Buffalo Slaughter Continues

The Buffalo Field Campaign Blog is sending out a notice of the Montana Department of Livestock’s intent to slaughter 9 bulls held in the Duck Creek bison trap.

Urgent Action : 9 Bulls in Trap at Duck Creek

Update 5/22 : 9 Bulls Slaughtered by the State of Montana






  1. Jim Macdonald Avatar

    It’s outrageous what they are doing.

    We hear that the DOL has a meeting with the Galanis family – the family that owns the former Munns property to try and cut a deal about access. The Galanis family has previously said that they are not open at all to DOL on their land, and I have no idea whether they simply plan to hold their ground when they meet with the DOL. However, I’m a little worried about this.

    Of course, the DOL is holding to their official line that they can go wherever they please; obviously, though, it would be politically preferential if they could cut a deal. This comes on the heels of a Bozeman Daily Chronicle editorial in recent days that has actually questioned the hazing – in part because of local resistance in Horse Butte (something that their own editorial board was unaware of until they were made aware of it).

    So, anyhow, there’s a lot here to keep an eye on.

    Buffalo Allies of Bozeman ( http://www.buffaloallies.org )

  2. Brian Ertz Avatar

    Schweitzer promised the slaughter was over for the season. Another Schweitzer promise …

  3. Jon Way Avatar

    It is a good thing they rounded up those males because when they have their babies, the non-existent cattle might eat the afterbirth!

  4. vicki Avatar

    I haven’t posted much lately. I had found myself so sunken with sadness and anger I couldn’t find words anymore. Day after day, reading one horrible story after another got to be quite heavy.
    I’d read about huge numbers of bison slaughtered with out need. I got pissed. I knew who to be pissed at too.
    I’d read about the shrinking numers of bison, then I’d read about winter kill. For a moment or two I blurred the natural deaths with the unnatural deaths. I was mad at politicans, ranchers and snow.
    Then I felt like I had to stop and just think, rationalize what I felt, and make the thoughts I had more realistic. How do you rationalize what you feel? You don’t. So I tried to stop thinking. That is when thing became clearer.
    I am not mad at the snow anymore. This hard winter kill may be a saving grace. The bison that perished will some how revibrate life into the soil, and the snow will give moisture to a place that has been thirsty for a decade. That will help feed the upcoming calves through the next hard winter. The snow in it’s fatality can provide a naturallu culled herd strength to survive and flourish.
    The politicians though, the ranchers…. watch out. There is no natural benefit to their deceit or actions. There is no benefit period, unless you are a politician who lives in someone’s pocket, or a rancher who lives off of everyone else’s wallet.
    Crystal clear, more commited, and more ticked than ever!!!! I got the words back, and the are saying MAKE THE SENSLESS KILLING STOP!

  5. Jim Macdonald Avatar

    I heard a rumor this morning that those buffalo have been taken to slaughter; it’s unconfirmed but a grim way to start my day.

  6. Catbestland Avatar

    What right do they have to take those bulls to slaughter??? Why can’t they let them go back to their summer range in the Park??? This makes me believe that there is more going on than just removing the bulls from lands desired for cattle grazing. Is it possible that some of those bison are not being slaughtered at all, but are being sold to canned hunt opperations who boast of holding authentic wild buffalo hunts??? There is at least one outfit that I am suspicious of. It just seems that if there is more money to be made off of the bison than sending them to slaughter, some underhanded individuals will take advantage of the opportunity.

  7. Jim Macdonald Avatar

    In case the rumor is false, Glenn Hockett last night has written a call to action that he urges people to pass along and take action on.

    He calls it “Stop the B.S. (Bison Slaughter)”; however, you can extrapolate what else (rather, who else) B.S. refers to –

    It’s at http://buffaloallies.org/node/54 .


  8. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Cat, they are not being sold to any of the ranches in Montana, I can tell you that for a fact, Montana FWP has very strict rules on this…they are in fact being taken to slaughter, I am 100% against the slaughter, but I really wish people would stop with the wild speculation statements that have no basis in fact…

  9. Catbestland Avatar

    Save Bears,

    I simply ask the question “Is it possible” I hold with the idea and priveledge to ALWAYS question authority. I have found that if you follow the money trail you will usually get to the bottom of any problem where government officials are involved. Are you asserting that the authorities are above this sort of shenanigans?

  10. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    In the state of Montana, Yes, I am, the ranches that offer hunting in the state of Montana are under the authority of the Fish, Wildlife and Parks dept. I know for a fact they are not allowing the bison being removed from Yellowstone to be sold to the ranches and hunted, the bison being removed from the park, are under the authority of APHIS, NPS and the Montana Dept of Livestock…It would not only be against Montana Law to do this, it is against Federal Law to place possibly infected animals in herds that have been certified brucellosis free.. Even though bulls cannot transmit brucellosis, they come from an infected herd and the only current option is slaughter according to federal as well as Montana law..

  11. Catbestland Avatar

    Save Bears,
    Wile I am sure that all the government entities you mention are comprised of the cream of humanity with only the public’s and the public wildlife’s best interest at heart, I am not 100% convinced that the law is being adhered to 100% of the time. Is it not possible that at least one of the honorable men that make up these state and federal agencies might turn his head for reasons of personal gain?
    If not, Montana government agencies must indeed be comprised of saints. How nice. One other question. What is to say that those buffalo don’t end up OUTSIDE the state of Montana.

  12. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Whether we like it or not, when it comes to Bison in the State of Montana, the law as it currently stands is being adhered to, as a wildlife biologist that was employed by one of the agencies mentioned, I do happen to have quite a bit of knowledge on how it as well as the other operate. And if you read again, I said Montana, I have not seen any evidence anywhere that the bison removed from the park area are being taken out of state, except in the case of out of state slaughter operations..

    My only point is making wild speculative accusations, without any proof what so ever, does nothing but degrade the message the supportive groups are saying, it looks like extremism and gives those we oppose, more fuel for their arguments

    Facts and science is what needs to be pushed forward, when statement of this nature are posted, then it is the same as those who say the wolves are eating all the elk..IMHO

  13. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    As far as the Montana State Agencies being saints, I did not say that, I believe that Montana Dept of Livestock is one of the most corrupt agencies in the state, if not the country! But allowing bison that come from a known infected herd to be placed in certified brucellosis free states, would not do anything but hurt the cattle ranchers, and could cause a loss of brucellosis free status to the state, which MDOL certainly does not want, it would not be in the best interest of those they are suppose to support and represent…

  14. Buffaloed Avatar


    The buffalo were sent to slaughter this morning…. confirmed. When the buffalo are transported by the DoL there is quite a convoy of vehicles to the slaughter house and in some cases, when buffalo are taken across state lines, the Department of Homeland Security escorts the convoy to be sure that the buffalo don’t escape if there is an accident.

  15. Catbestland Avatar

    I am so sickened to hear this. I guess the pleas of the public fall on deaf ears. This is yet another reason that I believe if there is opportunity to make money off the suspposed surplus of bison, (and I’m sure there is) some enterprising “ne’er do well” will not pass up the chance to capitalize from it.

  16. Buffaloed Avatar

    No matter what we think of DoL I’m sure this is not happening. They just want to eradicate buffalo from Montana. That’s bad enough but I strongly disagree with your speculation.

  17. Jim Macdonald Avatar

    How sad that these nine buffalo are needlessly gone. I’d still urge people to register their displeasure and get clarity on why exactly Schweitzer lied during his press conference.

    I’d say it’s unbelievable, but it’s all too expected from this gang.

  18. Catbestland Avatar

    Saying that certain individuals are not above capitalizing off of a given opportunity is in no way equal to saying that wolves are eating all the elk. It is no secret that government officials can be bought. We see this everyday in the news. However, there is no evidence whatsoever to support the claim that wolves are eating all the elk. I am not making a wild speculative accusation. I am saying the opportunity for exploitation of the situation exists and I’m afraid I do not have much faith in the integrity of department officials. I am saying that if there is a chance to profit, someone will. I truly hope this is not the case with out bison.

  19. Catbestland Avatar

    “our bison” that is.

  20. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    As far as wolves eating all the elk, the groups that say this, come up with arguments as well as studies everyday to support their claims, they even have scientists that back them up, just as the pro wolf side does..

    All I am saying, is making claims of this nature with no proof to back it up, sounds exactly the same as the stupid claims the anti’s say…Like I said, and just to let you know, I am an adamant supporter of the bison, who worked with one of the agencies involved for over a decade, so if proof was there, I am sure I would have found it, and in over 10 years, I never uncovered one thing to prove anything of this nature..

  21. Catbestland Avatar

    In the first place. No claim, wild speculation, or accusation was ever made. I asked the question, “Is it possible?????” And I state the obvious that if some “less than honorable” individual sees the opprotunity to profit, they will. Please do not infer that my suggestion that the situation bears monitoring “sounds exactly the same as the stupid claims the antis say…” What is less productive than the speculation that exploitation is a possibility, is dissention among the ranks. It is of no value to belittle those dedicated to the same cause.

  22. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    You have a very hot head, I have noticed this on other threads, I am not belittling you at all, I am and have the right to post my opinion on the subject, and am trying to impart a bit of the information I learned while WORKING for the agencies involved in this BS, seems to me having a biologist that has an inner knowledge of how these agencies work, would be a benefit, but based on your reaction, I guess not…Emotional statements with accusations that cannot be proven, will never win the war…

    So have at it, I do hope you understand, this is a war, and at the level I am, I intend to win it. Even Buffaloed who is probably closer to this issue than ANYONE of us, disagreed with your speculation, and posted such.

    Buffaloed said-“That’s bad enough but I strongly disagree with your speculation” So it seems, that I am NOT the only one that read your messages the same way!

    Have a good day!

  23. Mike Post Avatar
    Mike Post

    Catbestland: yes you have all the right in the world to express your opinion and to doubt the authorities but your postings do come across as biased, emotional and unscientific. If thats the way you want the world to think of you, keep on. I believe you have the best intentions and I too agree with most of your positions but I hope you arn’t doing more damage than good. The posted comments appear to trying to help you adopt a more effective communication style. Credibility and rational argument are the corner stones of effective activism. Ok, tear into me now…

  24. Mike Post Avatar
    Mike Post

    On a different take, is anyone aware of incidence of “capture myopathy” in the bison that are harassed. I recognize that is would be hard to diagnose under the circomstances but perhaps there are some ad hoc observations of bison going down within hours or days of these events. ???

  25. Catbestland Avatar

    I have not torn into anyone. I simply ask that my question… “Is it possible??? that something of this nature could occur” . . not be misinterpreted into wild accusations and speculation. I am questioning the policy of bison management and the integrity of the DOL. With todays slaughter of the nine bulls, I do not appologize for coming accross biased and emotional. I am. Is there some requirement that postings on this site must come from a “scientific” point of view? Are not those opinions and comments of the average citizen who is concerned about the welfare of public wildlife welcome? I was under the impression that the site is meant to foster an educational environment. I welcome any and all helpful instruction on the issues. I do however, resent being compared to “stupid antis”. I do appreciate that others are more knowledgeable in the battle to save our wildlife. I would hope that asking a question as I have would merrit thoughtful and considerate dialogue in “setting issues awright” and not condescension.

  26. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    Do you have any idea of who the anti’s are and their resources? You make a statement, that seems innocent enough, and you get an answer, from someone, who has actually worked in the environment with the particular agencies involved, and you go on the attack….I will tell you this, from my experience of being paid by the State, Working within these agencies and being on the front line of the issue for over a decade in an official capacity….NO this particular situation, NO it is not possible, it would be counter productive to what the Montana Dept Of Livestock is trying to accomplish! You could NOT export bison out of the state of Montana to Ranch operations without it coming out and the public being aware of it, as much as it disgusts me, it is impossible to ship 9 bison who weigh on an average of 1500 pounds each, without anybody knowing it!

    Do you understand, how easy it is to manipulate “Is it possible” to be an extremist statement? IT is an accusation, I don’t care what you say, by stating that you have your doubts, without one bit of information to back it up, it becomes an accusation…. I have worked for these agencies, I know how they operate, and I also know how they manipulate to ensure their position is put forth..

    I admire your resolve, but I will say, please have at least a shred of evidence when you make these types of statements…it does nothing to help us stop this needless assualt on the publics wildlife resources…

    If you resent the truth from someone who interpreted your statement based on knowledge of how it works, then I don’t know what to tell you, I was not putting you down, I was not calling you “Stupid” I was stating a fact from one who knows the other side of the coin…period…if you can’t accept that, then I don’t know what to tell you…

  27. Buffaloed Avatar


    To answer your question, no, I do not think it is possible.

  28. Catbestland Avatar

    Save Bears,
    Thank you for answering the QUESTION I posed earlier. This was all I sought. A question is not an accusation. It should not have immediately been missinterpreted as wild speculations. I and many others are searching for answers. I am fully aware of the fact that there are many who contribute to the educational opportunities this website affords. Unfortunately we are not all blessed with degrees in Biology. But it is going to take more than the contribution of scientist to win this battle. The entire public needs to be educated to the issues. You don’t make a lot of allies by making someone feel stupid for asking questions.

  29. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    I apologize, I was not trying to make anyone feel “stupid”, I was trying to bring to the forefront, that sometimes the statements that get made, put those of us who support bison look extreme, which will not win this battle, I agree 100% the public needs to be informed, but it needs to be information that is correct..

    If you statement was “mis”interpreted by one who actually supports bison, how do you think it could be interpreted by one who hates bison?

    I am really not concerned with making allies, I am working on getting this nonsense stopped, but I want to make sure we stop it, in such a way as it cannot happen again!

    I want the slaughter of the bison stopped, I was the free for all with wolves stopped, I gave up my career with the agencies to get this crap stopped, I lost all of my benefits from the state, because I would not play their game, and they are trying to get my benefits from the military revoked as well, I have a very deep stake in this.

    I have been called on the carpet so many times, it would make your head swim…take into account, I was in the military for 26 years as well, with several combat metals in my file as well as a Purple Heart and Silver Star, I take it very serious…I know first hand how the manipulation wing works…

    I am just asking, before hand, please have some information to support your passionate position, or it can and will backfire…

  30. vicki Avatar

    Alright folks, give Cat a break. Everyone who posts here does so out of emotion. Otherwise they would not post, and the issues at hand would be dilemas and not “causes”.
    Furthermore, her question was one that we have all probably asked ourselves in some form or another.
    And, I beg to differ on one point…there is capitalizing going on. The ranchers of Montana capitalize every time a bison is killed. And the government that gets paid revenue from those cattlemen capitalize on that level too. Not to mention that lobbying happens, and that has been shown to lead to financial gain in some way or another to those who are swayed by it.
    Quite frankly, if no one stood to benefit from the exploitation and slaughter/harassment of bison, we’d be fighting off a few stupid shooters who ran out of tim cans, not a government sector bought by ranchers.
    You are right to say we should not throw out wild accusations, but questioning the intentions and trust-worthiness of people who are supposed to stand for the voice and good of all Americans is not only the right thingh to do, it is our responsibility.
    Schwietzer in my opinion is flake, and a liar. He is robbing millions of Americans of what they have a right to, and he is doing it while we all watch. If we don’t question the people, and the process by which it is occuring, bet your asses it will never stop.
    Do I think they sell bison to be shot at? (I know they sell tags…not the same thing.) No, I don’t. That would require too much work on their part. It is far easier to load them up, and leave them dead. After all the laws which they have passed, have been passed in the best interest of cattlemen, the rest of the world be damned.
    Burcellosis free staus, by the way, is just another means of the government raising funds. Wether we pay 5 bucks a pound for beef, of 6, we still buy it….just like gas.
    SInce the price of gas continues to escalate, so does the tax revenue attached to every gallon sold. Burcellosis and beef is no different.

  31. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    No, I don’t post out of emotion, period, I post from an insider position of knowing exactly how it works, I have given a hell of a lot up to be able to discuss these matters, in over ten years, I have never wrote a letter, posted on a blog or a chat system, from a position of emotion…Facts will win, emotion will back it up, but please don’t say everybody posts because of emotion..I want it stopped because it is not based on science…

  32. Jim Macdonald Avatar

    Facts versus emotion is a false dichotomy, isn’t it? Can’t someone share facts and be emotional about it at the same time? Can’t someone post facts, be emotional, and still be logically inconsistent in drawing inferences from those facts?

    Reading this during a day which has been very bad for the buffalo, I am struck by this being more of a misunderstanding than actually anything substantive – one of the quirks of internet communication. I could be wrong; it’s an intuitive inductive leap based on experience, and I so want to be right so that we keep our focus on what’s happening, but it seems like a reasonable thing to suggest.

    I agree with the idea that we should only use our best arguments and leave the worst ones aside, not make speculative claims; at the same time, I think we should encourage people to speak out from wherever they come from. My sense is that there is a lot more speculation here than about where the bison go that are taken away but also speculation about what is being communicated, by whom, and for what motives. That’s almost impossible to avoid because we only see words on a screen on which to base our judgments; however, knowing that, we need to be open to being corrected.

    That goes for us all; in the meantime…

    reports are that the governor’s office isn’t being all that helpful and that most of the main people here are not taking phone calls (or are away and will return them later – speculation here, but experience suggests maybe not so much).

    Passionately and (hopefully) rationally,

  33. Catbestland Avatar

    Save Bears,

    I appreciate that science must be the basis by which this battle is fought and won. But, emotion is going to be what funds the war. And rightly so. The importance of our wildlife’s contribution to the health of our ecosystems on a scientific level cannot be denied. But the emotional and inspirational aspects is equally important. After all contributions to wildlife organizations comes from people who are not all scientists. We care deeply for the future of our wildlife heritage. Our input and concerns are also important. If you restricted comments on this blog to only those who can contribute on a scientific level, you would be eliminating and possibly alienating a large group who have much to offer. Also, how would the rest of us learn if not allowed to participate. The important role of science in this issue cannot be downplayed but the emotion is the engine that will move the battle forward. Can scientist afford the burden of fighting this battle alone. I don’t think so. Not on the salaries that most of them make. Therefore emotion will play a fundamental role. Some of us try to participate as best we can from our limited scientific knowledge of the issues but comments based on emotion are also important in convincing the public of the unfairness of the situations.

  34. JB Avatar

    To add a new twist to this post, I would argue that we do NOT (ever) make decisions solely based on science. Science is an engine to help answer questions via testable hypotheses. The questions that we ask determine the course of the decision making and they are shaped by our core values.

    Managing for ecosystem diversity/integrity/stability (whatever the Hell you want to call it) requires a decision based on a value judgment (i.e. diversity is more valuable than homogeneity). Deciding to manage a system such that it supports large carnivores also requires such a value judgment–at the most fundamental level, it requires policy makers to prioritize the interests of those who want large carnivores over the interests of those who oppose them.

    In my view, science–at its very best–INFORMS debates about policy; it provides answers to questions that help us make informed decisions. The decisions still will likely reflect our values (which are intimately tied both to rational and emotional processes), but science helps us understand the consequences of those decisions. You cannot base a management plan or policy decisions solely on science because science cannot answer the “should” questions, it can only answer the “is” questions.

  35. Catbestland Avatar

    I followed the action alerts that Glenn Hockett suggested and the follow up after it was confirmed that the bulls were slaughtered, and unfortunately I got the exact same responses that you mentioned. What else can we do?

  36. Jim Macdonald Avatar

    JB – I agree entirely with that view, actually, but that’s probably no surprise to people here.

    Cat – Thanks for making the calls. It’s going to take a lot more than today; what’s important today is that we make the calls and register our displeasure. However, tomorrow, we need the leverage to hold them accountable. I think part of that is keeping this in the news, reporting what you are finding out, so that it gives us fuel.

    We’ve got some organizing ideas that are pretty inventive that came out of our meeting last night in Bozeman; I can’t share them here. But, I will say I don’t think it’s the last you’ve heard of “No More BS.” We have to embarrass those who keep doing this until they stop. They are continuing to prove that they have no interest in providing anything more than lip service in the form of lies.

  37. vicki Avatar

    Jim, JB, and Cat,
    I agree with all of you.
    Save Bears,
    I respect your intellegence, and your educational information. But the need to defend yourself, as you did above, was based on emotion… like say, a need to recieve appropriate reckognition. You most definitely deserve it, but it is a need based on emotion.
    I happen to like emotional people, they tend to be proactice.
    I also like scientific people, they tend to substantiate the emotional efforts of others.
    Personally, I think it takes a mix to get anything done. You may have a ton of scientific knowledge, but if all you do is sit around reciting facts, people tire and bore of it quickly. EMotion on the other hand, makes the world go ’round. That is why people act on what they FEEL is scientifically worth while.
    You can not, unless you are autistic, remove emotion from your judgement-I will never believe it possible.
    Enough about that though….
    I am also dropping phone calls, and will be in the park in two days handing out info about the bison. I am also going back in July to protest.
    I will be sending out photos and editorials to numerous media venues. I will be writing sevral pieces, about bison, and wolves….and educating people on how to find and use resources to become educated, and then make their own decision based on what they have learned.
    I can tell Joe Cool anything, but he needs to decide if he believes me on his own…you can lead a horse to water…etc.
    Thanks all, I have to go finish packing. Until I am back, I hope you all take care!!!

  38. vicki Avatar

    p.s. so sorry about the typos, I am typing on the move!

  39. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    What ever Vicky, Cat and Whomever else, this is the reason, we can’t win these battles and it is a shame..Have a great trip, but don’t expect much to change before you get back, such a shame..

  40. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    By the way as far as me defending myself, you are so far off base, that I am laughing my ass off. I don’t need to defend myself to anyone, my research as well as my published papers stand on their own…..

    Wake up and understand what is going on here, the government has everything on their side and discount virtually everything based on emotion, why in the hell do you think the BFC has not accomplished more than they have after all of these years, they discredit anything that is not based on science, your bitching, screaming and name calling is not doing a damn thing, there have been how many bison killed in the last 20 years? Recently the Polar bear was listed, and there are over 50K of them in the world! and we can get anyone to pay attention to 4,000 Wild Bison? WHY? man, something is really screwed up in this picture!

  41. JB Avatar

    Save Bears,

    I hope you didn’t interpret my post as an attack on you or your position? My post was simply a musing about the role of science in policy decisions that was prompted by this discussion.

    Frankly, I agree with your position. Passion and misinformation is a recipe for poor decision making (i.e. Ron Gillett); it got us into this mess in the first place.


  42. Catbestland Avatar

    Save Bears,
    I agree 100% with the statement that something is really screwed up with the fact that there are only 4000 wild bison left (or whatever the count is) and they are not considered an endangered species. Why are they considered livestock in most states? That makes no sense at all.

  43. Brian Ertz Avatar

    let’s be honest – passion and misinformation got gillette what he wants. cool-tempered reason and science will hopefully get us what the law prescribes in court. it’s a matter of forum.

    one might just as easily argue that facts and science without passion are also responsible for getting us here in the state forum… because the forum is not insulated from political incursion. politicians don’t do what’s reasonable – they do what makes the fewest people angry – at least in this case.

    look – i’ll stay out of the particulars about above — but i’ve been told one too many times to bite my tongue while these goddamn crooks have their way with the systems of management that they’ve built to slaughter wildlife and maximize placation of particular constituencies – usually ag.

    i agree that speculative/unknowledgeable passion is not be the best way to go — but i stood in Hailey and watched/taped that community’s impassioned and reasoned response (adorned with cited scientific knowledge) to what this department is doing. it was inspirational. that’s what we need to complement the science that we have – inspiration. i saw the effect it had on those within the department – facts with heart – real experience and illustration of value. they tried to slander it last time and avoided it this time – we need to find a way not to let that happen. if they’re going to slaughter wolves, they need to confront the people that care AND the people that know – it’s best when they’re the same people.

    we need agitation because this system of state management is a stacked deck – they have no respect for advocate’s cool head – that ought be evident right now. it’s a good argument for a reasonable/objective department – for a forum, like the courts – that’s not what we have in idaho’s good ol’ boy legislature and IDFG.

    but hey – given what’s happening now, i guess if they slaughter the wolves or alter the recovery to such a degree that we never find self-regulation and/or the potential of ecological effectiveness – at least we’ll have maintained that cool head – that BS aura of “legitimacy” will be ours ! advocates have been adding to that pile with full compensation, 10(j) – “experimental designation” , a couple even refused to sign on to the litigation, scientific research, and the tight lip — that’s the important one ! it’s nice being perceived as legitimate… oh wait.. they cast us as hysterical anyway.

    just look at how they frame defenders –

    this “legitimate” “cool head” stinks.

    just be informed and NEVER be afraid to tell these people what you think. Tight-lipped insecurity is the worst compromise of them all.

  44. Buffaloed Avatar


    As far as the number of buffalo that still remain in Yellowstone. The official estimate as of April 11 is 2145. Since that time there has been a significant winter kill and green-up still is behind schedule. The number of buffalo is probably fewer than the 2100 number in the IBMP which requires that the agencies use non-lethal methods.

    What we have now is 4 genetically pure herds of buffalo.

    Sully’s Hill National Game Preserve which has ± 50 individuals
    Grand Teton National Park ± 700 individuals
    Wind Cave National Park ± 500 individuals
    Yellowstone National Park ± 2100 individuals

    That means that there are ±3350 genetically pure buffalo left in the U.S.

    But wait, there are problems with this.

    Wind Cave National Park shares a border with Custer State Park which has hybrid buffalo. These buffalo have been known to cross this border although there has been no confirmed reproduction between the two.

    The Teton Herd may also have problems. These buffalo came from Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Yellowstone National Park. The Theodore Roosevelt National Park herd has been shown to have cattle genes in them.

    In other words, YNP buffalo are the only sure thing here. We know that Yellowstone’s buffalo are genetically pure but it is not a sure thing that the other herds are pure or of significant size to ensure their own genetic diversity.

    You can read the study here:
    A Comprehensive Evaluation of Cattle Introgression into US Federal Bison Herds

  45. Catbestland Avatar

    Thanks Buffaloed,
    I don’t understand why the only pure herd of continually wild bison in the US are classified as livestock. Is it so that the DOL can have exclusive control over them? Can it not be argued that this designation is erroneous and the bison should be reclassified as wildlife, which they of course are? I’m sure every option is being explored but I wonder if reclassification could take control away from DOL and allow bison to be given an endangered wildlife status because of thier low population and thus recieve protection.

  46. Catbestland Avatar


    That is a very interesting study and really drives home the importance of protecting the Yellowstone herd in particular. Did I understand it correctly that there is another small herd of genetically pure bison in the Henry Mountains of Utah? Also, I noticed that in 1983 there was a herd of unknown orrigin discovered in the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction. What happened to those guys? There was also some mention of Bison introduced to BNP (Bampff?) from Colorado in 1984. Could that be the same ones? I wish they would have left them in Colorado.

  47. Buffaloed Avatar

    Thanks Cat,

    Did I mention that WILD YELLOWSTONE BUFFALO are legally classified by the state of MONTANA as LIVESTOCK!!!!!

    I think ESA listing is an option that is being considered.

    The option to remove DoL as the management agency of buffalo has been tried. It didn’t pass in the Montana legislature and, in fact, the bill to remove them as the management agency was re-written to either reaffirm them as the management agency. You know the bullshit they are capable of.

  48. Jim Macdonald Avatar

    Actually, as I understand the law of Montana, the buffalo in fact are classified in an ambiguous way. On the one hand, they are listed in the law as wildlife. However, on the other hand, they are listed as a disease control issue and therefore to be managed by the Department of Livestock.

    That is the impetus behind the Gallatin Wildlife Association’s legislation that they will be bringing back to the legislature next year. They want to keep the part of the law that recognizes buffalo as wildlife and therefore take control from DOL to FWP; however, FWP is wary of doing that. They also want to repeal the law that considers bison as a disease control issue. When GWA brought this before the legislature in 2005, a watered down version was killed in committee by a 10-10 vote.

    Anyhow, we’ve put drafts up of their proposed legislation on our Web site as well as a canned letter that can be sent to state representatives. See http://www.buffaloallies.org/node/53 for more info on that.

    I’m not personally confident that the law can be changed; however, it’s worth supporting those who are working hard on that route. It is worth noting that a lot of the resistance to the change has come from some of the professional environmental groups (like GYC), who in the past worked to water the legislation down.

  49. Nathan Hobbs Avatar

    I am speechless in confusion to this decision, it makes no sense, winter is over there is green grass to be eaten in the park, why are they still pulling the trigger on our bison?

    Its almost as if the DOL mentality is if we kill all the offending Bison the others they will be left with the ‘law’ abiding ones, If next winter is as harsh as this winter was we will probably lose the same proportion of bison that we lost this year..its in there nature to roam

  50. JB Avatar

    After doing a bit more review on this topic, I have little doubt that the bison should be listed. However, I would not send a petition to FWS under this administration. The mistake made by the last petitioner was in asking that the YNP herd be listed as a DPS. The next petition should ask that the entire species be listed. Given threats due to (1) disease, (2) interbreeding with cattle, and (3) the ongoing control actions in Montana, and given the portion of range over which the bison has been eliminated (nearly all of their historical range), listing the bison should be a no-brainer.

    Buffaloed- If BFC is serious about the listing, I will have some time this summer and would be willing to help prepare a petition.


  51. vicki Avatar

    I am leaving a day later than I had anticipated, courteousy of a tornado about three miles from my house. Northern Colorado is in a state of emergency. So I popped in to check up on things.

    Save Bears,
    I am not uniformed, and I am very passionate about the causes I devote my time and money to. (I part with niether easily, so I research what I give to.) I am not attacking you. I am merely saying that no one is capable of decisions based soley on science. I am very grateful for the information biologists like your self give us about these issues. I agree with your position from a scientific point. However, your above response was based on emotion, in my opinion. And science with out emotion is just a text book.

    Science is only effectively implemented in the political arena when emotion creates a catalyst for the changes that should occur. I am not saying those decisoin should be based on emotion. Far from it. I am saying that they are guided by what people believe in, and that is always effected by emotion.

    As far as your papers, I have nevr read them. But I will if you link them. I am sure they are note worthy. I have not only agreed with you on numerouse occasions, I have defended your position. I am not your enemy. Nor is Cat.

    I know many scientists, many economists, many very well eductaed people. I have admired them all and respected them. But, many of them will never do a darn thing with what the know because people simply do not respond to the straight forward facts presented without any emotion. You have to envoke their interest and their loyalty, and you do that by reaching them on an emotional level. You need science, you need emotion, they should work together. Not work against one another.

    Funny that I am being so accused of being emotional. I am known for being just the opposite. I am cool under pressure, calm in crisis, and have been called an “Ice Queen” and “Heartless”. This cracks me up.

    I have stated this many times, how you present things will often decide, for the listener, if they adopt your views or not. If you come across the wrong way, condesecend to them, or put them off in any manner, you can bet they will defer from joining you. You have to talk to every one like they matter, because they do. And no one person is any more important than another. Elections are often won because people vote against someone. People vote in favor of who they can relate to. They rarely relate to anyone in a lab coat. (I know, I am that person in a lab coat 5 days a week. When I ask them what is going on in clinic they struggle to open up. When we bump in to eachother in Walmart and I am in jeans, suddenly they talk to me like I have been their best friend for years. How people relate to you and your causes is everything.)

    As for whining and bitching, well I am not the whining type…. but if bitching gets some one to pay attention, bitching is exactly what we need to do.

    You can call it bitching, you can call it what ever you want. I call it excercising my right to voice my opinion and effect my legislative system.

    I agree whole heartedly.

    Now back to the issue. Bison being listed as livestock makes it far easier for those wheo oppose their free existence to control that. You won’t see anyone getting a livestock hunting permit, or vaccinating 5000 elk in close proximety to cattle. No vaginal transmitters for them.
    They list the bison as livestock simply for control. We don’t often list livestok as endangered species.

    Why polar bears and not bison? Bison haven’t caught the attention of enough people. They aren’t seen as cute and cuddly. (A misconception of polar bears.) Bison are not the usual poster child material.

    Polar bears are just as worthy, larger in population or not. And polar bears being listed will bring much needed attention to the plight of a lot of other animals in trouble, not to mention their listing has shed light on the sneeky way Bush is going about things.

    It is time for a whole lot of change.

  52. Jim Macdonald Avatar

    We hear from a source in Horse Butte that the Department of Livestock plans to haze buffalo from private property starting tomorrow. A lot of the private property owners are not at all happy about this.

    Stay tuned. I wonder if it will get ugly.

  53. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Well if it was me, I know that I would meet them at the gate with a double barreled 12 gauge as there is nothing in my land ownership papers that would allow them to come on to my private property!

  54. Buffaloed Avatar

    Buffalo WILL be hazed from private property tomorrow:


    So much for private property rights, public property rights, the will of the people. I guess that cows come before people.

    Who was it that said that you could collaborate with ranchers? “Give me your money and wildlife and land but leave me alone”

  55. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Montana’s Department of Livestock needs to learn about people’s rights and property rights, but these American people will have to stand back and let them violate their rights unless then are willing to bear severe consequences from this outlaw agency and its collaborators.

    They can be dealt with after the November elections (I hope).

  56. Buffaloed Avatar

    From my understanding there was a meeting with the Galanis’ and the MDoL where they were told that they were going to violate private property rights. A lawyer representing the Galanis’ was present.

    I wonder how many people will be at home tomorrow to protest this action. I will be there.

    So if the MDoL can come onto private property to control diseased animals do you think they will try to “manage” those diseased domestic sheep that are killing all of our bighorns?

  57. Jim Macdonald Avatar

    Some people are going to try to make their way down to Horse Butte from this area – not sure they’ll be able to make it.

  58. Buffaloed Avatar

    Here is the biggest most hypocritical thing about this. On the website of the Montana Stockgrowers Association http://www.mtbeef.org/ this morning, who is filing the lawsuit, there is a big press release about how the “radical environmental and animal rights groups” are suing over the wolf delisting and then go on to say that “Ranchers should be allowed to protect their property.” Well what about the private property rights of other people? I guess that cattle do have more rights than people. This has been shown over and over again by these fascists. By hazing buffalo back and forth across highway 191 they put people and private property at risk because the buffalo cross the road more often because of it.

    What about open range laws where you have to pay for the cow that you hit standing in the middle of the highway at night?

    The cops beat up and arrest people who are there to show their crimes. The MDoL lie to and intimidate landowners while the ranchers kill everything in sight.

    Brian, you are right. The ranching industry is nothing more than a culture of death.

    There is another story in the Spokesman Review about what is being planned today.

    Unfortunately it says that “Tim Preso with the group Earthjustice, said he was not aware of any plans by the family to try to stop the hazing.”

  59. Jim Macdonald Avatar

    If you don’t have a subscription to the Spokesman Review, it’s also in the Billings Gazette:



  60. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Actually that is an AP article, so it should appear in just about any paper that gathers their articles from the AP, I know most of them do, it has also appeared in Yahoo news this morning.

  61. Jim Macdonald Avatar

    That’s true to some extent, Save Bears. I compile all the Yellowstone stories every day for what I call a “newspaper.” While an AP story does have much wider distribution, a paper actually has to pick up the story for it to appear. Online distribution is always wider than print distribution; online distribution often disappears after the day or is in a part of an online paper that isn’t widely read. Many paper don’t pick it up at all. According to Google, about 16 sources have picked this up – some of them tv station Web sites.

    I am glad that Matt Brown has been writing about this; I know that people have been in contact with him asking him to make more of a story of this. He has not done so before because there wasn’t a newsworthy story attached to it. Now, there is. I think Glenn Hockett in particular should be thanked for reaching out to Matthew Brown at the AP.