Yellowstone Releases 62 bison from Stephens Creek capture facility

Good news is hard to come by in this issue.
Here is today’s Buffalo Field Campaign weekly update.

Buffalo Field Campaign is the only group working in the field
and in the policy arena to protect America’s last wild buffalo.

Buffalo Field Campaign

Yellowstone Bison
Update from the Field
January 27, 2011

ACTION REWARDED! Yellowstone Releases 62 Bison!
* ‘Corridor to Nowhere’ Continues to Harm Wild Bison
* Update from the Field–Bison ‘Hunt’ Continues Along Yellowstone Boundary
* VOLUNTEER!  Please Join BFC on the Front Lines!
* Just $10 for Wild Bison 2011 Calendars! Accepting Photos for 2012 Calendar
* Last Words
* By the Numbers
* Helpful Links

* ACTION REWARDED! Yellowstone Releases 62 Bison!

Buffalo Supporters,

Thank you for contacting Yellowstone’s Acting Superintendent Colin Campbell to urge him not to slaughter the 62 bison currently confined in the Stephen’s Creek trap.   After receiving hundreds of phone calls and emails on behalf of these bison, the Park announced this afternoon that all the bison will be released!  Please give yourselves a pat on the back and take a moment to contact acting Superintendent Campbell and thank him for doing the right thing.

Corridor to Nowhere Continues to Harm Wild Bison

The 62 bison being set free today were in the trap as a direct result of an inhumane and wasteful plan hatched and supported by Yellowstone Park; Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; the Greater Yellowstone Coalition; the National Wildlife Federation; and the Montana Wildlife Federation.  Buffalo Field Campaign has opposed this plan from the start and refers to it as the “Corridor to Nowhere,” a name that has proven tragically true.

In order to come up with 25 bison to artificially confine on a small parcel of Gallatin National Forest known as Cutler Meadows, Yellowstone Park Rangers captured, confined, tested, tagged, and tormented 88 wild bison between January 4 and January 24.  One cow bison was severely injured in the trap and was killed by the Park Service on January 12.  (The Park Service didn’t notify the public of this death until today, when we specifically asked about it.)  25 of the bison were released from the trap and chased across Church Universal and Triumphant land to Cutler Meadows, where they were magically expected to stay.

As soon as they were hazed there, they began to leave, swimming across the Yellowstone River.  One was deemed “unhazable” by government agents and was shot and killed on Monday.  The others have repeatedly left the area and been hazed back to Cutler Meadows on a daily basis.

This failed experiment harms the bison and erodes their wildness, costs taxpayers and supporters of the misguided conservation groups more than 3.3 million dollars, and has already resulted in the deaths of two bison.  The Park Service, after publicly promising to release all of these bison, subsequently said they will be slaughtered.  After hearing from hundreds of people from across the country and around the world who demanded that the buffalo be released, Yellowstone officials announced today that the bison will not be slaughtered.  Thank you for taking action and helping to save the lives of these buffalo!

Buffalo Field Campaign and our supporters played an instrumental role in saving these 62 bison from slaughter.  With patrols on the ground documenting every action against the buffalo and advocating for the bison in the courts and in the state and federal legislatures, we are the only organization exclusively dedicated to protecting wild bison and their right to migrate.  Please support the work of a truly grassroots group with a tax deductible contribution today.

* Update from the Field–Bison ‘Hunt’ Continues Along Yellowstone Boundary

Even as we celebrate the release of the buffalo from Yellowstone’s trap, heavy snows continue to push buffalo from the high country of Yellowstone National Park.  Sadly, they are gunned down by hunters almost as quickly as they step foot in Montana.  As of this writing, at least 102 buffalo have been killed in this manner.  BFC patrols are monitoring the hunt zones and have been documenting and preventing many illegal and unethical actions.

Last weekend, while giving a tour to a group of Prescott University students, BFC witnessed an illegal kill about to take place, alerted the hunters to the fact that they weren’t allowed to kill bison in that location, and prevented the bison’s death.  Suprisingly, Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks has no game wardens on the ground near West Yellowstone, where 56 bison have been killed.  A game warden with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes, whose hunters have killed at least 54 bison, has been escorting hunters to the bison.  The local Forest Service biologist, hearing many stories of unethical and illegal activities, is finally taking action to remind hunters not to shoot on, from, or across Forest Service roads and is promising to send out rangers to monitor the hunt.

In a bit of good news relating to the hunt, a bison calf that was orphaned when its mother was killed by hunters several weeks ago has been ‘adopted’ by a different family group, greatly increasing its chance of survival.  Here is a photo we shot shortly after the calf joined up with two other female bison.

Buffalo Field Campaign will continue to be in the field with the bison every day and to share their story with the world.

* VOLUNTEER!  Please Join BFC on the Front Lines!

Noah watches a bull buffalo in the snowy distance inside Yellowstone National Park. Monitoring buffalo migrations is just one of the many ways you can help in our efforts to protect America's last wild population. BFC file photo by Stephany.

Buffalo Field Campaign’s multifaceted approach to helping protect our nation’s last free-roaming population of bison often leaves us spread thin for volunteers. We are finding ourselves in need of experienced volunteers to join us on patrols of the Yellowstone boundary. The last call for return volunteers was answered with a tremendous and much needed response. THANK YOU!!!!! If you can again – or are able to for the first time this season – come home to Horse Butte, Sandy Butte, the Madison River, your community, your Campaign, and to your buffalo. We all need you and miss you.

* Just $10 for Wild Bison 2011 Calendars! Accepting Photos for 2012

Calendars are now only $10, including shipping and handling!

BFC is very pleased to announce that we are offering the remaining Wild Bison 2011 calendars to you at a great discount!  They are now only $10, which includes shipping and handling!

Order Yours Today!

We are going for it again in 2012!  We are looking for high quality digital images of wild buffalo for every season, so if you have photographed the wild buffalo of Yellowstone, please consider submitting your pictures for BFC’s Wild Bison 2012 calendar!  Please email Stephany for photo submission guidelines, more information, or with any questions.

* Last Words

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed,it’s the only thing that ever has.

~ Margaret Mead

Do you have submissions for Last Words? Send them to Thank you all for the poems, songs and stories you have been sending; you’ll see them here!

* By the Numbers

AMERICAN BUFFALO ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S. which currently numbers fewer than 3,800 animals.

2010-2011 Total: 105

2010-2011 Government Slaughter: 1
2010-2011 State & Treaty Hunts: 102
2010-2011 Quarantine: 0
2010-2011 Shot by Agents: 1
2010-2011 Highway Mortality: 1

2009-2010 Total:  7
2008-2009 Total: 22
2007-2008 Total: 1,631

Buffalo Field Campaign
P.O. Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758

BFC is the only group working in the field every day
in defense of the last wild buffalo population in the U.S.


Join Buffalo Field Campaign — It’s Free!


Take Action!




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  1. Jim Macdonald Avatar

    Some more news will be coming out of tomorrow out of West Yellowstone, where two buffalo were recklessly shot off of U.S. 191 today, near the Madison River, one right into Baker’s Hole Campground. There is footage of the second incident, and more details will be posted tomorrow by BFC.

  2. william huard Avatar
    william huard

    When hunters see that a calf is with it’s mother is it too much to ask not to shoot that animal?

  3. Save bears Avatar

    Here is another story in the Missoulian about three new bills introduced, one of them is to have them classified as livestock


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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Ken Cole