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Utah to Transplant Additional Bison

October 6, 2009.

A summer survey of bison populations in Utah's Henry Mountains revealed that post-hunt herd size was likely to be 15% over objective. In response, the Henry Mountain Bison Committee met to explore possible strategies which would allow them to reach population objectives.

The committee came up with two options:

Option 1, relocate 40 bison to the new Book Cliffs herd in January, 2010. The population objective on the Book Cliffs is 450 adult bison. Currently, that population numbers less than 50 animals, so relocating 40 bison to the Book Cliffs would be an important step towards continuing to establish that herd.

Option 2, which would be pursued if Option 1 was not possible, was to increase bison permits on the Henrys by 39 for the 2009/2010 hunting season.

Support from various stakeholders was very strong for the relocation option, and at last thursday's meeting of the Utah Wildlife Board, the relocation was approved.

"We would rather move them than kill them," said Justin Shannon, a regional wildlife manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "It will allow us to get one population at its objective and give the other herd a boost."

The relocation efforts are targeted for January, 2010, at a cost of $1,000 per bison.

For more information, see coverage in the Salt Lake Tribune.

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