A real black mark will be set today as Yellowstone Park sends 200 more bison to slaughter. Below is part of an update from the Buffalo Field Campaign.

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Buffalo Field Campaign
Yellowstone Bison
Update from the Field
March 13, 2008

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AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2007-2008 Total: 1,014
2007-2008 Slaughter: 848
2007-2008 Hunt: 166

Total Since 2000: 3,740*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts

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In this issue:
* Update from the Field
* Horse Butte: Bison Trap or Buffalo Sanctuary? YOU Decide.
* Volunteers Needed on the Front Lines!
* Keep BFC Healthy & Happy ~ Coffee & Food Donations Needed
* Photo of the Week
* Last Words
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* Update from the Field

Dear Buffalo Friends,

1,014 wild buffalo have been killed so far this season. This week, Yellowstone National Park captured 11 more buffalo, and sent another 120 to slaughter from inside the Park’s northern boundary. Along the western boundary, on Tuesday, the Montana Department of Livestock captured a group of 13 wild buffalo. One was a lone calf who had been orphaned during the hunt. Patrols said he gave the agents a run for their money. The thirteen were captured in the trap on cattle-free Horse Butte, transported to the Duck Creek trap, and shipped to slaughter Wednesday morning. There is no doubt that this year will constitute the biggest wild buffalo slaughter since the 19th century. Why does the American government bother trying to save a species from near-extinction only to turn around and kill it off again under the guise of “wildlife management?” If it doesn’t make sense, favors industry, goes against the public’s will and ecological integrity, the government is sure to enact it as a policy. Please consider contacting your House and Senate members and urge them to invoke legislation that will stop the slaughter, protect wild bison and their habitat, and also let them know about the lack of response you have been getting from all the agencies involved: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/politicians.html

Yellowstone National Park still holds nearly 200 buffalo in the Stephens Creek trap. Park officials say bulls will begin being shipped to slaughter tomorrow morning. And, apparently, calves will begin being sorted, tested, and shipped to the Corwin Springs quarantine facility. It’s hard to articulate, wrap your mind around, and process this buffalo genocide. The trap, with it’s pens, corrals, and livestock trailers that take buffalo to slaughter, can’t help but make you think that you’re watching a buffalo concentration camp. Down the road, at the quarantine facility, the government harbors their wild buffalo assimilation program, where they are trying to domesticate the wild, free bison, turning them into livestock that they can control and manipulate. The government calls this “buffalo management” and “buffalo restoration.”

Brucellosis, they say in unison with the cattle industry, is the purported reason for it all. The perceived fear that wild buffalo just might give it back to the cattle they got it from. It’s never happened. It’s only a theory based on fear. Yet elk and other wildlife that also carry brucellosis are free to roam and even co-mingle with cattle. And what should happen if the wild bison contract some other disease from cattle? What’s to protect them? The cattle industry and government spin the theoretical threat of disease transmission from wild bison to cattle as a way to control the grass and who gets to eat it. Brucellosis is not the dreaded disease that they’d lead you to believe it is. Not in the least. You can eat the meat of a brucellosis-infected animal. Montana’s cattle industry claims it would suffer serious economic losses if they lost their brucellosis-free status, yet states that have lost theirs, such as Wyoming, Idaho and Texas, have hardly suffered at all. Please take a moment to read this excellent piece by wildlife advocate Robert Hoskins, “The True Cost of Brucellosis”: http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/the_true_cost_of_brucellosis/C38/L38/.

And what is the true cost to the last wild population of American bison? Every buffalo that is killed is unique, an individual, a family member with it’s place in the herd, its life to live, and story to tell. Each buffalo is a link to both the past and the future. The buffalo that are migrating are those who have the strength to survive, who follow their instincts and move with the changing landscape to where they can find food, accessing the ancient routes their ancestors walked for thousands of years.

Out on Horse Butte, there is just one family group left. There are twelve of them, surviving in Yellowstone Village, a neighborhood that has a buffalo-friendly majority and does not welcome the Department of Livestock. In this family group, there is this one mama buffalo who is absolutely enormous. Her right horn is broken and blunted, while her left is really long and doesn’t have much curve to it. She has a reddish tint to her woolly coat. She’s got the stature of a buffalo who has been around for a very long time. She is heavy with a calf in her belly, and she has a near yearling with her. Very likely she is the matriarch of this group, most others being her daughters, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. She carries ancient buffalo wisdom and she and her family, like all the buffalo, have a natural right to live free, to make their way in the world that is also theirs, impart their wisdom to generations to come. The other day, out on a rove patrol, we were encircled by this family while in our car, unable to go anywhere. They had us surrounded. It was wonderful. A couple of two-year olds were in front of us, butt-to-butt, the gigantic mama and her calf were right at our side, and the rest of the group was behind us. There was nowhere for us to go. So we basked in their presence, noting every detail of each buffalo. Absorbing them. Enchanted by them. How unique they all are, how they relate to each other. The way the younger buffalo can get wily and rambunctious, even rebellious, causing the adults to keep them in line; the gentle guidance and protection the mothers display; the playful nature of the yearlings, the brave hearts of the adolescent bulls and cows taking care of their kid brothers and sisters. When we are good to each other, we mirror the buffalo. They mirror us and our potential. As of this writing, this family is still alive. Is it too much too hope that at least they can be spared? It is dangerous to become attached, but it is impossible not to.

Roam Free,
~Stephany

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* Horse Butte: Bison Trap or Buffalo Sanctuary? YOU Decide.

In 1998, the U.S. Forest Service issued a special use permit to the Montana Department of Livestock to operate a buffalo trap on America’s public lands on Horse Butte for the next 10 years. The current permit expires December 31, 2008.

The U.S. Forest Service is currently accepting public comments during a scoping period on a plan to renew the livestock agency’s trap for another 10 years. The Forest Service is likely to renew the livestock agency’s permit through a categorical exclusion – pre-empting any analysis of the trap’s environmental impacts. The notice is available online at http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/gallatin/?page=projects/horse_butte

TAKE ACTION! Please comment on this plan and help us stop the U.S. Forest Service from allowing this madness to continue for another 10 years. Comments are due on April 2, 2008 and can be emailed to hebgen_lake@fs.fed.us or mailed to:

Gallatin National Forest
Attn: Horse Butte Capture Facility Special Use Permit
PO Box 120
Bozeman, MT 59771

Here are some suggested points to include in your comments:
* Why give a livestock agency a 10-year permit to trap wild buffalo on public lands?

* Conditions on Horse butte have changed significantly in the past 10 years, thus it is necessary for the public lands agency to conduct a full environmental impact statement.

* Cattle no longer graze on public or private land on Horse Butte peninsula, 24,000 acres of critical wildlife habitat and thus there is no justification for harassing, trapping and removing wild Buffalo from Horse Butte.

* The department of livestock of has been not used the Horse Butte for 3 of the last 4 years but has still successfully implemented the IBMP without it. The Department of Livestock also maintains a permanent capture facility on private land, and has used a temporary facility on already heavily impacted state owned land. If the IBMP can be successfully implemented using other capture facility sites with less of an impact, why use the Horse Butte site?
* Horse Butte is home to 3 breeding bald eagle nests. The livestock agency’s trap is located within .5 miles of one of the eagle nests, and in prime foraging habitat for other bald and golden eagles that frequent the Madison River and Hebgen Lake. The Montana Bald Eagle Management Plan and the Greater Yellowstone Bald Eagle Management Plan directs that developments which may increase human activity not be permitted within .5 miles nest sites. A standard is a standard and not a loophole to permit the livestock agency to disrupt bald eagle habitat.

* Horse Butte is grizzly bear and wolf habitat. Moose, elk, black bear, coyote, a lot of wildlife depend on managing public lands on Horse Butte as wildlife habitat.

* Hebgen Lake, which surrounds Horse Butte, is critical habitat for migratory birds, including trumpeter swans.
* Increased development on private lands on the north side of Horse Butte has degraded available wildlife habitat, making the south side where the trap is even more critical for wildlife.

* The amount of livestock inspector and law enforcement vehicle traffic associated with the trap is far higher than predicted in the U.S. Forest Service’s initial analysis.

* The original analysis called for the Department of Livestock to perform soil reclamation including planting native grasses on several acres impacted by the trap. This promise has not happened and degraded available forage.

OTHER ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TO PROTECT HORSE BUTTE FOR BUFFALO: If you haven’t already, please join the over 20,000 wild bison advocates who have signed on to the letter addressed to the people in charge of bison management requesting that wild bison be allowed to range on Horse Butte without being harassed, trapped and slaughtered by government agents.
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/press0708/pressreleases0708/0304082.html

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* Volunteers Needed on the Front Lines!

Have you always dreamed of coming to the Yellowstone area? Do you want to live in one of the world’s most beautiful places with like-minded individuals? If so then you should come and volunteer with the Buffalo Field Campaign. Spring is one of our busiest seasons and we are in need of volunteers to stand in defense of the last wild buffalo. Housing is provided for volunteers in our warm cozy main lodge with four delicious meals cooked daily (we cater to most all food needs). This is the eleventh year of Buffalo Field Campaign and we could not do it with out the help of volunteers. If you want to make a difference in the way that Yellowstone treats wild buffalo then you should come. Contact Kasi, the Volunteer Coordinator to plan your arrival at Buffalo Field Campaign at (406) 646-0070 or volunteer@buffalofieldcampaign.org. We hope to see you here this season!
Kasi

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* Keep BFC Healthy & Happy ~ Coffee & Food Donations Needed

One way you can always help with defending the buffalo is by donating food to support our work in the field. We spend approximately $10 per person per week and that leaves some gaps. We can always use donations of organic coffee, bulk spices, pasta, chocolate, Luna bars, hot cocoa mix, and emergen-C packets. Every donation helps keep our volunteers on the front lines health and happy. You can donate monetarily by going to https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?id=1807 and put “food” in the memo, or you can send in-kind donations. All donations are tax-deductible. If you would like a tax deductible receipt for your in-kind donation of food, please contact the office and include a copy of your receipt. Thank you for helping us defend the last wild herd of buffalo. ~ BFC Kitchen

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* Photo of the Week

http://gallery.buffalofieldcampaign.org/v/photo_of_the_week/volunteer+filming+trapping.jpg.html

BFC volunteer, Steve, perches in a tree to document the capture of 13 wild buffalo on Tuesday morning. You are looking down at the Horse Butte bison trap, seeing DOL agents, truck and trailer, and their snowmobiles. Buffalo are in the trap. Horse Butte is completely cattle-free year round. The Montana Department of Livestock should go where the cattle are. Photo by Jesse Crocker, also in the tree.

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* Last Words

A letter from a wild bison advocate to Yellowstone National Park, the Montana Department of Livestock and Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer:

“Dear people in charge of killing our nation’s last wild bison. (Our bison, not yours.) Please read and heed the letter below. I have written you, Dr. Zaluski, you, Suzanne Lewis, and also the governor of Montana about my outrage and heartache concerning this unwarranted and immoral slaughter. None of the three of you has bothered with the courtesy of a reply, in fact at times emails have not even been accepted. This is not the way government employees should conduct their duties in a democracy. Perhaps you do not know, although I cannot imagine that you don’t know, the thrill for people visiting Yellowstone to see the bison there in great numbers in their natural habitat. Should they step across park boundaries, what of it? Artificial park boundaries are the intruders, not the bison. I must tell you that it appears that all of you have completely sold out to the cattle interests. Whether or not that is true, that is the appearance, and the Montana Department of Livestock and all of you above appear to the rest of the country to be a bunch of rowdy and out of control cowboys. Is that the image you wish to project to the rest of the nation? Each of you that wears the park service emblem with the bison on it should at least have the good grace to remove those patches if you cannot ensure the safety of the bison. Otherwise you are also guilty of hypocrisy. I am sorry to be so harsh, but I have been begging for the lives of the bison for years, and you do not hear. Please hear the cries of the bison, and the people who love them. Thank you.”

~ Myrna Fox, Wild Buffalo Advocate

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

35 Responses to Yellowstone to set record bison slaughter today.

  1. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    This is what i feared after last year…. The only reason they didn’t slaughter the remaining bison last May, is because they knew they would make up for the 300 last year, many times over this year.

  2. avatar Cindy says:

    I wholeheartedly agree. What is the sense in putting forth all the time, effort and money to bring back wildlife (such as bison and wolves) from extinction only to turn around and start slaughtering them again? Didn’t anyone learn from what happened the last time? I suppose to the state and federal government’s it is just a game, and they enjoy playing God by determining what species gets to live and which ones get to die (aka needlessly slaughtered). I’m sure the rangers are glad because they won’t be quiet until the only living animals on the earth are cattle and sheep.

  3. avatar Cindy says:

    Oops, correction for my last post. It should say the ranchers instead of rangers.

  4. avatar kim kaiser says:

    i sent a ltter to the NYT on sunday to the op ed dept requesting some sort of awareness through the paper, i have till sunday to hear back from them or they will not print,, oh well, i tried,,

  5. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    I am very sickened that this continues…. physically sickened.
    If we can’t even bring about the simple solution to end this shameful slaughter, how can anyone believe our efforts will ever bring about change. Especially when the only thing that gets people’s attention are the sexual misadventures of political figures. Human “sheep” will never catch on to any real issues.
    I don’t know how BFC continues…. This is their 11th year. Is there some secret i don’t know about that keeps them holding on to the hope that the slaughter will end.

    The same people who sold “downer cow” beef to schools are the same kind of people who are exterminating our bison.

  6. avatar April Clauson says:

    What I don’t understand is a month back or so 1 lone soul was out in terrible weather on a stand trying to make a statement on this issue. I read articles the bison advocate groups write out there and how everyone is so upset over it. Why is there only 1 man brave enough to go make a stand. I hear alot of boo hooing and folks writing, well that is not helping now is it? I say it is time to get off your butts out there and start picketing in front of your state and wildlife mgmt places of business, go to their homes, go to ranches, every time you hear of a round up, then get out their and make it hard on them!!! Come on folks do some thing, sometimes it takes a small revolution to get our appointed policy holders in line with what the people want. boycott outfitters. If I lived in your state that is what I would be trying to do, get people together and really make a stand, maybe if there would have been 500-1000 folks at the bison round up last month instead of 1 man than maybe, just maybe a difference would have been made, when folks see that in the paper they figure oh 1 guy so what must just be a nut up there, they see 500-1000 people with signs and blocking access now that gets national attention!!!

  7. avatar Concerned says:

    April,

    There has been far more than 1 man ho has made a stand on this issue over the last decade and 1/2, the biggest problem is, with the proliferation of the patriot act, you need to be careful of the actions that you take in protest, or you could be labeled as a domestic terrorist. Taking a stand at a capture facility or a slaughter transport, could land you in jail for more than just a couple of days…I wrote my first letter on this issue to the Then Governor of Montana and also spoke with Conrand Burns several times on the issue and was accused of making threat tword the congressman, thank god, I was a good record keeper or I may have ended up with a never ending jail term! There is going to have to be a political solution to this, the days of massive protests, unfortunately have not born the fruit that they did in the past any longer. This issue is BIG to all of us who frequent these chats and blogs, but in the overall picture, it is not a blip on the map to the majority of the American Public, unfortunately! Just understand, there are many of us, that are working on the situation and will continue to do so..

  8. avatar kim kaiser says:

    didnt know how or where to put this so feel free to move, extension of using dogs to hunt cougars in Washington,

    http://www.mountainlion.org/newsroom_article.asp?news_id=756

  9. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    Concerned,
    Thanks for the explanation. After all the letter writing i’ve just finished, i am at a loss for words and still have more to do.
    Gotta take a break.
    Take care folks. I am off to Quebec for a few days.

  10. avatar jerry b says:

    April…….I agree, and it is difficult to understand the apathy here in Montana, when there are probably more non-profits per capita than anywhere in the West. Seems that they’re fixated on only their own goals and don’t seem willing to mobilize and work together. If they did, there would be a legions of picketers and sign carryers at every entrance to the park. Course it would help if just ONE large,WELL FUNDED non-profit would take the initiative and organize a rally, boycott or whatever.
    I’ve been here in Montana but a short time, but I can tell you that this kind of atrocity wouldn’t fly in Washington State.

  11. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    jerry b,
    I lived a few years in WA and have to agree. I have been in OR now for about 10 years and i know the slaughter would not “fly” here either. I just don’t get it….

  12. avatar jerry b says:

    dbaileyhill…What do you think the reason is that a large non-profit that “defends” wildlife and has $$$ doesn’t organize some type of action?
    I’m not talking eco-terrorism here, but they do have the means to put the picture of a dead, bloodied bison in the LA Times or other newspapers. They also have a huge membership that they could call for some sort of rally.

  13. avatar Catbestland says:

    It’s a good idea to go to the major orgs. websites, Defenders, Sierra Club etc. Click on “contact” and email every one that has an email address listed. Be sure to mention that the issue is being discussed online and that everyone is questioning why they are not taking a stand for the bison. Some of the orgs, have several email addresses that you can write to. Hit them all. The more they know that people are concerned about their lack of interest in this issue, the more they start to worry about contributions. I told them that it appears that they are more sympathetic with the Livestock industry than the welfare of the last free ranging herd of American Bison. Say what you want but make them understand that people are watching their actions or non-actions in this case.

  14. avatar SmokyMtMan says:

    Most environmental orgs are too busy raising money to bother with actually going out and protecting the environment. Their inaction speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

    It’s a damn shame that a permanent solution to the bison issue is still eluding us. Makes me wonder if the current situation IS the permanent solution.

  15. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    there are a lot of folk working a lot of different angles and applying pressure in more places every day. BFC is doing good work, their efforts have and will contribute to the persistence and one day truly expanded range for free-roaming buffalo.

    the long term solution is the same as it is for so many species in the West: The removal of Livestock interests from positions of influence over land and land management policy and administration. The injunction of Livestock influenced decisions. Basically, just upholding the rule of law with regard to species protection. This application humility is the only option this interest leaves wildlife advocates in the West.

  16. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    maybe somebody can bring me up to speed ~ what legal challenges have been employed with regard to the IBMP – EIS ? if it was challenged, why did it fail ? i just find it extremely hard to believe that this grotesque exercise is legal.

  17. avatar SmokyMtMan says:

    Brian,

    I hear you, but if “The removal of Livestock interests from positions of influence over land management policy and administration” is the permanent solution as you say, I think we have almost 500 years of precedent against us.

    And I see little improvement in that area. I would love to see that become the status quo, but we have been losing that battle for 5 centuries.

    I guess all we have to do is end public land use by ranchers and victory is ours.

    Okay, and how is that accomplished? My wishful thinking hasn’t worked yet.

    Sorry about the sarcasm. But no Democrat or Republican in the West that enjoys public office seems to be on our side in this one.

    I don’t see a happy endgame, or we would have found a middle ground before this. Like I said, the current situation seems like the permanent solution.

  18. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    jerry b
    First, your question—I don’t know why “they” do nothing. Maybe those “large organizations” are for social status. There are always some people who join just to be able to they belong to such-and-such group. Recently the GYC took the time to rework their bison page and sent it as an e-mail newsletter. Before looking at it i thought perhaps they were taking action—-it was the same old info that has been on their web-site. In my opinion it was just for show because there have been people complaining that the GYC is not actively pursuing solutions for bison and wolves. Some of those folks post on this blog.

    I believe that it is impossible for a single organization to cover all the bases, so to speak. There are many parts, and each piece needs full attention.
    I have spent most of the last two years studying everything i can find about the bison. I am working on some possible strategies, that i will be sharing with all of you very soon.

  19. avatar Buffaloed says:

    I guess that I would have to say that BFC, of which I am a board member, would be more effective if we were well funded. I don’t believe that Defenders, GYC or many of the so called “environmentalist” groups pay much attention to this issue. Therefore, I suggest that you give money to BFC so that we could mount legal challenges. The big grant making organizations seem to give all of there money to the “corporate” NGO’s who don’t do anything.

    If you have the dough or influence with the grantmaking organizations then help us out. I have to say that at times I think of us as a pretty rag-tag group of people who don’t feel like compromising with people on this issue because every time that someone has stepped in and said that they have found a solution it turns out that it is just another giveaway to the livestock interests who simply don’t want buffalo eating grass in Montana.

    Got and idea for funding give us a call 406-646-0070.

    Know a band willing to play a benefit for us? Same thing.

    Want to set up an event or benefit? Same thing.

    We can use all of the help we can get.

  20. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    Buffaloed,
    Thank you for the info. I’ve got a plane to catch but wanted to respond, although brief. I will have my ideas sorted out to share upon my return the 24th.
    PS. my sister-in-law books bands in the Seattle area, I have left a message for her.

  21. avatar Buffaloed says:

    Thanks,

    A couple of years ago we were fortunate enough to have Boise band Built to Spill play for us at the Big Easy. It was a huge success and I would love to have a similar event in the near future. I have some similar events that I am working on and if they occur I will post them here first.

  22. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    SmokyMtMan,

    we don’t have to end all public land use ~ just keep making a stink, applying pressure. these guys are running on borrowed time. it won’t be swift but

    do you know that market value of AUMs just hit $14.50 ? and :

    Rates rose 10% or more in Montana, New
    Mexico, North Dakota and Utah, according to USDA
    reports.

    this with the fact that people are doing a lot of good work. we’re in the middle of the last thralls of the Bush Administration – that makes it near impossible to see the fruit, but it’s coming. the worst thing would be for these egregious crimes to deter folk from keeping their shoulder to the wheel. These people are thugs ~ soon, they won’t have the space they now enjoy.

  23. avatar 1dumblonde says:

    This is awful! As much as I try to follow DOI policy, I did not know about this. I thought some of this would stop when Gale Norton resigned, but Kempthorne is worse. I also expected the end of Richard Pombo to make a more environmentally friendly Congress but no such luck. It’s a sick irony that the US government that went to such pains to deprive American Indians of the hunting of buffalo now takes such delight in its own slaughter of the great animal.

  24. Kempthorne has a long history as a servant of backward Idaho industries and interests.

    Luck (bad luck, I’d say) has put both him and a lot of other Idaho lobbyists into a rare position of great power where they can settle scores that have been festering since the first Idaho conservationists spoke up in the late 1950s.

    These has been some good luck — the demise of the power of Idaho senator Larry Craig, who was their congressional enabler, and the worst of the ugly crew.

  25. avatar 1dumblonde says:

    Yeah, I left Idaho because of Larry Craig. It was no longer my Idaho. If I had known he was gay, though…
    I just want don’t understand the Dept. of Interior. It is historically the most corrupt of the cabinets. Last year the BLM created a new position called the BLM Science Coordinator just to warehouse a guy who bullied a national monument manager to death. Now this man, with a B.S. from Humboldt Univ. in CA, who is a GS-14, gives reports to congress on global warming. I know that is off-topic re: killing bison, but this same science coordinator was all for keeping grazing on the Carrizo Plain N.M. and it’s just more of the same: support big oil, big cattle, big real estate. They do not care what species they eliminate. They don’t even have people with environmental science backgrounds to evaluate this stuff.

  26. avatar vicki says:

    I just watched a documentary on the YNP bison, hazingand slaughtering. It shed some light on the tragedy, but didn’t do it justice. My son asked why they didn’t take some of the bison who tested positive, and put them in a controlled pen with clean and desease free cattle. They could see if any infection was spread.
    I explained that the pen would have to be large, because free roaming bison (if they can be called that) do not look for interaction with cattle. A small pen would force an unnatural interaction.
    The documentary posed the question “what will happen once bison can be immunized? Will rancher’s share the public lands they currently graze?”
    We know that won’t happen. To even ask the question could give false hope. But it left me wondering how long it will be until a vaccine is available? Appearantly they have a field ready vaccine in Russia. Does anyone have more info on it?
    The documetary paralleled bison with the fading west, which is quite ironic since cattlemen say that they are the fading west. To hear them tell it, the bison ran them out of business… which is laughable.
    On some level, I can simpathize with the rancher’s trying to hold onto their lifestyle. I know that giving up what you have always known is difficult. I imagine it is like becoming diabetic and giving up sugar. But ranchers, like diabetic, can learn to do things differently, and in a more healthy way.
    So many American’s believe that bison are unfairly persecuted, and they would be justified in believing so. Yet, we make no head way in the constant battle front of fairness and conservation.
    I am convinced that we have to find a way to reach out to people, we have to effect their opinions. We must convince them to be active in their belief.. and to take a stand.
    I am not a financially wealthy person. But, I do have ownership in the public lands this country has. The absolute and only way to lose the equity we all have in the asset of the American wilderness, is to become morally and ethically bankrupt through the loss of our voice and vote. We cannot just give up on our wildlife and wild lands. We have to speak up… and get others to do the same.
    I have began speaking to children in my community about saving bison. I have an obligation to share the knowledge and passion my parents handed down to me about loving nature. will hand that down to my children, and to the children who I can get to listen. I will now make an effort to contact the BFC, and make a pilgrimage , camera in tow… and I help to document the injustice being served to is by the political powers that be.
    Thank the Science and Nature Channel, they have sufficently rekindled my motivation.

  27. avatar kim kaiser says:

    i saw it too, it was very sedate and didnt seem to really want to get to deep..Also, at the near end, the head of the bison program, says something lilike, he hates to see the bison caught in, well a political battle,, it was almost as if he knew he shouldnt say it, but he finally spit it out, park mgmt/livestock mgmt be damned.. He seems to have true passion about the bison,,,,but i may be wrong/

  28. avatar Catbestland says:

    Kim,
    I got the same impression from the guy that made the comment about the bison being caught in the political battle. It was a good show.

  29. avatar vicki says:

    Yes, that was politically correct for “the cattlemen want them gone, and pay the politicians to make it happen.”
    Along comes BFC and groups like DOW, who fight the gentlemen’s fight. Maybe it is time for a more primitive approach.?

  30. avatar April Clauson says:

    Here ya go folks, some one is trying to save the bison, NRDC is asking for comments, money and the site has a place to send your message too…

    Stop the Brutal Slaughter of Yellowstone’s Wild Buffalo!

    Right now, wild buffalo are being rounded up in Yellowstone National Park and shipped to the slaughterhouse. In the spring, their baby calves will also be killed. Speak out now to put an immediate stop to this government-sponsored massacre.

    Dear april,

    Yellowstone’s wild, free-roaming buffalo herd is under siege.

    The Bush Administration is turning America’s greatest national park into a killing ground for hundreds of mighty bison — better known as American buffalo.

    We must speak out against this cold-blooded cruelty NOW — because every week, more of these noble creatures are being herded into cattle trucks to be slaughtered.

    This winter alone, more than 1,000 wild bison have been brutally killed by the National Park Service and the Montana Department of Livestock — or shipped to slaughterhouses.

    And come May, newborn calves are just as likely to be killed as their mothers.

    We cannot stand by and let this massacre continue: Send a protest message now.

    Right now, it’s still winter in Yellowstone, and these unsuspecting buffalo are following historic migratory routes in search of food at lower elevations where there is less snow.

    When the buffalo venture near or beyond the park’s boundary, they will continue to be rounded up and killed — unless we start a national outcry.

    What makes this sacrifice so senseless is that it’s all to protect 12 to 16 domestic cows and steers that graze near the park from the theoretical risk of a disease — brucellosis — that has never been transmitted from bison to cattle in a natural setting.

    Yes, you read those numbers right: 1,000 wild bison slaughtered to protect a little more than a dozen cows outside the park that have most likely been vaccinated against the disease, or easily could be.

    Please speak out and stop the slaughter. Yellowstone’s buffalo are a national treasure: America’s last, free-roaming herd. The National Park Service should be their guardian, not their executioner.

    Our goal this week is to create a virtual “stampede” of 50,000 protest messages that will convince the National Park Service to call a halt to the killing.

    Together, we must speak out to spare the lives of Yellowstone’s surviving buffalo so that they can again roam wild and free.

    Sincerely,

    Frances Beinecke
    President
    NRDC Action Fund

  31. avatar Catbestland says:

    April,
    I got one too. There is also a place where you can fill out several names on your email list and they will send it to them and they can sign the petition and make comments as well. We can reach a lot of people this way.

  32. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    tell them to litigate

  33. avatar tetonhiker says:

    I really try to help! I write letters, sign petitions, vote to hopefully make a difference and I tell folks to read Ralph and get involved. I so desperately love Yellowstone and it is SO disheartening to see the wonderful people out there year after year not being listened to and being labeled as trouble makers. I am at my wits end as to what else to do to help. I used to be so angry at folks who do not vote and who do not get involved. I am finding myself becoming more and more apathetic about it……I HATE THAT!!!! What else can we do to make folks listen???? Sign me a flatlander that is heartsick and running out of options.

  34. Teton Hiker,

    We are really suffering from 7 years of George Bush (and some bad Clinton years too). Watching the news, there might be a depression and yet another war before he is through!

    Nevertheless, as has been mentioned, there are a lot of conservation organizations where keeping a job, having social status and income has slowly displaced the original goals of the organization; and I think a number of these are in the Greater Yellowstone area, and I’m not just talking about the GYC.

    Not to be too hard on these folks. What about the corporate CEOs who walk away with hundreds of millions of dollars even as their company collapses?

  35. avatar S. Miller says:

    Not to be down in the mouth or anything, but if any concerned citizen took a really hard, close look at this country, at what has been done, and what has been allowed to happen for quite a few years now…you can see why we are in the place we’re at, and where we are headed. It’s not an accident that greed and corruption have over ridden good values in our policies, and good sense in our care taking practices. The bison slaughter is just another example of it. People need to look at the big picture, not just cherry pick their issues. These crooked politicians and big corporations calling the shots has to be stopped and it’s going to take the American people standing up and shouting from the rooftops they’re not going to take it anymore! Will it be done? I doubt it. People are different too, now. Their values have changed radically. They are more interested in buying bigger houses they can’t afford, and driving expensive cars to impress their neighbors. It’s called: DECADENCE

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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