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Yellowstone National Park To Build Bison Quarantine Facility

Bison at the Stephens Creek Capture facility north of Yellowstone Park in 2015.
Jim Peaco - NPS (PD)
Bison at the Stephens Creek Capture facility north of Yellowstone Park in 2015.

Yellowstone National Park has decided to convert part of its bison trap into a temporary brucellosis quarantine facility.  Jonathan Shafer is a public affairs assistant at Yellowstone National Park.

"Yellowstone is considering making the Stephen’s Creek facility into a quarantine facility to see if it might be possible to move animals that are not infected with brucellosis out of the park, possibly to Fort Peck," says Shafer.

Park officials announced Thursday that they would bring a portion of the Stephen’s Creek Capture Facility up to federal and state standards in order to be able to certify bison as brucellosis-free.

Robbie Magnan
Robbie Magnan

"Fort Peck has already got all that here," says Robert Magnan, the Director of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes Fish & Wildlife Department.

Magnan says Fort Peck is already equipped to be a more permanent, rather than temporary facility.

A bill to eliminate the disease-free certification requirement to move bison to Fort Peck, was killed in Montana’s last legislative session.

This after months of discussion with state and federal livestock officials after a group of bison park officials wanted to quarantine at Fort Peck could not be moved because of legal conflict.

Park officials expect to finish the facility in the fall. They hope to later find a long-term space where the bison can be quarantined outside the park.

Brucellosis is a disease that causes animals to abort calves.

Beau is a former Morning Edition host and producer and engineer for the MTPR program "Capitol Talk." He worked as a reporter, and hosted Freeforms once a month.
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