Maxwell Lieberman is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at the University of Iowa, who received a grant for “The Last Wild Bison” to research the bison herds of Yellowstone National Park. These bison are in need of protection and Maxwell’s work looks to serve bison advocates through a map of the values that influence stakeholders and decision makers who are directly involved with the Yellowstone bison controversy. He writes:
These bison are the last continuously wild and migratory members of their species in the continental United States, and unfortunately face harassment and persecution when they leave the park boundaries. Meaningful protection of these last wild herds, and ideally their eventual growth, will require an understanding of the values that inform key participants in the debate over the Yellowstone bisons’ future.
My research most directly serves bison advocates; this includes nonprofits pushing for greater protections of the Yellowstone bison and Native American activists fighting for greater habitat for the herds. A more nuanced sense of the attitudes and beliefs that motivate each of the parties involved in the Yellowstone bison conflict will strengthen the work that wildlife advocates have been doing in the region for decades already.