Park officials looking to reduce Grand Canyon bison numbers

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Bison grazing at the Grand Canyon (Source; National Park Service) Bison grazing at the Grand Canyon (Source; National Park Service)
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (AP) -

The National Park Service has announced plans to reduce the number of bison found near the Grand Canyon's North Rim through lethal and nonlethal means.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports the National Park Service released a draft plan Tuesday which outlines the nonlethal capture and removal of bison as well as lethal culling by trained volunteers. The goal is to bring Grand Canyon bison numbers from 400 to 600 to fewer than 200 over the few years.

The National Park Service expects to start the process as early as this summer.

Officials say bison have overgrazed the area and harmed soils and local water sources. The animals also pose a risk to archaeological sites.

The National Park Service is accepting public comment on the issue through June 7.

[ONLINE: National Park Service Seeks Public Comment on an Initial Bison Herd Reduction Environmental Assessment for Grand Canyon National Park]

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