Wildlife Controversies Spread to New Media

iPhone App centered around Yellowstone Bison Conflict

Buffalo Haze, a just released iPhone app, is a game premised on the controversial Yellowstone buffalo issue by simulating the yearly hazing practiced by wildlife managers.

Every year bison naturally roam outside of Yellowstone National Park to graze on grasses at lower elevations. Wildlife managers haze the bison back into Yellowstone before the public lands are opened to cattle grazing in the spring. This practice is costly to tax payers and has many environmental groups upset over the treatment of the
species. It is common for buffalo to be injured during the hazing. Over 6,800 buffalo have also been slaughtered as a result of current policies.

Touted as a means of raising awareness among a demographic of smartphone users, the game has prompted controversy among bison advocates for its use of wildlife managers as protagonists, with the point being to save bison by hazing them back into Yellowstone National Park before time runs out.

Buffalo Haze Website

Buffalo Haze Light


  1. mikarooni Avatar

    Silly as it seems, this may not be a trivial opening. The bison situation doesn’t produce much national public outrage because it isn’t well covered by mass media that is fundamentally under monopolistic control at this point. However, as recent events in the Mideast demonstrate, if so-called social media spreads awareness, things could change.

  2. Rolling Mountain Avatar
    Rolling Mountain

    The premise of the game is you can’t change the rules. While the software developer Graham Carter deplores the cruelty directed at buffalo, Buffalo Haze is all about user violence and control – this is what it feels like to be a ‘wildlife manager’. Perhaps GooMoss will donate proceeds to benefit the only grassroots group on the ground fighting to change the rules of the game 365/24/7?

  3. Ken Cole Avatar

    I downloaded the light version of the game and played it a couple of times. It irritates me.

    As described, your role is to play a “wildlife manager”, aka a DoL cowboy known for their harsh treatment of buffalo, who is charged with chasing buffalo back to Yellowstone National Park before a helicopter appears, also, in real life, containing a DoL cowboy who comes in and shoots all of the buffalo.

    I’m really not sure how this game fulfills its stated objective of educating people about the buffalo issue. It appears that the developer has little understanding of, or interest in, the issue that he claims to want to educate people about.

    The game isn’t really engaging either and some of the things, like the grizzly bear that comes out and jumps on a calf, seem to be a little….. well, silly.

    As a board member of BFC, the game seems way off the mark and counter to what we have worked against for the last 15 years.

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Brian Ertz