Between 60 and 100 bison will be relocated from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon this month.
Grand Canyon National Park announced this week that the bison will be captured and transferred to the InterTribal Buffalo Council, which will distribute them to Native American tribes seeking to augment their own bison herds.
The action is a pilot program that's part of a larger plan to reduce the size of the non-native North Rim bison herd, which currently includes 400 to 600 bison. The National Park Service is concerned that the animals are impacting park resources, including water, vegetation and archaeological sites. Without management of the herd, officials say, the herd could be as large as 1,200 to 1,500 animals within 10 years.
In future years, the Park Service says, members of the public will be able to participate in the management plan via "lethal removal." Information will be made available on the park's website.
The remaining North Rim bison will continue to be visible on a regular basis along the North Rim Parkway (State Route 67), which leads into the park.