The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, asks for the National Park Service and Forest Service to be barred from participating in the slaughter program, write Matthew Brown of the Associated Press, here.
In an effort to prevent a disease carried by bison from spreading to cattle, more than 3,300 bison have been slaughtered in the last decade, by federal agencies working with the state of Montana.
The groups filing the suit say the threat of the disease – brucellosis – has been overstated and that the Park Service and Forest Service are ignoring their responsibility to preserve the bison.
Yellowstone’s 3,000 bison comprise one of the largest concentrations of the animals in the world, Brown writes. Bison once roamed North America by the millions, sustaining many Native American tribes, before being nearly wiped out after the arrival of white people to the region.
During winters, bison range beyond Yellowstone’s borders in search of food. A 2000 agreement between Montana and the federal government allows those animals to be killed to prevent any contact with cattle.