Jackson Hole Weekly has feature article on the annual ritual of stupidity, malice, and waste of money-

Every May the Montana’s Department of Livestock, and employees from various other Montana and federal agencies haze bison deep into Yellowstone Park.  During the winter, the bison migrate westward out of the Park to graze and give birth (calve) on or near Horse Butte. Here they are welcome by almost everyone except these hard-bitten bureaucrats with their plan to keep imaginary cattle from getting brucellosis from these real bison.

Every year this political ritual, the haze, is conducted in a slightly different way because the number of bison varies as does the political climate. This year deep snow made hazing pretty much impossible until June 1. I don’t like to see the bison abused, of course. Even more, I don’t like to see the national park violated; but to me, though, it is the persistent illustration of human social pathology that bites. Fortunately, this year Benjamin R. Bombard of the Jackson Hole Weekly wrote a long feature article on the haze.

Over time it seems to me that all involved (human and other animals) have learned to play their role in the ritual, albeit unwillingly.

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 past President of the Western Watersheds Project.

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June 2011


‎"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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