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Sun, Oct. 20

Gosar bill to manage Grand Canyon National Park buffalo

Russ Jacoby-For the Mner

In an effort to solve the issue of the over population of buffalo on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park, U.S. Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has introduced legislation that would require the Department of the Interior and the Arizona Game & Fish Department to work together in reducing the herd of non-native bison, which are estimated to be at 600 or more animals.

Recently the National Park Service issued a draft environmental assessment that is recommending that “paid sharpshooters” be used to eliminate a number of the largest mammals in Arizona.

The NPS states that the bison are causing damage to the natural and cultural resources within the park.

Under the proposed legislation, it would require that the NPS and AZGFD coordinate on a plan that would allow for volunteer sportsmen holding a state issued hunting license and tag to bring down the herd to an authorized level.

AZGFD Chairman Pat Madden stated that he is excited to see the legislation.

“This bill is a strong step toward ensuring the bison population remains in proper balance to allow for the recovery of natural habitat within the Grand Canyon National Park,” Madden said. “Simply allowing Arizona’s sportsmen and women, and our hunting heritage, to manage bison populations within the park just makes sense.”

The bill is co-sponsored by Arizona Representatives Trent Franks, Tom O’Halleran and David Schweikert.

Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake both sponsored a similar bill in 2015.

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