Arizona is considering a new bill that would allow bison hunting in Grand Canyon National Park in order to control the exploding bison population.
A bill recently proposed by lawmakers in the Arizona State Legislature would allow bison hunting in Grand Canyon National Park. Hunting season would be opened in order to control the population of the bison herd there which is overgrazing the North Rim section of the park.
All hunting is currently banned inside the park. As a result, bison populations have exploded and the animals are overgrazing the foliage in the park, causing significant damage to soils, vegetation, archaeological sites, springs and other water resources in the park.
It is estimated that there are approximately 600 bison inside Grand Canyon National Park. Since they have few predators, and since they may not be currently hunted on National Park Service lands, their numbers are continuing to grow, as is the amount of damage that they are causing to the park.
If passed, the bill would set up a strictly regulated bison hunting season inside Grand Canyon National Park. Hunters would be required to possess an Arizona hunting license, plus whatever documentation and training that the National Park Service would require.
Clearly, something needs to be done about the growing number of bison inside the park. Setting up a carefully regulated bison hunting system seems logical; the State of Arizona and the National Park Service could generate some additional revenue from selling hunting permits, while at the same time bring the bison population down to a more manageable number that will cause less damage to the park.
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