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3 charged in Wyoming for tampering with Stephens Creek bison fac - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

3 charged in Wyoming for tampering with Stephens Creek bison facility

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Bison at Stephens Creek. courtesy of Yellowstone National Park. Bison at Stephens Creek. courtesy of Yellowstone National Park.

Three members of a buffalo protection group were charged in Wyoming federal court Wednesday for allegedly breaking into the Stephens Creek bison management facility and disrupting shipment of the animals.

Cody J. Cyson of Minnetonka, Minn., and Thomas L. Brown of East Hardwick, Vt., were each charged in Mammoth Hot Springs with one count of entering a closed area and one count of interfering with an agency function in Yellowstone National Park, according to U.S. Attorney Mark A. Klaassen of Wyoming.

Also, Hanna F. Ponder of Donnelly, Idaho, was charged with one count of entering a closed area in Yellowstone National Park in a separate incident. Prosecutors say Ponder was found by police in the bison closure of the Reese Creek drainage area early Tuesday morning.

All are misdemeanors and carry a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

The incident was potential the third criminal act at Stephens Creek in the last seven weeks, according to the National Parks Service.

In a press release, a group called Wild Buffalo Defense stated Cyson, Brown and Ponder were members of their group and praised their actions, noting they delayed the bison from being shipped to slaughter.

The Stephens Creek pens is used to house bison for slaughter or relocation after they leave Yellowstone National Park for winter migration. The aim to to cull 600 to 900 animals through a combination of shipping and a public and tribal hunt, according to the parks service.

In the video below, bison biologist Rick Wallen discusses annual bison migration:

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