Bison (Bison bison) being herded back towards Yellowstone National Park in spring 2014, between Gardiner and Yankee Jim Canyon, Montana, USA. Bison are the only native wildlife species not allowed to roam free in the region. However, since April 2011 bison are allowed to wander outside the Park north of Gardiner in the Gardiner Basin up until Yankee Jim Canyon in winter and early spring (until 1 May). There is limited fencing at Yankee Jim Canyon (about 13 mi north of Gardiner) in combination with cattle guards on Highway 89 (east side Yellowstone River) and The Old Yellowstone Trail S (a dirt road, west side Yellowstone River). This gives the bison access to about 75,000 acres (30,000 ha) of critical winter range. With a higher than average snow year there were many hundreds of bison (perhaps even more) in the area north of Gardiner in April 2014. This illustrates that the Parks contains mostly summer habitat and that bison and other wildlife also depend on lower elevation areas outside the Park, especially in high snow years.
Click here for additional images of bison outside of Yellowstone National Park in the Gardiner Basin.
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