Editorial: Homeland Security for Yellowstone bison

"Here's another [Department of Homeland Security] news item closer to home: Homeland Security agents helping with Yellowstone National Park bison management. Estimated cost: $42,000.

It's a bureaucratic story. Two Montana departments and three federal agencies are "partners" in the bison management plan, including the federal Animal Plant Health Inspection Service. This winter, APHIS assumed the job of transporting bison from the park to slaughter. Having never before done this work, the agency decided it needed "law enforcement" assistance, so APHIS called on the Federal Protective Service, which was one of the many agencies folded into Homeland Security.

Homeland Security sent seven people from Utah to Gardiner, according to an APHIS spokeswoman in Fort Collins, Colo. These homeland agents didn't actually work with bison. National Park Service rangers did the rounding up and loading into trucks. The homeland staff provided "security" at the Stephens Creek bison holding pens about a mile inside the park's northern boundary. They also escorted trucks loaded with bison to the slaughter plants.

Bison probably will keep roaming toward the park border. Rangers might be able to keep hazing them back till spring. But the surest bet is that citizens will be reading again about Homeland Security's inability to secure America."

Get the Story:
Opinion: Bison beyond homeland security duties (The Billings Gazette 2/23)

Relevant Links:
The Inter-Tribal Bison Cooperative - http://www.intertribalbison.org
Buffalo Field Campaign - http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org
Yellowstone National Park - http://www.nps.gov/yell

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