The Greater Yellowstone Coalition and Yellowstone Forever have each raised $250,000 in time for Yellowstone National Park to expand facilities this year for Yellowstone’s Bison Conservation Transfer Program. This program identifies brucellosis-free bison and moves them through a multi-year quarantine process with the goal of relocating them to select Tribal and public lands. The funds secured by the conservation organizations match the $500,000 allocated by Yellowstone National Park for the project.
The program is run by Yellowstone National Park and is made possible by partnerships with the Fort Peck Tribes, InterTribal Buffalo Council, State of Montana, and support from non-profits such as the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and Yellowstone Forever.
“Expanding the capacity of this important program is one of our top wildlife conservation priorities,” said Superintendent Cam Sholly. Our thanks to Yellowstone Forever, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and all donors who have helped make this a success. We’ve proven this model can work in cooperation with our U.S. Department of Agriculture, State, and Tribal partners and look forward to more progress in the future.”
The funds raised by the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and Yellowstone Forever will contribute to an expansion project that will significantly increase the current capacity of Yellowstone’s Bison Conservation Transfer Program facilities. New holding pens and other infrastructure improvements will allow nearly three times as many bison to enter the program, diverting more bison from being shipped to slaughter, and allowing the transfer of diseased-free bison from Yellowstone to their historic native ranges.
“We are grateful to our partners, including the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and our donors who contributed to this successful effort,” said Lisa Diekmann, president & CEO of Yellowstone Forever. “Wildlife conservation is one of our highest priorities, and this project represents an important milestone for Yellowstone National Park and our Tribal partners.”
The Bison Conservation Transfer Program was initiated in 2019 to facilitate the cultural and ecological restoration of wild bison to Tribal and other public lands. The program provides an alternative to sending bison to slaughter in order to manage the population within the park.
“We are thrilled to support this exciting effort to increase the number of Yellowstone bison that can be kept alive and restored to Tribal lands,” said Scott Christensen, executive director of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. “Great partners at Yellowstone National Park and Yellowstone Forever, and the generous support of our donors, made this possible.”