Update. Bison protesters arrested at Yellowstone National Park. Bozeman Chronicle.

This is a news release from the Buffalo Field Campaign. The women have been arrested. Ralph Maughan.

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Two Women Protest Bison Slaughter In Yellowstone Park. Mammoth Visitor’s Center Temporarily Closed

Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park – Two West Yellowstone women, Miriam Wasser, 20, and Cat Simonidis, 22, locked themselves together around a post inside the Mammoth Visitor’s Center in Yellowstone National Park at approximately 10:30 this morning to call attention to the Park Service’s slaughter of nearly 1,000 bison since February 8. Upon discovering the women, Yellowstone officials closed the visitor’s center to members of the public and the media, including reporters from CNN, CBS, and an independent film maker. The women were extricated, arrested, and taken to the Mammoth jail at approximately 12:30 this afternoon.

In spite of receiving thousands of calls, letters, and emails from concerned citizens opposed to the bison slaughter, Yellowstone National Park remains intent on capturing and killing bison. As the women staged their action, Yellowstone Rangers captured between 30 and 50 bison a few miles away. Between February 8 and March 26, Park rangers have captured more than 1200 bison on the north side of Yellowstone National Park. While the government’s official reason for the slaughter is to prevent the spread of brucellosis from wild bison to cattle, no such transmission has ever been documented.

In a statement Miriam Wasser explained her motivations: “Faulty brucellosis science and politically motivated carrying capacity figures used in the plan are no excuse for the hazing, capturing, and slaughtering of the last genetically intact, free-roaming bison population in the United States. This issue is black and white: the Park Service is meant to protect and preserve wildlife in National Parks, not indiscriminately slaughter hundreds of buffalo, or compromise their wildness by quarantining and holding them in pens. I am doing this to illuminate the wrongful actions of the Park Service, actions which must STOP!”

The women sent a letter to Yellowstone Superintendent Suzanne Lewis asking the Park Service to withdraw from the Interagency Bison Management Plan and to protect, rather than slaughter, the bison the agency is entrusted with protecting. The letter, full statements written by the women, and photographs of the action can be viewed on the Buffalo Field Campaign website at: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/press0708/pressreleases0708/pressalert032608.html

3,208 wild American bison have been killed or otherwise removed from the remaining wild population since 2000 under actions carried out under the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP), as well as state and treaty hunts. The IBMP is a joint state-federal plan that prohibits wild bison from migrating to lands outside of Yellowstone’s boundaries. Wild American bison are a migratory species native to vast expanses of North America and are ecologically extinct everywhere in the United States outside of Yellowstone National Park.

Buffalo Field Campaign strongly opposes the Interagency Bison Management Plan and maintains that wild bison should be allowed to naturally and fully recover themselves throughout their historic native range, especially on public lands.

Buffalo Field Campaign is the only group working in the field, every day, to stop the slaughter of the wild American buffalo. Volunteers defend the buffalo and their native habitat and advocate for their lasting protection. Buffalo Field Campaign has proposed real alternatives to the current mismanagement of American bison that can be viewed at. For more information, video clips and photos visit:. http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/solutions.html http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org

 
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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.

26 Responses to Two Women Protest Bison Slaughter In Yellowstone Park

  1. avatar April Clauson says:

    Oh love how they close it off so CNN or media can not cover it! but I bet it still hits the news somewhere. A big Hurray for those 2 ladies! I know it won’t do any good, well I say if more people did that stuff it would! Got here did it not? and it will hit local papers too I am sure. I hate to say it but they are right, YS employee’s are not for the animals and park anymore they are working for the ranchers and government of Bushies!

  2. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Catherine Simonidis and Miriam Wasser are to be applauded for having the courage to take the action they took. Congratulations to you two.

    If CNN and CBS were on site but not allowed into the visitor’s center, hopefully they’ll air the story anyway. I didn’t find any mention on their web sites. Stay tuned in – national coverage would be great.

  3. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    Shutting the media out was very self-defeating. When I was a reporter, the best way to get me to latch on to something like a bulldog was to try blocking me from getting it. It makes people look like they’ve got something to hide.

    If the journalists who were there and got shut out are worth anything at all, they’ll be pounding away at this.

  4. avatar JB says:

    April says: “I hate to say it but they are right, YS employee’s are not for the animals and park anymore they are working for the ranchers and government of Bushies!”

    April, I suspect that if you spoke with most of the ‘on the ground’ employees at YNP–the vast majority of which have nothing to do with this action–you’d find they agree with you. It is the the ‘higher ups’ and especially, the political appointees that are driving this policy.

  5. avatar Izabelam says:

    People in other states have no clue what’s going on with bisons or wolevs.
    How can we bring more attention from media?
    Writing does not always help.
    I wish was able to travel to Yellowstone this time of the year. I would join the 2 women.
    Ihave talked to all my out of stet friend hoping they would spread the word.

  6. avatar Izabelam says:

    I am sorry for my typoes.

  7. avatar vicki says:

    I admire the determination of these women. Their courage is awesome, and their strength in conviction should be commended.
    I think that it is very unlikely they will get the press they deserve because no one died, no one left bloodied, and no one with any public notariety was involved.
    If Suzanne Surrandon got areested, or Leonardo DiCaprio, maybe even Paris Hilton.. then that would make big news.
    It is unfortunate that these brave women will not have their demands met.

  8. avatar kim kaiser says:

    problem with sarandon is everyone knows she is a wacko,,,, i would rather have these young girls with aa little notoriety, than sarandon,, i just dont respect hoolywooders,,,,

  9. avatar vicki says:

    they aren’t all idiots. there are some decent hollywooders..Ed Bagley Jr. is awesome. (electric car generated with solar house, solar everything, collects rain water for use …) there is also Kate Blanchette, who isn’t washing her hair because she and her family are committed to being green. (I don’t know if she quit entirely or just wahes less 🙂 ). Leonardo Di Caprio gives millions to earth causes.
    One thing is fore certain, actors get more attention for whatever their cause.
    I find it said that citizens with nothing to gain but what they seek to achieve get little attention.
    I remember about twelve years ago the BFC would set up at each of the falls and gather signatures. Why did that stop?
    Maybe we should all wear a photo of disembodied bison when we go to the park so people will take notice?
    Or perhaps instead of one or two staging a protes, each person supporting bison should email the BFC and give them dates they will be visiting the park, and they could arrange some sort of ongoing protest that way.

  10. avatar kim kaiser says:

    yep heather mills was a big seal advocate, for a bout a week during the seal kill in canada and havent heard a word from her for about 2 years,,according to the judge in her divorce she still owes the human society a couple hundred large for her dancing for the stars,,, I wont pursue this topic any further, but when hooly wood gets in,, it looses credibility in my opinion,, caprio is fine, he gives but is fairly quiet about it for the most part, but when they start showing there asses,,promoting motherhood at 49, (overpopulation subject) mainstream folks just laugh and say what foolishness are they up to now and laugh them off,, again, i would rather the commitment of the two young ladies than a boatload of sarandons, madonas and penns,, baldwins,,..etc.

    just as an aside,, when shawn penn showd up in N.O. after katrina, to “help out” he had to have all kinds of security, which impeded the people who had to do the real work, day in and day out, for more than a weekend. He just gets lots of TV face time and moves on.

  11. avatar vicki says:

    point taken, and with a chuckle.
    I agree that their presence can be mind numbingly chaotic.
    I wish more would promote films, and PSA’s.
    These ladies are undoubtedly more gutsy than most.
    When someone does something like this, do they ban them from the park? (Anyone know?)
    These two gals are definitely commited. I just wish there was more progress happening. It can be like watching paint dry, and it shouldn’t be.
    I would guess that they would welcome amails in their support at BFC, so they could pass them on.
    That’s my next move.
    p.s. I never even saw Sean Penn in N.O.-guess he and Heather are both beneath my radar.

  12. Ralph,

    NPR’s “All Things Considered” ran a story about the buffalo slaughter on Monday (the 24th). They focused on the official brucellosis line, and didn’t talk about the ranching lobby at all. I sent them a letter the same day trying to illuminate the situation as much as one can in a few paragraphs. Thursday is the reader feedback day, so hopefully they read my letter and a few more people hear about how unjust this is.

  13. Good Cowboy,

    Sal, who posts here, told me about the NPR piece. She wrote to them about their bland piece of no news too.

  14. We also had a very good event in Bozeman tonight with a couple dozen people, many of whom look to form the core of a new group. Just had a fascinating and long discussion with Mike Mease and some others (until almost 2 AM). It’s very exciting here as we go through this. Mike seemed happy that CNN was there and seemed to think that they had seen plenty. He was also interviewed by them and that he thinks they are going to show something next week. So, he felt like the day was very successful from beginning to end.

    While there are likely to be all kinds of tactics in support of the buffalo and all kinds of arguments about them, the sheer pace and increase in activity is a welcome change. While so many buffalo have sadly died, we are very energized here and looking for opportunities to support.

    So, from the brave acts that rightly grab our attention to the small meetings of people hoping to form new communities of action (doing so under much less fanfare), it was an interesting day here in the grassroots.

    Congratulations to our friends in BFC for their courageous act today and for their support in helping us organize here in the Gallatin Valley.

  15. avatar Tom Rice says:

    What better present could I have received for my birthday yesterday than the news that people are doing more and more for the buffalo? The conviction of Cat and Miriam, as well as Nathan Drake’s earlier protest and Dan Brister taking one for the herd last year are solid, meaningful actions. I’m out here in Illinois, but every day I read the latest in Ralph’s Wildlife Reports and Jim Mcdonald’s “Yellowstone Newspaper.” Such valuable resources for me. I’m anxious to read more of Jim’s meeting in Bozeman last night and discussions with Mike Mease of BFC. Keep pressing.

  16. avatar jimbob says:

    As I read all of these articles and posts, thoughts of a fantastic muck-raking, award-winning journalistic masterpiece fill my head. It would start with the natural history of bison, progress to the 1800’s slaughter, show their attempted and valiant comeback, and progress to the downright dirty, disgusting politics of the agriculture industry, the Bush government, and other special interest politics. Wish I still worked in the Media. However, with every media outlet being owned by Republican conglomerates it would be a miracle if the story got picked up.

  17. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    I have long argued that one of the key decision makers in the whole brucellosis mess is Brian Schweitzer. As governor of Montana, he could put a stop to the senseless slaughter and could pull Montana out of the truly idiotic Interagency Bison Management Plan, which we have only as a consequence of Montana’s original lawsuit against the feds in the mid 90s.

    Montana is the keylog. If Montana pulled out, there’d be no IBMP; the whole thing would fall apart.

    That tells me that the pressure needs to be placed on Schweitzer. It should be relentless and unending, and unflattering. He likes to present himself as a populist governor, but all he’s doing now is dancing to the tune called by the Montana Stockgrowers and the Dept. of Livestock. That’s a weakness in his image. He’s no more a populist than Rockefeller was.

  18. avatar kim kaiser says:

    I made a pass through YS today, we have had fairly heavy snow the last two nights,,,, the bison look awful.. they are thin and tired, most of the ground at mammoth elevation or higher throught the lamar is still heavily covered with snow, like 3-5 feet, often when they are feeding, after they do there plow move, there heads are well below the snow line,,, i would suspect a fair amount of winter kill this year,,

  19. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    Hi folks ! I am back from tunneling thru snow in Quebec – the snow well over my head – and thought of the bison plowing thru the stuff. Anyway, I received the latest issue of Nat’l Geographic Adventure and was surprised by Harrison Ford on the cover. They pretty much never put movie stars on their cover.
    So, how does this relate to our bison??? Why is someone who rarely does interviews-like Ford- decides he will do one for NGA???
    Ford, since 1991, “has been moonlighting as a strategic guide for Conservation International (conservation.org)— supporting biodiversity, protecting endangered species,…..”,
    He agreed to do the interview for Earth day. He also turned almost all of his 800 acre ranch in Jackson Hole into a conservation easement.
    I think he would make a credible spokesperson for the bison, because although very famous and recognizable he flies under the mainstream radar. (he is also a helicopter pilot), i just couldn’t leave that out).
    I do not know if Mr. Ford has ever been contacted about the GYE bison, but if a bunch of us sent e-mails to the website-like hundreds-we could get the attention of that organization. (ask that the e-mails be forwarded to him).
    Please post your thoughts about this.

  20. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    Buffaloed,
    Patagonia is now accepting environmental grant applications. I think i remember BFC receiving a matching funds deal???
    I read the requirements and BFC meets the criteria. Also i would like to help with or start a fund-raising project with BFC. I would really appreciate your thoughts. I have quite a bit of experience with fund-raisers and writing proposals.
    I also have a idea that i would like to keep private for now, but would like your opinion as you have experience with similar projects.
    You can get my e-mail from Ralph.
    Thanks!

  21. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    PS—-does anyone think the Harrison Ford idea should be pursued?? Please read my post above the one i addressed to buffaloed.

  22. avatar Catbestland says:

    DBaileyhill,

    I think Ford would make a GREAT spokesperson for the bison. I will follow up on the email. Are you saying the email should go to conservation.org and then ask them to forward it to Ford?

  23. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    Yes. That was my first thought. Do you have any ideas?
    I don’t know if it is possible to contact him directly….

  24. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    Cat,
    I actually received contact info for Mr. Ford…..I do not want to post it, for obvious reasons. You can get my email from Ralph.
    Is there any other famous person that i can try to find info for???

  25. avatar Catbestland says:

    OK, thanks dbaileyhill. I’ve asked Ralph for yours and told him to give you mine.

  26. avatar Sue Miller says:

    I agree with Robert Hoskins above. Everyone should put pressure on Gov. Schweitzer! I wrote a letter to him myself the other day. People, we need to get more active in this thing. What about writing to CNN or MSNBC to ask them to send some whistleblowing reporters out there? Lou Dobbs is always ranting about Bush and his cronies, (and rightly so),….why not get someone like him involved in this thing?

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‎"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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