“We got what we needed to get done before the looming shutdown,”
Bill Whitmore, chief of resource management for the park, called the operation a “partial roundup” that took place at the same time the park rounded up wild horses for sale in Wishek.
Whitmore said the roundups, which have been conducted since the 1950s, are normally done every three to four years to keep the population of the bison within management goals.
“We had some extra air time,” Whitmore said, referring to the helicopters hired to round up the wild horses.
Whitmore said a dozen of the bison went to the Buffalo Museum in Jamestown with the rest of the them going to the Intertribal Bison Cooperative to fill orders for tribes in the region.
Whitmore said the roundups are conducted every few years and alternate between the park’s north and south units.
He said the management goal for the north unit is to keep the herd at about 200, with a goal of between 200 and 500 in the south unit.
The bison were taken from the park’s herd in the south unit which now numbers about 450 animals, Whitmore said.
“We got what we needed to get done before the looming shutdown,” he said, referring to the federal shutdown because of the budget impasse.