Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Bob Barbee says Church Universal and Triumphant vice president Ed Francis is raising an unnecessary stink about bison guts scattered about the church's property.
"Ed, I'm disturbed by the manner in which you have chosen to address the issue of bison entrails disposal," Barbee told Francis in a letter. "It appears to be designed to create conflict rather than to promote cooperation."Francis earlier had written Barbee asking about disposing of the bison entrails on Yellowstone property.
More than 150 bison have been killed on or near church property at Corwin Springs this winter. State wardens shoot the bison when they leave Yellowstone, most often traveling onto Royal Teton Ranch property.
The bison are killed in an attempt to avoid any possible spread of brucellosis, a contagious disease that causes domestic livestock to abort.
Much of the meat has been donated to Indian tribes, with the rest auctioned to the public.
The church butchers the bison under contract to the state but complained that no provision was made for removing the offal piles.
So church workers have been scooping up the piles and taking them to nearby National Forest Land where, as of last week, the frozen gut pile was 35 feet long, 15 feet wide and up to 4 feet deep.
In the original letter to Barbee, Francis said the park should take responsibility for the gut piles because "the problem animals being controlled originate in the park."
Barbee's letter made no offer to accept the guts which, stacked up as they are, could attract grizzly bears in the spring, National Park Service and other officials agree.
Park spokeswoman Joan Anzelmo said Tuesday a final solution for the big gut pile has not been determined but it will be disposed of before bears emerge from hibernation this spring.
Barbee also responded to Francis' assertions that Park Service personnel had left "medical wastes" on church property. Last week, a plastic bag containing an unused syringe and plastic tissue sample containers lay among the gut piles on Forest Service land.
Barbee said Yellowstone officials didn't leave any syringes around after testing the dead bison for brucellosis and any materials left on church property were left there inadvertently.