The National Park Service (NPS) plans bison roundups in the Grand Canyon and is looking for people who are good with guns to help kill the animals and thin the herd.
Six-hundred bison are now in the Grand Canyon area and wildlife experts say that number must be reduced to 200 to maintain a sustainable habitat.
According to USA Today, wildlife experts fear the 600 bison currently present could grow to 1,500 or more in 10 years if unchecked. To prevent this, the NPS plans a lottery to select hunters who will be allowed to shoot bison as part of thinning the herd. “The Grand Canyon is still working out details of the volunteer effort, but it’s taking cues from national parks in Colorado, the Dakotas and Wyoming that have used shooters to cut overabundant or diseased populations of elk.”
Bison outside the Grand Canyon area are hunted each year, but the park area is off limits to hunters and that is where the 600 bison are living. NPS’s plan would allow hunting volunteers to team up with “a Park Service employee to shoot bison using non-lead ammunition.” They insist on non-lead ammunition because of the presence of California condors. The hunts would occur at altitudes over 8,000. For this reason, individuals who want to be considered as volunteer hunters will possibly have to demonstrate their capability of “hiking eight miles a day, carrying a 60-pound pack and hitting a paper plate 200 yards away five times.”
The Sierra Club’s Sandy Bahr hopes the NPS will ultimately choose a means of “non-lethal removal” of the animals, but Bahr did not say whose tax dollars would be used to pay for removal and relocation of the animals nor did she mention whose tax dollars would be spent in monitoring the animals, should they be relocated.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.