Bison on Grand Canyon National Park

Bisonthm While the National Park Service has made their decision with the Environmental Assessment (EA) and plans to seek volunteers to cull, Rep. Gosar has added the Grand Canyon Bison Mangement Act to the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2017 (SHARE Act) to move the bison management back to the AZ Game & Fish Department. Click on the following links for more information. 

https://gosar.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=2862

https://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hr_3668_gosar_047.pdf

https://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/share_act_one_pager.pdf
 

Our View and Input on the NPS Environmental Assessment:
We advocated for an alternative to the NPS options.  This would be a common sense, bureaucracy reducing, taxpayer savings, financially prudent solution to too many bison and too much habitat degradation on the Grand Canyon. 

Let’s call it the “Grand Canyon Bison Management Reduction Program”. (For a Wyoming parallel, click here)

Suggested Alternative, “Grand Canyon Bison Management Reduction Program”:

  • These bison aka buffalo were initially purchased by the state of Arizona, are owned by the state of Arizona, and have been managed by the Arizona Game & Fish Department (Department).  This should continue in concert with the NPS.
  • The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation should govern the management of these state owned animals.
  • Management options would be set forth into a timetable to reduce the bison on the Park to 200 animals in 3 to 5 years.
  • The Department should manage public hunting opportunities available for all citizens.
  • Citizen hunting would invoke the highest level of ethics coupled with the proper treatment and handling of the carcass as a standard, with the meat, head and cape going to the successful hunter.
  • Taxpayer dollars should not be used to “cull”, butcher and process bison that are shot on the park…let citizen hunters pay for the privilege!
  • Planning, capture and translocation of these bison owned by the state of Arizona should be carried out jointly with the Department and the NPS, with disposal options going first to the Department.
  • We are continually told hunting is not allowed on National Park land, which is not true.  Elk hunting is allowed on the Grand Teton National Park (Grand Teton) coordinated with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. 
  • Hunting is allowed on 51,097,000 acres of NPS administered lands, 60% of the total!  https://www.doi.gov/blog/hunting-and-fishing-national-parks-and-fish-and-wildlife-refuges
  • Park issues unique to Grand Canyon should be treated in a similar fashion as those that arose with Grand Teton and consider their model as a guideline:
    https://www.fws.gov/bisonandelkplan/