColonialgirlFernandino Recent comment authors
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    Fernandino
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    Fernandino

    If the government would not stepped in decades ago on wildlife management by now it would not exist wildlife in North America, meaning USA. Look back in history and you will be able to see like entire populations of all kind of wildlife were totally (including the bison) or partially exterminated from everywhere in this country, even sometimes for fun. Even today (i spent sometime in the woods on my weekends…when weather allows) from time to time I can see the sad-sad legacy of Buffalo Bill, finding deer, goat and moose wasted left just there just because some sick bastard… Read more »

    Colonialgirl
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    Colonialgirl

    A nice load of Bull deposits .
    MOST wild life species are doing well these days THANKS to Hunters who abide by the laws; What you are seeing is the result of thugs, morons and idiots whose mothers dropped them on their heads too many times.
    FACE IT; the enviro-nazis of all stripes contribute NOTHING to the management of wildlife , NOT a single cent.

    Tionico
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    Tionico

    Your version of history is based on myth and falshood. WHO was it directly decided the buffalo needed to be eliminated and why? Why, none other than our Federal Government. After wreaking utter destruction on large swaths of land in Georgia in the closing days of the War of Northern Aggression, Generals Sherman and Sheridan. Union Army leaders, were detailed to head west…. to do to the Plains Indian polulations what they had just done in the South. Part of their plan was to exterminate the buffalo… Why? Simple…. one of the primary food sources for the Indians. Remove that,… Read more »

    Vanns40
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    Vanns40

    I’ve written about this before. In theory what you’ve just stated is exactly what should happen. However, it’s not going to happen overnight simply because the States don’t have the infrastructure in place to take over massive areas (of course they’ve been neglected by the NPS also but that’s another story). The other problem is the takeover itself. If you’re going to cede back to the States the money that the Govt has been using to maintain the Parks then you have to have worded that those funds can ONLY be used for the Parks as can any increases resulting… Read more »

    Wild Bill
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    Wild Bill

    @Fernando, The demise of the American Bison was due to Brucellosis, which occurs in nature, not the hunters. Hunters killed buffalo by the millions and did not put a dent in the herds. The notion that the buffalo were killed to destroy the Indians logistical system is a myth, too. Soldiers did not go our by the thousands to kill buffalo. Where do you live that you spend some time in the woods (when the weather allows) and find deer, goats, and moose wasted? I do not believe that you are a member of the NRA or support the Second… Read more »

    Vanns40
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    Vanns40

    My BS meter is pegged in the red on you, sir and here’s why: 1. You state that “….from time to time I can see the sad-sad legacy of Buffalo Bill, finding deer, goat and moose wasted left just there just because some sick bastard with a gun decided to kill the animal….”. So, you’ve personally witnessed what is known as “wanton waste”, which, in some States if a felony. Did you immediately call the game resources police or, at the very least, note the location or take a picture with your phone and later report the location with as… Read more »

    Vanns40
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    Vanns40

    Another case of the Federal Government being in over their head but being too stubborn to admit they need help from the one area that has the expertise, the private sporting and hunting industry.