July 25, 2000



REFER TO: DON DELONG, U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, (307)733-9212, EXT. 235

STEVE IOBST, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, (307)739-3410





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



RELEASE OF THE JACKSON BISON AND ELK HERD MANAGEMENT: SITUATION ASSESSMENT AND PROCESS RECOMMENDATIONS





On Friday, July 21, the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, the University of Wyoming's Institute for Environmental and Natural Resources, and the Meridian Institute released their report, the Jackson Bison and Elk Herd Management: Situation Assessment and Process Recommendations.



Before initiating a comprehensive management planning process for the Jackson bison and elk herds, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park invited the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution to conduct a situation assessment to provide guidance in devising a public involvement strategy for developing the plan. The purpose of the report is twofold: first, to provide these agencies and other interested parties a sense of the range of interests and concerns about the management of the Jackson bison and elk herds, and second, to present recommendations and options for developing a public involvement strategy.



Over the past three months, the U.S. Institute and their associates interviewed approximately 130 individuals representing a broad array of interests from the local, regional, and national levels. These included ranching and agricultural interests; hunting and outfitting; businesses involved with tourism and recreation; environmental and wildlife conservation; animal rights and welfare; the research and education community; tribes; and government officials.



The U.S. Institute will be briefing agency and tribal officials on the findings and recommendations detailed in the report this week. Copies of the report are available by visiting the following websites: www.ecr.gov/new.htm, www.merid.org, or www.uwyo.edu/enr/ienr.htm.







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