Bison carcasses cleaned up outside Yellowstone following heavy winter of hunting (copy)
Forest Service workers clean up bison gut piles
In one of the deadliest winters for Yellowstone National Park bison, state and federal officials cooperated last week to clean up carrion left behind by tribal and state hunters.
A 14-foot trailer and three dumpsters — one 30-yard and two 20-yard containers — filled with bison entrails, hides and bones were hauled from the Gardiner Basin to the Gallatin County landfill near Logan last week.
The cooperative effort involved the Montana Department of Livestock, Custer Gallatin National Forest, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Workers used equipment like a backhoe and skid-steer to haul the heaviest remains, utilizing shovels to pick up smaller parts.
“The main reason to do a cleanup this year is just the heavy concentration of carcasses on the landscape,” said Mike Thom, Gardiner District ranger, in an email. “When I say carcasses, I’m meaning gut piles, spines, ribs and hides.”
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