PHOENIX – The first controlled bison hunt inside Grand Canyon National Park is scheduled to take place this fall, and the park is looking for applicants to help with its effort to reduce the area’s bison population by 200. 

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission and the National Park Service announced the dates and application process Tuesday, opening up the opportunity to “skilled volunteers” with proficient marksmanship. But the initiative has some experts worried that hunting could soon become more commonplace inside national parks.

The 300 to 500 free-ranging bison at the Grand Canyon’s North Rim are descendants of 86 buffalo brought to the area 115 years ago by rancher Charles “Buffalo” Jones, according to the National Park Service. And the non-native animals have long been a nuisance in the area.

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