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Environmental Group Questions If Grand Canyon Bison Are Native

(Photo by Eric Hope - National Park Service)
Bison on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

An environmental group is challenging the National Park Service's classification of bison at the Grand Canyon as native.

Public Employees For Environmental Responsibility, or PEER, said the National Park Service’s report that says bison near the Grand Canyon are indigenous to the area contradict earlier statements the NPS has made.

PEER argues earlier reports state the bison were brought to the park in the early 1900’s.

PEER filed a complaint with the National Park Service to rescind a 2015 report. They argue it’s unscientific and the reclassification means bison can remain inside the park rather than be removed entirely.

The Grand Canyon park had been planning to develop a long-term bison management plan but shifted the focus recently to reduce the herd more immediately.

The Park Service has 60 days to defend the report.

Katherine Fritcke Producer, Morning Edition Katherine Fritcke is the Morning Edition Producer for KJZZ. Fritcke was born and raised in Scottsdale. After deciding to leave the Arizona heat, she graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, IA with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She is a self-proclaimed public media junkie who can't get enough of programs like "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" and "Ask Me Another."