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Bison hanging out in the yard of a Nahanni Butte resident. They have also been reported sitting on people’s lawns, leaving droppings and causing a mess, and blocking the airstrip so planes can’t land. (Submitted by Roxanne Konisenta) People in Nahanni Butte, N.W.T., are calling once again for a tougher approach to deal with the bison that invade their community every year, causing damage to property and trepidation among elders, who are afraid to leave their homes.

According to residents, bison recently knocked down a tree in a woman’s yard and caused a boat to come loose from its mooring and float away — something that happens often when the bison are climbing up and down the river bank.

They’re also sitting on people’s lawns, leaving droppings and causing a mess, and blocking the airstrip so planes can’t land. Bison on Nahanni Butte airstrip, June 27, 2017. Residents say planes can’t land when the bison are in the way. (Submitted by Marlene Matou) "Everybody is scared to go out," said Peter Marcellais. He said elders in the community are complaining about the bison and are afraid to go for walks.

The band office has ordered three bear bangers to give to elders to make them feel safer when they go out, but Marcellais knows it’s not ideal.

Elder Jayne Konisenta agrees: "It would make us feel safer," she said. "But you don’t want to go around carrying bear bangers, you just want to go for a walk." ‘Every year this happens’

Nahanni Butte, with a population of less than 100, lies on the shores of the South Nahanni river, on the migration route of the Nahanni wood bison herd.

The bison pass through Fort Liard and Nahanni Butte twice a year, in the fall and spring. The herd is one of three distinct […]

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