Yesterday, an employee of the Idaho Department of Agriculture shot and killed a bison that had moved from Yellowstone National Park area into the Henry’s Lake Flats area in Idaho. The bison was shot on the right-of-way along State Highway 20, the major highway running through the valley toward Yellowstone.
The bison was not shot on Nature Conservancy property. The Conservancy was not responsible in any way for the killing of the bison. Our staff and volunteers in Idaho are saddened about this unfortunate situation and the death of the bison.
The Conservancy’s Flat Ranch borders the highway where the bison was killed. We have received no confirmed reports that the bison ever was on the Flat Ranch. The bison was bedded down outside the ranch’s fence line on the highway right-of-way.
Further, neither the Conservancy, nor any of its employees or volunteers had anything to do with the decision to kill the bison.
A Conservancy volunteer working at the Flat Ranch did contact the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to report that a bison was grazing along the highway. The volunteer made the call out of concern for the bison and motorists, fearing the animal might be hit by a fast-moving car.
Immediately after the volunteer placed the call, a sheriff’s deputy arrived at the bison’s location. No one at the Conservancy called the sheriff or the Idaho Department of Agriculture. The Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Agriculture both have confirmed that another local landowner contacted them.
The Conservancy has long been a leader in bison management and conservation, returning bison to a number of its preserves across the Great Plains and, most recently, into northern Mexico.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.