Saturday, August 05, 2006


sentimentality trumps science!

Montana Bison on vacation in Yellowstone National Park. Shown here resting on an exotic, introduced, invasive, species of grass that is maintained for their pleasure, (the tame elk like it too.)**

.. Montana has just released it's new bison hunt regulations. The regulations allocate 100 permits for hunting the state's bison herd.
.. YES, it's true! The bison belong to Montana. They are in Montana. They are walking through fences in Montana. They cause human death in Montana. They cause automobile accidents in Montana. They carry brucellosis in Montana. They are regulated by Montana. They do not belong to Yellowstone National Park. However, like so many American Citizens, they spend their summer vacation in Yellowstone.
.. Trout that live in Hebgen Lake, (in Montana,) migrate into Yellowstone National Park every Fall. They spawn in Yellowstone National Park. They then return to Hebgen Lake and are nurtured in Montana. No one in New York City decries the catching of fish, (nurtured in Montana,) by fishers in Yellowstone National Park. Some of the fish are threatened species - far more rare than the bison in Montana.
.. The poor record of public education by Yellowstone's administrators allows for a "MYTHIC YELLOWSTONE." The reluctance to conduct scientific studies by these same administrators allows the public to think that the park can support an infinite number of bison; along with an infinite number of elk, deer, pronghorn, snowshoe hares, ground squirrels, and other plant eaters.
.. Even the wolves can't keep up with this sort of fantasy land - they are seeking other hunting grounds. And, even the best research can go wrong, it is very important to continue to adjust to "real world" conditions.
.. The ignorance about the condition, (and carrying capacity,) of the forage in Yellowstone National Park allows otherwise rational people to be swept up in the ignorant fantasy that somehow the bison of Yellowstone are the property of the park: the ignorant fantasy that whirling disease should be controlled but not bison: the ignorant fantasy that all fire is bad for the park: the ignorant fantasy that invasive weeds should be controlled - except in Mammoth, where they are incubated to spread to the rest of the park. Yellowstone Park lacks an integrated holistic environmental view. Their ad-hoc management by litigation, and emotional fiat, is destroying the ecology of the park.
.. It's a good thing that Montana has decided to deal with it's bison. Just as they have dealt with their wolves, (both around Glacier National Park - where Canada let them escape from their country, and in SW Montana where Yellowstone & Idaho let them escape after introducing them.)
.. The Yellowstone Sentimentality has even permeated the bison discourse to the point that it is commonly, (and incorrectly,) believed that brucellosis is the only concern of Montana's wildlife managers. It's not! Other concerns are: unrestricted growth of a game species, degradation of forage, public safety, property destruction, among others. At least Montana has an integrated environmental management plan.
.. Yellowstone National Park is not a wilderness area. The existing human impacts are enormous - and growing rapidly. The pretense that somehow 'natural management' means 'no management' is one more element of the myth. Management needs to proceed on all fronts - not just politically correct fronts: and certainly not just on those fronts advocated the wealthy social elite.
.. The whining and wailing about shooting a few bison should be reserved for the lack of budget monies that allow Yellowstone to maintain it's fantasy land image. Research and honest management would help the public, and the park, and the nation. Why do you suppose that the GREATER YELLOWSTONE COALITION supports the Montana plan?
.. Comments from the Netherlands seem grossly out of place when the state of Montana requests comments about it's handling of the management of it's own herd. Maybe the Dutch should remove the dikes and sea walls that destroyed the native lacustrian and riparian environments in Holland!
.. The emotional sentimentality that has dominated this discussion and argument is rampant on the web; in weblogs, on web sites, etc. It is also newsworthy for just a short period of time every year in the print press. Read about it below.
-- Montana OK's Larger Bison Hunt
-- Yellowstone Park Elk Count
-- Yellowstone Brucellosis Policies Suspect
-- The Sacred Elk of Yellowstone
-- NBC OnLineNews - Montana's Other Tools
-- - The Future Courts
-- - Analysis & Alternatives

-- AP Wire Post
-- Billings Gazette - news report
-- Billings Gazette - comments
-- Washington Post - an alternative
**For A Note On exotic, Introduced, Invasive, Species of Grass: