National Park Service Seeks Public Input for Bison Herd Reduction Environmental Assessment for Grand Canyon National Park
March 1, 2016
Grand Canyon, Ariz. – The National Park Service (NPS) has announced a 30-day public comment period seeking input on changes to the scope of the Bison Management Plan at Grand Canyon National Park. The focus of the planning effort will shift from development of a long-term management plan for North Rim bison to initial herd reduction.
In spring 2014, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the NPS initiated public scoping for an environmental impact statement (EIS) to develop a long-term, coordinated approach to manage the current and future effects of bison on the park’s other natural and cultural resources. As a result of the change in scope to initial herd reduction, the NPS now proposes to complete an environmental assessment (EA) instead of an EIS.
NPS proposed actions that will be analyzed in the EA include:
· Implementation of a suite of management tools (e.g., capture/removal, sharpshooting, and localized fencing of sensitive park resources) that would be used, in collaboration with state and federal partners, to reduce the bison population, currently estimated at 400 to 600 animals, to approximately 80 to 200 animals; and
· Development and implementation of monitoring protocols to help improve understanding and to inform decisions about long-term bison management.
Cooperators on this effort include Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the InterTribal Buffalo Council.
Additional information, including the purpose and need for the action and the proposed actions is available on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/grca_bison.
Individuals interested in commenting during the 30-day scoping period may use one of several methods. The preferred method for submitting comments is on the PEPC website. You may also mail or hand-deliver your comments to the Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park, PO Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023.