News Release: Interagency Partners Sign Bison Adaptive Management Plan

Contacts:
Al Nash, Yellowstone National Park (307) 344-2010
Lyndsay Griffin, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (970) 494-7410
Marna Daley, Gallatin National Forest (406) 587-6703
Steve Merritt, Montana Department of Livestock (406) 444-9431
Melissa Frost, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (406) 994-6931

The Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) partners on Wednesday signed an Adaptive Management Plan that outlines specific goals, objectives, management actions, and measures for bison management.

The IBMP is a cooperative, multi-agency effort that guides bison and brucellosis risk management in and around Yellowstone National Park. It is an adaptive plan that anticipated future adjustments based upon the best available science, research, monitoring, new information, and experience from field operations.

The Adaptive Management Plan was created in response to a 2008 audit by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), which recommended that the agencies improve their accountability, transparency, and management of bison.

The eight-page plan formalizes and incorporates eight years of research, monitoring, and experience gained since 2000 implementing the IBMP on the ground, as well as the recommendations of the GAO.

The Adaptive Management Plan has three goals:

· Increase tolerance for bison north and west of Yellowstone National Park (in Zone 2) with no unacceptable consequences;
· Conserve a wild, free-ranging bison population;
· Prevent transmission of brucellosis from bison to cattle.

The changes adopted under the Adaptive Management Plan in no way increase the risk of brucellosis transmission from bison to cattle or diminish the conservation of wild, free-ranging bison.

The Adaptive Management Plan will guide IBMP field operating procedures for the 2008-2009 season. The Adaptive Management Plan will be evaluated and the plan will be modified as necessary based on new information, research, and experience.

The five cooperating agencies of the IBMP are the National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Montana Department of Livestock, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

For more information about the Interagency Bison Management Plan, visit the website at www.ibmp.info.

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