"Bio-bullets" for vaccinating Yellowstone bison. How many ways is this a bad idea?

Draft environmental statement for this brucellosis vaccine finds many negatives, few benefits-

It (RB-51 vaccine) barely works as a vaccine. If it does work at all, it will take generations to make a difference. It might make the brucellosis bacteria more robust instead.  Bison will soon become wary of people. It is expensive. Vaccinated bison will be painted. That won’t look good in a national park.

The benefit is it might increase tolerance to bison outside Yellowstone Park, although based on many years of past experience  there is not one bit of empirical evidence that this is so. The great battle over bison and brucellosis is not really even about brucellosis, but about who has the political and cultural power to dominate wildlife in the Yellowstone area.

Story in the Jackson Hole News and Guide.
Bison vaccine no magic bullet, Park Service says. Inoculating some in Yellowstone herd to protect cattle could make brucellosis bacteria stronger
By Cory Hatch.

Here is a link to the actual draft environmental impact statement. You can comment on it until July 26, 2010



  1. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    This will only result in a stronger strain of the disease

  2. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson

    The Plains indians would never hunt the matriarchal extended family units while the calves were small. To do so meant the cows would run the “herd” way out of the country…and never come back.

    Now lets see….a few bio bullets (that is all they will get in before the herd runs) by some not so wlyly biologist techs in upper Hayden Valley before the rut and then follow up sneaking for another couple hits…at most …. the next day and all at once that herd is either in West Yellowstone or Gardiner….then on to points well beyond.

    Ya, that is real success. The Park is so stupid for capitulating to the other agencies to even let this biobullet thing even get this far. By doing so they may not be able to get out of it…sort of like the the guy who keeps giving ground all the way to the wedding alter. The night before he finally faces reality…and this just might happen to Yellowstone administration.

    To put all this on to the backs of the public to yell “foul” at this stage of the game is so yellow streaked of the NPS. Where are their balls?

    PS. Of course all this vaccine horror show started its course (ten years ago) because one of the higher up Yellowstone biologists figured he had a free vacation to Russia. No one ever wanted to actually vaccinate Yellowstone bison from within ranks but what the hell, a free tax payers vacation for selfish employees and it was the beginnings of what the Park is mixed up in today.

    The story was Russia had supposedly done all this chemical and biological warfare research and brucellosis was one of those weapons of mass destruction. No one in the Park really thought Russia had the inside track on brucellosis vaccine but if it gets a free trip…..so Yellowstones biologist got that free trip all right…Why not? Academic researchers get to do so, why not us they thought?

    Thus, when this soon to retire Yelowstone administrative flunkie gets back justification for the trip has to commence. His browners and kiss assers take up the cause because they know the supervisor likes to think he did right by that trip to Russia.

    Thus everyone of you reading this thread now knows the Park is not free of Woe is Me. The biologists were selfish and the underlings who did the most browning got foreign flights to other conferences to pad their resume to boot. It is SICK…and the bison will suffer because of it.

    And as for Pearson of GYC saying it will work the first year he knows nothing. His assessment is based on NPS trials along the road where bison expect people and all their unexpected insults. A few darts or bullets there is not the same as real bison home encroachment…the same as Griz behavior is more tolerant towards humans near or at civilization.

    To get any real bio shooting coverage done means venturing with those guns to where bison really live….away from the road…..and it won’t work the first week let alone the first year. “They” all are such zeros!!!

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