Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies Program

Committee Chair

Len Broberg

Commitee Members

Matthew McKinney, Michael Patterson


brucellosis, ecosystem, elk, federal, history, multiple jurisdicition, policy, state, Yellowstone


University of Montana


Bison management within Yellowstone National Park (YNP), and the later recognized Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), has been a contentious issue since the mid-1900s. At the same time the efforts of Congress and the National Park Service to literally bring the bison back from the brink of extinction qualifies the Yellowstone herd as a symbol of western heritage and culture, the wilderness standard, and one of the greatest victories of the early conservation movement in the United States (Schullery 1986). Currently, there are more than 150,000 bison in the United States, mostly contained in heavily managed reserves or on private ranches. Within the contiguous United States the least restricted populations are in the Henry Mountains of Utah and two within the GYE, with one in Yellowstone Park and the other in Grand Teton National Park (Van Vuren 1983, Meagher et al. 1997). With this success surrounding bison populations the push for brucellosis eradication in livestock over the past several decades has met overall success as well. As a result of this accomplishment new sights are being set on eradication within certain species of ungulates, such as elk and bison. The brucellosis eradication issue brings us to the current debate involving the implementation of the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP), which established interagency bison management coordination and cooperation between state and federal agencies that have management jurisdiction within the GYE. The agencies involved in the effort include the United States Department of Interior-National Park Service (NPS), the United States Department of Agriculture�s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the United States Department of Agriculture-Forest Service (USFS), the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL), and Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP). The IBMP was developed in a coordinated effort between these agencies, and was finally implemented after a lengthy Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process in the winter of 2000.



© Copyright 2010 Jason Alan Brininstool