Stephens Creek at Capacity; No Grass in Park


A bison holding facility so full there is no room left to test the bison within it for brucellosis – that is the reality for the Stephen’s Creek Facility near Gardiner at Yellowstone National Park’s northern border.

Northern Ag Network spoke with the Park’s Al Nash on Tuesday.

Al says that there are still well over 600 bison in the fenced pastures at Stephen’s Creek. 

With no “normal” spring green-up to lure the bison into or keep them in the Park, no room for more bison at Stephen’s Creek and cattle producers very worried about brucellosis especially as the bison calve, where do we go from here?

Al says they are playing it by ear.

While the facility is now too full to test any more bison for brucellosis, Al says that 40{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} of what was tested showed positive results for exposure to brucellosis. 

On February 15th, Montana Governor Brian Schwietzer signed a 90-day executive order stopping the importation of Yellowstone bison into the state of Montana.  This essentially stopped the movement of the bison to processing.

While not off the table, Al says that certain bison aren’t eligible to be processed.

Keep in mind that bison don’t commonly have a brucellosis-induced abortion like is seen in cattle.  The disease affects the two species differently.  This means that some of the bison pairs that are let back into the park could have tested positive for exposure.

As we watch this story unfolding on the northern border, they are waiting for snow to melt so they can push some 150 to 200 bison that are out of the Park’s boundaries near West Yellowstone back in by their May 15 haze-back date.

© Northern Ag Network 2011

Haylie Shipp


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x