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.

  • 7 thoughts on “U.S. Rep. Gosar Leads Passage of Grand Canyon Bison Management Act

    1. 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 with a gun decided to kill the animal. So, yeah, with need some control from the Government; and don’t give me wrong, I totally support the 2nd and I’m member of the NRA, but just the law control the sick people. Sometimes.

      1. 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.

      2. 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, they’d starve. this led to mass forced marches removing the Indians from their tradional lands and onto the rotten lands now occupied as “reservations”. Yes, it were FedGov exgterminated the buffalo. they’ve been mismanaginng wildlife and the lands they dwell upon ever since.
        Don’t forget, Buffalo Bill and the others who slaughtered the buffalo and left them to rot were hired by FedGov to do just that. Don’t blame aman for doing his job well.

        Since FedGov have NO AUTHORITY to own or contrl the vast tracts of land they claim these days, the only real solution is for them to cede all the lands they now control back to the States in which they are situate, which is the Supreme Law of the Land. THEN Arizona could deal with the buffalo in such a way as to preserve what’s left of that area. Recruiting a few skilled volunteers to cull the too-large herds at no taxpayer expense is an excellent way of dealing with the problem. The Arizona wildlife guys have their heads on straight. The Feds do not.

        1. 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 from increased fees etc., OR, as you well know, politicians, being the greedy animals that they are, will divert those funds elsewhere for a pet project and let the Parks starve and fall into disarray.

          This will, quite literally, take years of careful planning and oversight but I’m in complete agreement with you.

      3. @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 Amendment, when you write “… some sick bastard with a gun decided to kill the animal.”
        The federal and state governments did not, on their own, do anything to support wild life, in even a small way. American sportsmen had to beg for the Lacey Act and the Pittman-Robertson Act. What other group of Americans has ever begged to be taxed? American hunters are the first and remain the true conservationists. The Walt Disney branch of the socialist party shall not hijack the flag of conservation. I smell a plant.

      4. 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 many details as possible to the appropriate authorities? You make no mention of doing so. 2. Before we realized that there wasn’t an unlimited supply of animals in the virgin territories many were hunted primarily for fur, but, as early as 1895 Montana saw the error in this and, with the full cooperation of hunters and sportsmen enacted strict limits on game. 3. In 1936 Ding Darling wanted to find a way to unite sportsmen around the country into one group, from that the National Wildlife Foundation was formed and, with the sole help and support of sportsmen around the country, in 1937, the Pittman-Robertson Act was passed. This is a self imposed tax (by sportsman) on ammunition and guns that saved from extinction, white tailed deer, turkeys and wood ducks as well as countless other endangered species. Remember Fernandino, sportsmen not only voted for this tax they helped write and enact the legislation. Are there bad actors, of course the same as there are bank robbers mixed in among the law abiding. But your pathetic attempt to broad brush paint all sportsmen as poachers who kill indiscriminately fails the smell test from the beginning.

        In conclusion I’m labeling your entire post as bogus and you as anything but truthful. Feel free to attempt to refute anything I’ve said.

    2. 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.

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