Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Polar Bear Habitat Up for Drilling

The U.S. government never ceases to amaze me with the idiocy and greed. This time about polar bear critical habitat. The DOI has proposed over 200,000 acres in the arctic as "critical habitat" for the bears and has also approved giving most of this land to Shell for drilling. "Critical habitat" for the oil industry.
National Wildlife Federation has written a report criticizing this move.

The polar bears are in such dire circumstances with habitat loss as it is they are now turning to cannibalism!!!

Please send your comments to Salazar and tell him to stop his double standards and work for the polar bears and the people in this country instead of oil companies.
https://online.nwf.org/site/Advocacy?&cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1087&autologin=true&s_src=polarbear

Here's a page from USFWS with all info. regarding the habitat designation.




Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gov. B.S. Quote

At a stockgrowers meeting yesterday, Schweitzer boasted to the group,

"No governor in Montana history has sent more bison to slaughter than this governor."

This is what the buffalo and those who care about them are up against. Last year over 1,600 buffalo were sent to slaughter. The largest number since the arrogant white Europeans came to this country and slaughtered all but 23. It's unfortunate that this level of thinking still exists now in the 21st century.

However in 2004 Brian Schweitzer says,

''The only potential infection hazard from Yellowstone bison leaving the park is if they come into contact with reproductive cattle. Relatively few reproductive cows graze on land adjacent to Yellowstone, and grazing steers or horses are not at risk. We are spending too many resources on an issue with simpler and more positive solutions. I will be the first cattleman governor of Montana in decades. I will work with park officials, USDA, APHIS and landowners to find a commonsense solution that doesn't involve the wholesale slaughter of one of Montana's most recognizable symbols, or diminish the value of our cattle."

It's too bad B.S. didn't keep his word.

Canada shares the mindset of ignorance as well.

"Bison, of course, would not end up confining themselves to a national park and that would create fairly significant management issues for us."----Dave Ealey, spokesman for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, about the province's opposition to Canada's plan to reintroduce bison into Banff National Park.--Toronto National Post

The Native Americans however, have a much deeper understanding of how to live with the environment.

"If you talk to the animals they will talk to you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them, you will not know them. And what you do not know you will fear. What one fears one destroys."--Chief Geswanouth Slahoot

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Horse Butte Closed to Cattle!!

FINALLY! Gallatin National Forest has closed Horse Butte to cattle grazing. This is where the buffalo give birth in spring time. No cattle have even grazed here for 8 years. It's about time it was officially closed. The reason for the closure is simply because the "valuable habitat for grizzly bears, wolves and western toads would be hurt if cattle returned to the area." The closure had NOTHING to due with buffalo.“Bison are recognized as an issue in that area, but they were not the reason the allotment was closed," says Hebgen Lake District Ranger Lauren Turner. Not surprising.

Horse Butte Grazing Allotment Suitability Analysis

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Watch Buffalo Battle This Saturday

FWS Approves Killing Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs

Once again the ranchers have gotten their way to kill off another native species that uses grasslands. The black-tailed prairie dog.

The EPA and FWS have bowed to the ranchers again. The EPA approved poisons --Kaput-D and Rozol to kill off this animal. FWS has denied the prairie dogs protection under the Endangered Species Act and approved the use of the poisons as well as good ol' fashioned shooting to get rid of the population. The approved poisons are very painful. They cause the animal to bleed to death, which takes weeks. In addition, any animal that eats prairie dogs such as hawks, golden eagles and coyotes will be poisoned as well. Last month FWS approved to increase the amount of poisoning used on prairie dogs in Thunder Basin National Grassland in Northeastern Wyoming.

The prairie dogs are found in Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska. The prairie dogs once had a living space of 80-100 million acres. Now, it's down to 2.4 million.

In October Audubon of Kansas and Defenders of Wildlife attempted to sue the EPA.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Planet Green Video on YNP Buffalo

TELEVISION SHOW HIGHLIGHTS YELLOWSTONE BISON CONTROVERSY
"Buffalo Battle" Airs on Discovery's Planet Green December 5

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 1, 2009
Contacts:
Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign 406-646-0070, bfc-media@wildrockies.org
Mike Mease, Buffalo Field Campaign, 406-646-0070, mease@wildrockies.org

WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONTANA: On Saturday, December 5 at 10pm EST, Discovery Channel's Planet Green will air Buffalo Battle, a one-hour television documentary on the plight of America's only continuously wild bison population and the work of Buffalo Field Campaign.

Buffalo Battle captures the ongoing war against wild bison and the conflict between bison advocates, government agencies and Montana's cattle industry as wild bison follow their seasonal migratory instincts from the high country of Yellowstone National Park into the state of Montana. State and federal agencies - including Yellowstone National Park and the Montana Department of Livestock - spend millions of federal dollars to enforce Montana's intolerance for native bison. Government agents have killed more than 3,600 wild bison since 2000.

"We are very excited for the opportunity to bring the buffalo's plight into the living rooms of so many Americans," said Mike Mease, Campaign Coordinator with Buffalo Field Campaign, "Buffalo Battle will allow viewers to experience the buffalo's mistreatment firsthand, learn about the forces behind the slaughter, and take part in efforts to protect the bison and their habitat."

Matthew Testa, creator of the award-winning 2001 documentary The Buffalo War, is the executive producer of Buffalo Battle. Testa and his film crew spent weeks in the field with Buffalo Field Campaign, interviewing activists, government agencies, and local ranchers while witnessing first-hand the continuing struggle wild buffalo face on their native landscape.

"I'm fascinated and inspired by the dedication of Buffalo Field Campaign volunteers," said Matt Testa, executive producer of Buffalo Battle. "BFC is a diverse group and everyone has a unique story about how they came to join the cause. No matter where you stand on the buffalo issue, I think these volunteers show us that anyone can take a stand for what they believe in. And when you add lots of action, a beautiful setting, and a controversial animal issue in our crown jewel National Park that many Americans don't know about, it makes for great television."

For thirteen years Buffalo Field Campaign volunteers have come from all over the nation and around the globe, withstanding one of the most inhospitable climates in the Lower 48 states to stand on the front lines in defense of wild bison. Buffalo Field Campaign is a comprehensive source of news and information on the bison issue, documenting all actions made against wild bison and advocating for their right to roam.

Buffalo Field Campaign video footage and photographs were used in the production of Buffalo Battle.

For more information, video clips and photos visit http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org

Thursday, November 26, 2009

USFWS Wastes Taxpayer's Money Again


Same song, umpteenth verse at refuge

November 25, 2009 Jackson Hole News & Guide page 5A

GUEST SHOT
By Lloyd Dorsey

It's been said that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different outcomes. So it is with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's recent decision to spend another $5 million of taxpayer monies to construct yet another new sprinkler system on the battered National Elk Refuge.

The refuge has irrigated pastures and fed hay or pellets to the elk for nearly a century now Š and the elk defoliated the refuge and become sick with brucellosis, necrotic stomatitis, scabies, hoof rot and other diseases due to too many animals in unnaturally close quarters.

In more recent times the old irrigation ditches on the refuge were augmented with costly side-roll and pivot sprinklers, the elk were fed alfalfa pellets Š and the elk still defoliated the refuge and became sick. So, in 2007, after a $4 million Environmental Impact Statement, the expensive feeding and irrigating continued Š and the elk still defoliated the refuge and got sick.

Now in 2009 their plan is to spend $5 million on more sprinklers Š and the elk . . . well, you get the grim picture.

None of us needs to be reminded that while Wyoming does have an arid climate, rain and snow still falls here. Native plants still grow in the spring and summer. Elk, bison and other wildlife evolved over thousands of years to thrive in western Wyoming's environment along with such native plants as willows, aspen, bunch grasses and rabbit brush. It was a healthy system.


The natural capital in such a system is free. We just need to quit baiting elk on the Elk Refuge with irrigated plots or pellets and give those willow shrubs nibbled to their nubs a chance. Imagine, Jackson Hole, watching the Elk Refuge return to such a healthy condition with native flora and fauna right before your very eyes. Not unlike the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone.

Instead, in a state that prides itself on fiscal responsibility we have a financial boondoggle. The new irrigation system was supposed to cost $2.8 million; now it's at $5 million. From 2001-07, the Fish & Wildlife Service and Park Service spent millions of dollars analyzing how best to manage elk and bison in Jackson Hole. They ignored their own scientists who recommended a route that would have, "result(ed) in the greatest overall benefit to the biological and physical environment", the alternative recommended overwhelmingly by the public and by biologists who believe phasing out feeding is necessary to stop habitat loss and prevent epidemics of Chronic Wasting Disease.

It boggles the mind- in the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the home of internationally treasured fish and wildlife species and the site of some of America's most spectacular landscapes, an intensely artificial wildlife management approach has developed that has turned the Elk Refuge into a glorified winter zoo. With sick animals.

By heavily manipulating wildlife and their habitat the consequences on the Elk Refuge are habitat destruction, loss of wildlife diversity and disease. A century of evidence proves this no matter how good the original intentions were. The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) in June 2009 determined that the Elk Refuge was one of the 10 most imperiled wildlife refuges of 540 in the entire nation. They called the circumstances on the Elk Refuge a "wildlife time bomb".

The USFWS now turns to a California-based contractor to waste millions of hard-earned American taxpayer dollars to artificially water plants that would still attract elk and bison in unnaturally dense concentrations. Meanwhile the USFWS reneged on pledges to help with fencing projects that would allow elk and bison to range freely without commingling with the few cattle remaining in local valleys during winter.

Same old, same old. The dominant theme on the Elk Refuge under the current plan is still artificial feeding no matter what they call it.


Elk herds no longer require this kind of intensive manipulation to survive or even thrive. Populations are at record levels in Wyoming and other regions. After a century, it's time to expeditiously take the Jackson elk herd off its circa-1912 life-support. Science tells us that free-ranging elk herds have the best chance of being healthy and sustaining themselves well into the future - not dense concentrations of elk chasing after feed trucks to irrigated plots where they wallow in the disease-ridden muck.

It's high time we start solving old problems with new ideas that really aren't so new. It's time we allow elk to thrive in native habitats, in populations balanced with the carrying capacity of the native plants and soils that sustain them. After all, we know from most valleys in surrounding states and elsewhere in Wyoming that Rocky Mountain elk are faring quite well in Rocky Mountain winters - without hay, alfalfa pellets and $5 million sprinklers.

Lloyd Dorsey is a conservation advocate for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition in Jackson.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Brucellosis Battle Continues

Montana Department of Livestock
301 N. Roberts/PO Box 202001
Helena MT 59620-2001
On the web at http://liv.mt.gov

Tuesday, November 24, 2009/FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steve Merritt
Public Information Officer
Montana Department of Livestock
406/444-9431

BOL Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Brucellosis Order

The Montana Board of Livestock is seeking public comment on a draft order that proposes to create Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) for continued brucellosis surveillance, vaccination and traceability requirements in areas with risk of brucellosis transmission from wildlife to livestock.

The proposed order specifies:
  • Boundaries for the DSA;
  • Testing requirements for eligible animals;
  • Individual animal identification;
  • Requirements for mandatory Official Calfhood Vaccination (OCV).
State veterinarian Dr. Marty Zaluski, who presented the draft order to the Board of Livestock at its meeting in Helena last week, said the order "picks up where the Brucellosis Action Plan left off."

"The draft order basically outlines a plan for surveillance and monitoring in increased-risk areas after the state's Brucellosis Action Plan (BAP) sunsets on January 10," Zaluski said. "We've known all along that some components of the BAP would be needed in some areas after it sunsets, and this order is consistent with what we've discussed with producers."

If approved, the order would create a surveillance area that is significantly smaller than the seven-county area - Area 1 - created by the state's Brucellosis Action Plan.

"I think we've shown that monitoring is an effective tool for detecting disease, and that it ultimately helps protect the marketability of Montana's livestock," Zaluski said.

The order also extends requirements for producers in Area 1 of the BAP who have not yet completed an operation-specific risk survey or whole-herd brucellosis testing. Producers with livestock in Area 1 are encouraged to contact Dr. Eric Liska (eliska@mt.gov; 406/444-2043), the department's brucellosis veternarian, to complete a risk survey as soon as possible.

Comments on the proposed order, which can be viewed and/or downloaded at http://liv.mt.gov/default.asp, will be accepted through December 16, and can be submitted to the Department of Livestock via email at DSA-comments@mt.gov or U.S. Postal mail at DSA Comments, Montana Department of Livestock, Helena MT, 59620-2001.

Zaluski added that the comment period for the DSA is related to, but separate from, a USDA-APHIS comment period on a concept paper proposing changes in the nation's federal brucellosis program (see the October 7 press release, APHIS Plan Open for Public Comment, for additional details).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Interagency Bison Management Plan

November 17 & 18 were the IBMP meetings to decide the fate of the last remaining genetically pure, continuously wild buffalo in this country. Below are the notes from these meetings written by Stephany Seay.


IBMP MEETING NOTES 1/17/09:

Three tribal representatives were at the table:
* ITBC - Christina Krocher
* Nez Perce - Brooklyn Baptise
* Confederated Salish & Kootenai - Tom McDonald

Good News First:
~AMP changes reflect there will be additional tolerance for bulls North of Duck Creek; expand suitable habitat for bull bison west of Cutler Lake and Cutler Meadow; expand suitable habitat for bull bison in the Maiden Baisen area off Little Trail Creek on east side of Yellowstone River (as outlined in IBMP Annual Report for 2008-2009 - see press release pasted below)
~ APHIS & Idaho Fish & Game want to study bull bison semen more closely to ensure the zero risk, and if that's what they find, bulls may be tolerated in Idaho.

*Adaptive Management / '09-'10 Operations:
~ DOL opened with expressing frustrating at "repeated breaches" of bison moving into Zone 3 via the South Side of the Madison River
~ Zaluski said that 250 on the Butte and 25 on the South Side ("flats" they called it) triggers breeches
~ DOL claims there's "no habitat" on the South Side (they forgot about the burn)
~ Zaluski proposed a change to the Adaptive Management Plan: NO BUFFALO ALLOWED on the South Side, or LIMIT the number of buffalo on Horse Butte
~ DOL wants to take immediate management actions if buffalo are on the south side: 1. Capture; 2. Haze back into Park; 3. Haze to Horse Butte
~ DOL claimed 13 "breaches" on the South Side last spring
"The bison did not behave like we hoped they would" ~ Mary Zaluski

~ Cattle arrived at Povah's on 6/17. Apparenty, he runs some cow/calf pairs, and also 200 steers (brucellosis proof livestock). He leases the land, so DOL says they "never know" what he'll have, since he's a private property owner and can pretty much do what he wants
~ Tierny and Zaluski claimed there were "a lot" of other producers affected by buffalo "breaching" into Zone 3, but they couldn't name any of the ranchers or places.

They proposed a change to the Adaptive Mangement Plan under 1.1 and 1.1A. to allow NO buffalo on the South Side. This was met with some resistance by Yellowstone and Gallatin.
~ "The triggers we've established are much too tolerant" ~ Marty Zaluski
~ Tierny kept expressing how difficult it is to haze bison from the south side and how much time, people and money it takes to continue to do it.
~ Suzanne Lewis and Mary Erickson were not in agreement with changing the plan to reflect zero buffalo on south side.
~ Lewis actually said that more habitat needs to be established outside the Park. Echoed, strongly, by P.J. White who really raised his voice for the buffalo this time.
~ Mary Erickson said that one year's worth of data is not enough to make such a significant change to AMP, and that if they don't allow buffalo on South Side, then that removes 1/2 of Zone 2
~ Everyone agreed they were in disagreement, and hence at a stalemate and would take it up again on Day 2 of the meetings.
~ Lewis and Erickson said that even though the agents may have had to work hard, there was NO THREAT OF TRANSMISSION with having buffalo on the South Side.
~ Erickson & Lwewis told the DOL that they already had the tools and authority in the AMP to deal with these "breaches" yet they chose not to use them. DOL response was very confusing, but they disagreed.
~ Both Nez Perce and Salish-Kootenai reps said that 1) one year of data is insigificant and should not be the catalyst for such suggested changes; 2) The DOL should be aware of the producers and what they are bringing on to the landscape if they want to make good decisions

Royal Teton Ranch:
~ Fencing will now only be around RTR office; County will not let them put fencing along county access road.
~ Cattle guards have been eliminated
~ There will be a fence along Cinnibar Road to West end of RTR
~ Fence built on north side, south side fence under construction
~ Fencing should be complete 1st week of December
~ Hazing would take place where fencing will now be absent

Lawsuits:
~ DOL: No new action on Stockgrowers' lawsuit
~ NPS: Being sued. It's with Dept. of Justice. 60 days to respond. Likely NPS and GNF will not be able to speak so freely while suit is in progress.

U.S. Animal Health Association ~ 5 Resolutions
* can be found at usaha.org
1. I missed that one
2. Wildlife agencies in GYA are standardizing elk protocall
3. Suport creating of research facilities
4. Ask USDA to commit resources to swine brucellosis (brucella suis)
5. Removal of brucella abortus from (bio-terror) select agent list (a long shot)

Public Comments:
* A rancher from Paradise Valley
* Jim Bailey, GWA
* Glenn Hockett, GWA
* Stephany Seay, BFC
* Matt Skokland, NRDC
* County Commissioner, Paradise Valley
* Rancher, Paradise Valley


11/18/09 ~ ROUND TWO:

'09-'10 Operating Procedures Continued
~ Compromise on AMP changes: DOL wants 15 buffalo only, and only 2 "breaches" are allowed, after which management actions will be triggered.
~ Erickson and Lewis saw no difference then in keeping the number at the current 30, if dates remain same and DOL has authority to take management actions
~ DOL would like agencies to consider a population reduction/cap on Horse Butte (250 too many)
~ Dates bison would be allowed to be on South Side would remain the same as in 2008 AMP
~ DOL wants access to GNF lands that are closed to snowmobiles for management and monitoring.
~ Erickson said that they already have access for management. DOL said they want it for monitoring.
(Randy, GNF biologist feels very strongly that this is a BAD idea as he knows tourists will follow those tracks and he said he would recommend against it)
~ Erickson said that this would be a modification of their travel plan restrictions (the only good thing they've done)
~ Tierny, DOL said that if they can't use snowmobiles, they'll "have no choice" but to bring out the helicopter
~ Lewis agreed that it may be possible that allowing "unlimited" bison on Horse Butte is creating a "spillover" to the South Side
~ DOL wants to monitor and define population CAP on Horse Butte
** By the end of this discussion it appears (but was not clear) that they would continue to allow 30 buffalo on the Southside, dates would stay the same, but after two "breaches" management action would be taken. I asked them to clairify during my comment time, but the agencies will not answer questions from "the audience" as they call us.

DOL Contacting GNF for Authorization in Operations:
~ Erickson wanted to strike language in the AMP that said the DOL will "make a reasonable attempt to contact a rep from USFS to" and make it read: "the DOL will obtain authorization for the use of motorized vehicles on NF roads."
~ DOL moaned that they need to be able to do what they want, when they need to, especially at Duck Creek.
~ Tierny reminded Mary Erickson more than once that DOL "is a law enforcement agency" (IS THAT TRUE??)
~ Randy, GNF biologist said that there is always someone available for them to call and there's never been a problem in the past.
~ DOL (Shane Grube and Tierny) continued to complain and moan
~ Language will be reworked to satisfy both GNF & DOL

Brucellosis:
~ Brucellosis prevalance study was dropped from the agenda
~ Brief mention of Brucellosis Concept Paper (comments through 12/04)
~ Montana's Brucellosis Action Plan "sunsets" in January 11
~ National Brucellosis Zone being discussed/developed
~ There is a Comment Period Open for the Brucellosis Survelience Area through 12/16 (I have no info on this currently)

Quarantine:
~ Very brief report about agencies considering placement of bison. NO MENTION was made that they were recommending they go to Turner!!

Public Comments:
~ Rancher from Paradise Valley
~ Another Rancher from Paradise Valley (Ranchers complained that they had no representation at the table!!!)
~ Glen Hockett, GWA
~ Matt Skokland, NRDC
~ Mike Pearson, GYC
~ Stephany Seay, BFC
~ MIKE MEASE!!!! Had the last and most beautiful-to-the-point words. :)

*NEXT MEETING: April 18 & 19 @ FWP in Bozeman

NEWS ARTICLES & IBMP Press Release:

11/18
Bison get more tolerance in Montana, but fix elusive (B.S.)
KIVI-TV

11/17
Wind Cave NP bison arrive in Mexico
Rapid City Journal



Nice Quote

"If you talk to the animals they will talk to you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them, you will not know them. And what you do not know you will fear. What one fears one destroys." --Chief Dan George

Chief Geswanouth Slahoot (Dan George) was born in North Vancouver. He was chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation from 1951 to 1963. He was a poet and actor appearing in many films and t.v. series including Cariboo Country. In 1971 he was made an officer in the Order of Canada which is the highest award given by the government on behalf of the Queen of Canada.

For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_George

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Puget Sound Orcas

Puget Sound orcas are majestic mammals. They are the largest species of dolphin on the planet. Living in matriarchal family groups with the lifespan of females in the 80's and males in the 70's. But, due to pollution, dams, boats, and the navy, the orcas' lives are on the edge. The pollution in Puget Sound is soo bad that when an orca dies and washes up on shore its body is consider toxic waste and is treated as such. The main toxin is PCB. The toxins are passed down from mother to calf through nursing. Pollution comes from agriculture runoff, industries, sewage, etc.. Anything that goes down a drain in a Western Washingtonian's house or on their streets ends up in Puget Sound. Also, dams contribute to the orcas' decline. Damming up rivers and streams means less salmon are migrating meaning less food for the orcas. With the decrease in salmon, orcas must look harder to find fewer fish. But, this becomes even more difficult with noisy boats in the water. Navy sonar doesn't help orcas or any marine life either. It causes loss of hearing, messes up the orcas' navigation causing mass stranding on beaches, the list goes on.

The Native Americans see the orca as relatives. The orcas are humans who were transformed when trying to communicate with their previous human families ashore. The orcas are also seen as the reincarnation of chiefs as in the case of Luna.

For more information on Puget Sound and Canada's orcas there is a great video on the Orca Network.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Urban Deer Task Force

Well, it's winter and once again Helena is wanting to kill 150 urban deer.
I was reading through FWP's Deer Environmental Assessment. Here are highlights.

In 2007 there was an estimated 82 deer per square mile. However this exceeds the city's ideal of 25. This is equivilant to 350 deer total in the city limits. The city can hold more deer, but the "social tolerance" for urban deer has "been exceeded." Meaning too many flowers are being eaten, too many car collisions, and too many pet-deer conflicts.

So, as is the case with the ignorance in this state, the solution to every wildlife issue is kill it.

Helena Police will be setting clover traps (see video below) on private property, bait them at night, come back the next morning and kill the deer with a bolt gun. "After the carcass is removed the site would be cleaned with water or other means to maintain aesthetic values of the site." FWP will store the carcass after field dressing and when there are 5 the carcasses will be taken to meat processing and given to food banks. Once again the slaughtered animals are given to the poor.

You can help by sending an email to Fish Wildlife Park and tell them what you think of their EA.
urbandeer@mt.gov

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Judge Molloy Supports the States

After days of waiting, Judge Molloy finally reached a decision on September 9th. The judge said FWS violated the Endangered Species Act when it kept wolves protected under it in Wyoming while delisting the wolves elsewhere. In addition, FWS numbers for a viable wolf population are political and not based on science. Therefore, the wolves should be hunted. The wolves will bounce back even if over 30% of their population was killed! (Typical Montana)

That's the judge's decision--Exterminate the gray wolves.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Target: Gray Wolves

With no decision made yet by Judge Molloy regarding the Northern Rocky gray wolves, the hunt in Idaho began yesterday. So far, 3 wolves have been killed. Molloy could still approve an injunction which would stop the current hunt in Idaho and prevent the hunt in Montana which is set to begin September 15th.

In Idaho alone over 9,000 tags have been sold. In Montana over 3,000 tags.

It's hard to tell what Molloy will decide. Just last week in Dillion, Montana, gray wolves killed 120 sheep in one raid! The ranch was left to one person, the owner's son, to supervise. The owner boasted that his ranch has been there for 50 years and the wolves were "intruders." (WOW! A whole 50 years. The wolves have been there for how many thousands? The ranch is the intrusion.)

In Montana, Ed Bangs, the Helena-based U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regional wolf recovery coordinator said that the wolves are already being culled. With 23 percent of gray wolves in Montana being killed each year by the following:

10% By "agency control"
10% Illegally
3% Accidentally, such as by vehicles

Back in Idaho the stupid hunters are now boasting about their kills with photos of themselves with a dead wolf. Here are a couple news sites with photos.
KOMO
LA Times



Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Idaho Set to Kill 220 Wolves

Once again the war on wolves is back. This time in Idaho. Idaho's Fish and Game Commission voted 4-3 on the hunt. (No, the 3 who voted against were not helping the wolves. They voted against it because they wanted 49% of the wolf population hunted. Not the mere 25% as was passed.) One of the dissenters, Chairman Wayne Wright declared, "Now’s the time to do the right thing. … Neither our state’s economy, our ranchers, our sportsmen or our elk herds can wait any longer.” (quote from Spokesman Review) This is a good example of how concerned with wildlife restoration Fish & Game Commissions are in the Rocky Mountain States.

I have more information about the IDFG's mismanagement of wolves on a previous post.

The wolves will be hunted in the 12 wolf "management zones. For the exact numbers to be killed in each zone, IDFG has a ittle brochure on this with hunting rules.

In 1995, 35 gray wolves were brought in from Canada in effort to restore them. The "recovery" numbers for Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming combined was 300!! Idaho wants to bring the numbers down to 520.

As always 12 environmental groups including Defenders of Wildlife are considering an injunction against the hunt, which begins in September.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Future of Forests: Vilsack's Speech

Today Tom Vilsack the secretary for the US Department of Agriculture presented his vision for America's forests. Here are excerpts with my comments.

"Climate change, catastrophic fires, disease and pests [the invasive cows] have all led to declining forest health in recent decades. The resulting impact on watersheds, the climate, local economies, wildlife, and recreation, has led the USDA to offer a new vision for our nation's forests. [probably start by eliminating all native species and turn parks into pastureland. let's see people pay to see this :P] By taking forest management in a new direction, the Department will emphasize the role our national forestlands play in contributing to the health and prosperity of the country and reverse the trend of declining forest health. "[They can start by getting rid of their cows]

"The Administration's plan calls for the U.S. Forest Service to play a leading role in the development of new markets to sustain the economic viability of forest stewardship and provide landowners with economic incentives to maintain and restore forests. National forestlands produce economic benefits from a diverse range of sources including recreation [of course we won't forget about the snowmobilers] and more than 200 hydroelectric plants operated in national forest watersheds.[these are really restorative] With more than 192 million visitors to National Forests in 2008, local communities throughout the country benefit economically from those who recreate on and near forestlands and high-quality water bodies protected by forested watersheds. "

Here's my favorite quote by Vilsack. "Forests help generate rural wealth through recreation and tourism, through the creation of green jobs, and through the production of wood products and energy. And they are a national treasure – requiring all of us to protect and preserve them for future generations. " [oxymoron. just like a politician's speech]

"The Forest Service must not be viewed as an agency concerned only with the fate of our National Forests, but must instead be acknowledged for its work in protecting and maintaining all American forests, including state and private lands. [MTDOL is doing a fine job with this :P] Our shared vision adopts an 'all-lands approach,' requiring close collaboration with the NRCS and its work on America's private working lands. "

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Idaho to Kill 50% Wolf Population

Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG) wants to kill 518 gray wolves in the state out of the 1,000 that live there. This is 8 times the recovery goal and the wolves are increasing in population by 20% annually (too bad we don't have the same rules about invasive species). Hunters will be used to "manage" wolves (just like the buffalo). The focus areas for hunting will be where invasive livestock have taken over and in the Lolo Elk Zone where the number of elk is decreasing by 13% each year. IDFG puts a good portion of the blame on the wolves (what a surprise), saying that other predators such as, black bears and mountain lions kill elk too, but when the wolves are "managed" the elk numbers will increase. This decrease in elk has caused a decrease in hunting ($$$)

So, the mindset of the European settlers lives on in Idaho.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Gray Wolves are Back to Judge Molloy

On June 2, 2009, Earthjustice filed suit on behalf of conservation groups challenging the decision to delist the wolves. But, once again the arrogant MT FWP, who are kneeling to ranchers, is out to stop them. The case is once again in the hands of Judge Donald Molloy.

FWP news release, "FWP will also oppose any preliminary injunction requests that seek to reinstate federal Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the northern Rockies."

"Montana’s wolf population is growing and is well protected by Montana law and well-managed under the state’s federally approved wolf conservation and management plan, [b.s.]" said Joe Maurier, director FWP in Helena. "Montanans have worked hard for more than a decade to recover wolves and FWP will work equally hard to ensure that wolves in Montana are managed under a highly regarded and science-based state plan." (livestock interests are the basis of the plan.)




Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yellowstone "Nature's Amusement Park"

That is the title to an article in the Montana 2009-2010 Vacation Planner. I can't believe the stupidity! The article is only 2 paragraphs long of descriptions, such as, "Yellowstone National Park-full of surprises, big and small, thunderous and calm." Montana advertising Yellowstone as an "amusement park?" No wonder tourists act sooo stupid.

The park was established in 1872 "For the benefit and enjoyment of the people." I was looking on NPS.org under History and Culture in Yellowstone. They have a BRIEF mention of Native Americans.

"From about 11,000 years ago to the very recent past, many groups of Native Americans used the park [Correction-the park wasn't in existence yet. There they go again. The narrow-minded, arrogant Europeans are beating in their dominance over everything.] as their homes, hunting grounds, and transportation routes. These traditional uses of Yellowstone lands continued until a little over 200 years ago when the first people of European descent found their way into the park."

Kind of abrupt. No mention as to what happened to the Native Americans. (Oh well, it's a park now-made for EVERYONE to enjoy. So, come out and enjoy the zoo without walls-Yellowstone:P )


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stupid Tourist in Yellowstone

Tourists always amaze me by their stupidity.

Yesterday, a Californian was taking pictures of the bull buffalo (who are in rut) in his campground. Since the buffalo were so close he decided to get a close up shot (2ft). (This is just another zoo. Right?) Lo and behold the buffalo charged him. The guy got a puncture wound in his upper left thigh and was taken via ambulance to a hospital in Jackson Hole. I wonder if he got his picture..
The park service tells people to stay 25 yards away from buffalo.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tester's Forest Removal Act

After being shrouded in secrecy, Senator Tester finally released his "Forest Jobs and Recreation Act." Secret, because no one, not even the press were told what the bill was about, except the select few who collaborated on it; conservationists, the timber industry and stakeholders.

Regarding this secrecy in drafting the bill Tester was quoted at a press conference, “There’s really very little to talk about until the bill is written.”(WOW! Talk about arrogance and being controlling.) Yet on his website he says he “values integrity, common sense, (and) transparency in government” (http://tester.senate.gov/Jon/index.cfm )

The goal of the act is just as it says jobs and recreation. It has nothing to do with protecting wilderness. It's about logging (as the picture above shows).

Here are some highlights, or rather downfalls of the act.

Restoration Activity includes: precommercial thinning and commercial timber harvesting.

Stewardship Areas (here are a couple)

Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest -- "a parcel of land that is designated as 'Suitable for Timber Production and Timber Harvest Is Allowed' as labled on the new map entitled, "Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Revised Forest Plan, Modeled Timber Harvest Classification." This means 7,000 acres a year will be harvested.

Seeley Lake Ranger District--a parcel of land that is "suitable for timber production; or eligible for timber harvest activities."

Stewardship Contract means "a contract that is carried out by 2 or more parties to carry out vegetation treatment, including mechanical treatment using commercial timber harvest of vegetation."

Another thing the bill doesn't do is limit cattle grazing on public lands. Cattle still own the land in Montana.

In his video he repeatedly says mills will put people back to work in the woods. He even says that if we lose timber mills, "we will suffer an even bigger loss. We will lose the folks who know how to work in the woods."

So, this act is as it says "Forest Jobs and Recreation Act." It's not about protecting forests.




Friday, July 17, 2009

How Much Land is Used for Livestock?

I've said before cattle is a billion $ industry here. In 2006 the state made $1.1 billion. Many of the sales were to: Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas. According to MT DEQ. (photo by Jason Stajich)
This billion $ industry is destroying the native landscape. The home of wildlife. Here's a run down of how much land is being destroyed for this non-native invasive species. Montana itself is comprised of 93 million acres.

  • 38 million acres is pasture and range land. That's more than a third of the state!
  • 18 million is used for crops. (What a waste when it could be used for livestock :P)
  • Up to 13,000 acres a year are becoming ranch land for livestock.

Cattle is a huge issue across the entire U.S. I was reading an article in the IR that the US exports of milk is down from 11% to 5%, which means there is too much milk b/c there are too many cows. So, the solution? Kill over 100,000 cows across the country! Surprisingly or not, Montana isn't slaughtering any.

The cattle industry is all about greed. Cattle are not a native species and shouldn't be here. Nature agrees. In March and April Montana was hit by blizzards causing 4,000 livestock in Powder River and Carter counties to die. More died in Glacier, Teton, and Lewis and Clark counties.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

History of Trout Relocation

All over the news you hear about climate change and how destroyed the planet is. In this country this destruction began a few hundred years ago with the narrow mindedness of European settlers.
Just one of the many idiotic things they did I saw on a PBS show about trout.

In 1805 when people migrated West, they over fished cutthroat. Then, in 1870 congress set up an organization to repopulate rivers and streams with non-native fish (just like the settlers coming to this continent) To repopulate the waters they filled rail cars with containers of rainbow trout and brown trout. Then dumped them in the areas the settlers over fished.

One of the effects of this irresponsible relocation is in the Columbia Basin. Here the settlers dumped the rainbow trout in with the remaining cutthroat. These 2 species are almost genetically identical. So now the Basin is full of hybridized trout.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Elk to Blame for Past Decade of Brucellosis Infection

I was reading an article in the HelenaIR (Irresponsible Record), the most HIGHLY censored newspaper in MT. Once again the ranchers blame wildlife, namely elk, for all infections of brucellosis over the past decade. MT seems to conveniently & arrogantly forget that this disease originated in European cattle that were imported into the U.S. and then the disease was transmitted to the wildlife in Yellowstone. Today there are an estimated 2.6 MILLION cattle in MT. This is 2.5 times the state population!! Whereas there are close to 3,000 buffalo, 95,000 elk and 34 breeding pairs of wolves. These numbers are waaay too high for the ranchers who'd like to see them down to 0.

In 2007 there were 2 herds that became infected. This was NOT caused by wildlife as the HelenaIR wants you to believe. Both these herds were made up of Corriente cattle. This is a Mexican breed that is popular for rodeo roping events and are often imported from Texas.
According to Robert Hoskins, an independent Wyoming conservationist. "There is no scientific proof that elk were the cause of last year's brucellosis outbreak and good circumstantial evidence that the cause was imported Corriente cattle. A year after that incident, we still have no published epidemiological report from APHIS. Is that not suspicious?" (quote from a BFC press release, 2008)


Now that MT is brucellosis free again it can export its cattle. Blood testing will continue in the 7 Yellowstone area counties for 6 months.

The billion $ industry continues. All the while wildlife suffer.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

U.S. Wolf History & Present Day

In Europe wolves were almost extinct by the time settlers arrived on this continent. At this time there were an estimated 250,000 wolves in the now lower 48 states alone. The settlers brought the same mindset as they had in Europe, wolves are evil. Manifest destiny led the way and the rest is history and present.

Just 10 years after the Mayflower landed the Massachusetts Bay Colony began offering rewards for killing wolves. The wolf was the enemy just like all Native peoples and wildlife. The wolf was made into a scape goat for the uncontrolled, power hungry settlers. (sounds like today) The settlers over-hunted deer. So, they blamed the wolf for low deer populations. (just like today)

In the 19th century the good ol' ranchers came to the west for cheap, abundant land they could destroy with their invasive cows (again with the cattle) Things didn't go so well. This non-native species (the cows. not ranchers. too bad it wasn't both.) began dying of diseases. Again the wolf was falsely blamed. Now for killing livestock. It wasn't long before livestock began replacing the wildlife wolves eat; buffalo and deer. So, fearing wolves would kill the livestock a campaign went out to exterminate the wolf. Professionals working for the livestock industry (no not FWP this time) would use various methods to kill wolves including laying strychnine-poisoned meat in up to 150 mile lines!! When wolves began to be hard to find, they were searched out and killed in various ways: set on fire, shot, poisoned, clubbed, trapped, and inoculated with mange! Good ol' Montana takes credit for killing over 80,000 wolves in 25 years.

In the 1970's less than 1,000 wolves remained in the lower 48. Today there are only 50 Mexican wolves, 100 Red wolves in the wild and between 7,000-11,000 gray wolves in Alaska as well as more than 5,000 in the lower 48 (no where near 250,000) with about 15,000 of these in the Greater Yellowstone Area

Now once again history repeats itself with a rancher, the Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar removing the gray wolves from the endangered species list. So, the killing of wolves continues for the same reason as the past--power hungry, immature, people.

Contact Obama and tell him to put the gray wolf back on the endangered species list.

More wolf history

Friday, July 10, 2009

Montana is Brucellosis Free, So What Happens to Buffalo?

Now that MT is "class free" there should be no reason to have a buffalo hunt. Right? Not so. FWP is still going ahead with the hunt. Why? Brucellosis. So the claim remains.

According to the '2009 Bison Hunting Information Summary'

"Brucellosis in Yellowstone National Park bison is one of the primary reasons that attempts are being made to control bison in Montana."

"The disease causing bacteria can be transmitted from bison to cattle. If domestic cattle are infected, there are negative effects to individual cattle producers in the form of a loss of production, loss of markets, and costly preventative measures, including vaccination. "

What? They have to vaccinate! The poor cattle industry :P
It must be tough having to take responsibility. After all they've been on that land for 100 years. They basically own it, as their mind set is. Rather they stole it and destroyed it. Forget the native people who were there before them or the wildlife. Who both still try to survive an oppressive government.

Send FWP a comment

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Montana Sets Wolf Quota

The number is set at 75.

“Today, we can celebrate the fact that Montana manages elk, deer, bears, mountain lions, ducks, bighorn sheep, and wolves in balance with their habitats, other species, and in balance with the people who live here,”said FWP Director Joe Maurier. What a bunch of BS! Send him an email and let him know it is.

What Montanans think about this.
Most of the 180 public comments submitted to the commission said the proposed range for the wolf quota of 26-165 was too low. (what a surprise)

For more info. Check out the HelenaIR

Montana is Brucellosis Free

Today, APHIS changed MT's status to "Class Free". There hasn't been a single case of brucellosis in cattle in the state since May 2008. Now, in order for MT to keep its status is for cattle to remain brucellosis free for 12 months. Why then have the buffalo continued to be hazed and slaughtered?

Call with your comments to the director of APHIS Wildlife Services (WS) John Steuber 406-657-6464.

Currently MT has devoted 60 million acres for ranch and farms, yet there are less than 1 million people in the state!!

Some interesting facts I found on Montana WS State Report from 2008:

"All Montana livestock producers contribute funding to support WS’ livestock protection efforts through a State per capita tax."

"The MDL has given WS full authority to administer the Department’s aerial operations [now MT is copying Alaska] as a tool to protect livestock from predators such as coyotes and red foxes. In addition, the MTFWP has authorized WS to conduct wildlife damage management activities to protect agricultural resources in the state from big game species such as black bears
and mountain lions."

One thing interesting in this report there is NO mention of buffalo.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Domestic Sheep Vs. Wild Bighorns

Another incidence of invasive species killing native wildlife. Sheep are allowed to graze on public lands. (what a surprise) They're also full of disease (yet another surprise). When bighorns come and graze on the same land as the sheep, the bighorns contract Pasturella a bacteria which causes the bighorns to die of pneumonia. This can cause 75% of bighorn herds to die!

Not surprisingly, Idaho denies this. In fact, Dr. Marie Bulgin a University of Idaho professor and former president of the Idaho Sheep Growers Association testified in federal court that there's no scientific evidence of domestic sheep transmitting pneumonia to wild bighorns.

An article in Science Daily talks about the research done proving pneumonia is transmitted.

The strength of this disease deters states from reintroducing bighorns. Here in Montana for example.
January 2008, a number of bighorn sheep in the Elkhorn Mountains died from pneumonia thought to have been contracted from domestic animals. Other major die-offs in Montana have been in the East Pioneers, Tendoy Mountains, Highland Mountains, Sleeping Giant Area, and Madison Range, as well as elsewhere.

So, what is being done.

In Idaho the policy is to shoot any bighorns that have come in contact with sheep and bighorns that have come into contact with that bighorn.

Here in Montana it's no different.

"Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MDFWP) has adopted a similar policy. For instance, prior to a reintroduction of bighorn sheep to the Gravelly Range on the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest near Dillon, MDFWP signed an agreement stipulating that if wild sheep had any interaction with domestic sheep, the wild sheep would be shot—and potentially even entire bighorn herds eliminated." quoted from Wild Bighorns Threatened by Domestic Sheep

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bison Hunt Quota Set

FWP has once again determined there are tooo many buffalo in Montana,or rather, there ARE buffalo in Montana. So once again there will be a "hunt" just outside the border of Yellowstone Park. The quota is the same as last year, 144. FWP is claiming there are 3,000 buffalo in Yellowstone, which is probably an inflated number. So as the buffalo migrate out of Yellowstone this winter, they'll be subject to a "hunt" which is nothing more than some hunter standing and waiting on the outside of the park boundary line.


Send FWP your comment and tell them why this "hunt" is ridiculous. Click here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

BLM, DOA, DOL, FWP Are the Same Thing

I was interested in what was happening to wild horses in the US, and came across an article from June 16 on a New Zealand site called Horse Talk. The entire article is about meetings the BLM and DOA have on reducing (slaughtering) the number of wild horses currently being held in facilities and those still wild. (This sounds familiar) The article says a horse welfare group obtained BLM documents under the Freedom of Information Act by The Conquistador Program.

Here are some of the document's proposals:
  • Wild horses could be rendered at the Reno Rendering plant or "disposed of in pits".
  • The possible creation of gelding herds, and sterilization of mares to create non-reproductive herds in the wild in place of natural herds.
  • Change the sex ratio from the normal 50% males and 50% females to 70% males and 30% females. Then the experimental two-year infertility drug, PZP-22, would be given to all mares that are returned to the wild. Plans call for rounding up the wild horses every two years to re-administer the drug.
The BLM also considered their facilities:
  • "Security at facilities and at gathers would need to be increased to combat eco-terrorism." (The BLM is the eco-terrorist!)

This removal is scheduled to begin in Montana this August.

Here are past numbers regarding wild horse removal.
According to the GAO:
"The number of animals removed from the range is far greater than the number adopted or sold, which has resulted in the need for increased short-term and long-term holding. Since 2001, over 74,000 animals have been removed from the range, while only about 46,400 have been adopted or sold. Thirty-six percent fewer animals were adopted in 2007 than compared to the average adoption rates in the 1990s. As of June 2008, BLM was holding 30,088 animals in holding facilities, up from 9,807 in 2001. To accommodate the increased removals and declining adoptions and sales, BLM has increased the number of short-term and long-term holding facilities."

This really shows there is NO difference between the BLM, DOA, DOL, and FWP.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

4 Buffalo Slaughtered

MT DOL and FWP are back to the B.S.--buffalo slaughter. Yesterday they hazed and captured 3 bull bison in the Duck Creek bison trap. The buffalo were grazing near the park border north of Duck Creek. This isn't allowed by the 'adaptive management' changes to the IBMP.

In addition to this, agents shot a bull bison in Gallatin National Forest on Tuesday. To add to the tragedy, FWP agent, game warden Jim Smolzynski brought his young daughter to watch. She had participated in Chief Looking Horses' prayer ceremony last May. Smolzynski's dog was also at the killing and allowed to eat some of the carcass!

To watch footage of the events click here

All this for WHAT? Control over land. Cattle in Montana is a BILLION $ industry! It's NOT about brucellosis. Currently MT officials are asking the federal gov't to declare the state's cattle free of brucellosis. In MT more than 150,000 blood tests on cattle for the disease have come up NEGATIVE.

Contact Montana Department of Livestock State Veterinarian Marty Zaluski and tell him how stupid and senseless these incidents are: mzaluski@mt.gov / 406-444-0782

HelenaIR

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Deer Killing Tactics

For information on the city commission meeting last night, there is an article by the HelenaIR. I'll sum up what it says. KILL the DEER! That's it.

O.K. I'll give more info.

The city commissioners, FWP (Forget Wildlife Protection), and the police dept. will continue killing deer, but are also looking at non-lethal ways including: birth control vaccines, hazing through teaching residents how to shoot deer w/paintball guns (Helena is on it's way to becoming Yellowstone. RUN!) hunting, & public education on living peacefully w/deer (yeh right :P)

This summer the city will create a new urban wildlife task force (UWTF) (I don't know what was wrong with the last 1) while collaborating with FWP to "develop a long-term programmatic environmental assessment." In short-how many deer live in the city and how many will the city be allowed to kill each year. The city is also wanting grant funding from FWP.

The city is even recruiting people to join the UWTF. GREAT! Now, get the public involved in hazing. A city Task Force is probably cheaper to run than hiring the DOL.

If you'd like to contact Montana's FWP & remind them the deer are in the city b/c the city is chopping down and building inside the forests and if you'd like to tell them how inhumane and flat out stupid they are here's the link.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Urban Deer Control Tactics

Well tonight there will be a city commission discussion on the next round of trapping and killing of deer in Helena. Since September the Urban Wildlife Task Force killed 200 bucks and does. Details of this can be found in a previous post.

There will also be discussion of creating an Urban Wildlife Task Force advisory council to make decisions on how many deer to kill each year. Currently it costs $2000 to kill a deer!!

There is a deer friendly blog that goes into more detail about this issue.
Also you can check out New West News for more info.

The city has around 40,000 people and it acts like a big city that doesn't have ANY room left!

I won't be attending the meeting because no matter what anyone says, if it isn't what the city wants you'll be ignored.

In addition to MT killing off ALL wildlife, they are currently battling a pine beetle infestation that began in 2004. Currently over 1.1million acres of trees in Northern Idaho and MT have been destroyed.

What I think of all this. The forests are being destroyed because nature is experiencing tooo much stress from all the wildlife being killed. I wouldn't be surprised if all the trees died and Montana became a wasteland.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Buffalo Hazing Is Intense

Currently $3.3 million in YOUR federal tax dollars EVERY YEAR are being spent on this...
Photo by BFC volunteer Lake.


Photo by Lance Koudele.
DOL helicopter N1095T


BFC Update from May 28th (below in quotes)

"Park rangers have been hazing bison to Cougar Knoll, then pushing bison off of Cougar Knoll (seven miles from the boundary into the Park's interior) towards Seven-Mile Bridge and then on to Madison Junction and further to Fountain Flats, which is near Old Faithful. The Park/DOL (same thing anymore!) claims they are doing this to clear more western areas for bison being hazed from Gallatin National Forest (Horse Butte, etc). Patrols yesterday followed the haze in the Park for 12 miles along park roads and got some intense footage; other patrols followed the haze from the boundary to Cougar Knolls and documented the DOL helicopter flying very low to the ground within Yellowstone, nearly 20 feet, sometimes seemingly less. More is happening today. "


These buffalo calves were hazed May 27th inside Yellowstone & are struggling to make it across the Madison River's strong spring currents. Some barely made it. Photo by BFC volunteer Lake.

Buffalo are being run for miles without rest, water, or time to nurse.
They're chased across swollen rivers, through thick mud flats, fallen timber, paved roads, and dusty trails. The DOL denies knowing whether they are causing injuries. (What a surprise)


How you can help:

Ground the DOL's Helicopters. Contact the FAA
The helicopters' numbers are: N7770X and N1095T. The co-pilot is DOL agent Rob Tierney.

FAA Hotline:
http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/field_offices/fsdo/hln/contact/

Contact FAA Investigator Paul Hurlbert at paul.hurlbert@FAA.gov or call 406-449-5270


Call Suzanne Lewis & tell her to STOP this insanity 307-344-2002.

Contact Congress:
IBMP/Congress/Schweitzer: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/politicians.html


Contact Obama:
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2426/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26453





Thursday, May 21, 2009

Earthjustice Buffalo Videos

Earthjustice has posted 2 videos on their site. One is of a calf with a broken leg being hazed this month. The other shows the buffalo's migratory path out of the western boundary into Gallatin National forest.

Both videos are BFC's footage. The one of the calf was taken by Stephany Seay.

http://www.earthjustice.org/library/features/exclusive-footage-of-injured-bison-calf.html

Saturday, May 16, 2009

MT Wolf Hunt This Fall

FWP has set the wolf quota to (get this) 26-165 !! FWP representatives had wanted it to be 0-207. (that zero is NOT a misprint)
Why 207? They were afraid the wolves would become listed again!
But, FWP commission said no to 207 and wanted the lower number
because although the commission believes it’s biologically defensible, they weren’t sure it sends the right message — that Montana intends to maintain healthy wolf populations.

Something to take into consideration..

Federal standards require Montana to maintain 100 wolves in 10 breeding pairs. The state prefers a minimum of 150 wolves in 15 breeding pairs to ensure they don't fall under federal management again.

(They're like kids whose parents took away a toy for misbehaving then later gave it back. So, now they try to get away with as much as they can without going too far.)


Comments on the quotas will be taken until June 19th email FWP

Quotes are from an article in the HelenaIR

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday's Hazing Off Of Horse Butte

100 buffalo were hazed off of the Horse Butte Peninsula to Yellowstone Park. They were hazed across Highway 191 with Gallatin County sheriff's deputies and Montana Highway Patrol stopping traffic.

Above, a blue helicopter with a siren flew low over the herd. The pilot was Christian Mackay executive director of Montana DOL. There were ground forces as well to keep these unruly buffalo in line. The forces included: USFS, NPS, state wildlife officials, and DOL agents using ATVs, SUVs & rode horses yipping away like they do with cattle. The Montana Stockgrowers Association says the plan to allow more buffalo on Horse Butte is flawed so they're trying to change it.

Check out the Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Thursday, May 14, 2009

BFC Update

"WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONTANA: The Montana Department of Livestock initiated full-scale hazing operations today to force wild bison off of cattle-free Horse Butte and surrounding public lands on the Gallatin National Forest.

The Department of Livestock also violated the private property rights of the Galanis family, who owns the 700+ acre Yellowstone Ranch Preserve on Horse Butte. The DOL sent in their helicopter (photo by Lance Koudele) to chase bison family groups from Galanis' property. Mounted horsemen and a Forest Service law enforcement officer also violated the covenants of Yellowstone Village residents by entering the private subdivision to look for bison and chase them into areas where the helicopter could haze them. The Galanis Family and residents of Yellowstone Village have designated their properties as "Buffalo Safe Zones" (photo by Lance Koudele) and have repeatedly told the agents and the MT Governor that bison are welcome, agents are not.

"I had fifty bison on my property this morning, and now they are gone," said Horse Butte resident Susan McClure. "The DOL is destroying the very reason people like me live in this state and they are destroying the reason people come here to spend money: they come to see the bison. We're being told by the Department of Livestock that as private property owners, under the Interagency Bison Management Plan we don't have a say, our private property rights are null and void."

In addition to the MT Department of Livestock, agents from Yellowstone National Park, Gallatin National Forest, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and Gallatin County also participated. Montana State Veterinarian Marty Zaluski and Montana Department of Livestock Executive Officer Christian Mackay were also present.

During today's operation Buffalo Field Campaign patrols documented a newborn bison calf being hazed for miles with a broken leg along Forest Service Road 6697. Another newborn was separated from its mother during the hazing operation and is now orphaned.

"This week's operation is a shockingly clear demonstration of wildlife harassment and abuse and if someone treated a domestic animal this way, they'd find themself in jail," said BFC's Stephany Seay "Bison family groups of bison, including pregnant cows, yearlings, and newborn babies whose legs are just developing are being cruelly run nonstop for miles through difficult terrain and rushing river currents, hounded by screaming horsemen and a deafening helicopter."

The agencies' goal is to appease cattle interests and rid Montana of wild bison family groups by Friday, May 15th.

"There is not a single cow anywhere near here, and there will never be cattle on Horse Butte," said Buffalo Field Campaign spokeswoman Stephany Seay. "Livestock interests have no business wasting millions of federal tax dollars to chase bison off of their native habitat where they should be free to roam."

Today's hazing operation, like those throughout this week, push bison from Horse Butte deep into Yellowstone National Park, using a helicopter and mounted horsemen (photo by Lance Koudele). Bison will be chased to areas seven to twenty miles within Yellowstone National Park's interior. In the past three weeks government officials have commenced large-scale hazing operations on Gallatin National Forest, where there are no cattle, disrupting the ecosystem while forcing wild bison - including many newborn calves - off of their spring calving grounds deep into Yellowstone National Park. Agents use horses, snowmobiles, ATVs, and a helicopter to coerce the buffalo.


"Here we are at the edge of the world's first national park, and each spring it becomes a war zone, with the DOL's helicopter even flying miles into Yellowstone's interior, disturbing wildlife and park visitors, all for the sake of the 'holy cow,'" said Mike Mease, Campaign Coordinator of Buffalo Field Campaign. "It's time to stop mismanaging bison for cattle interests."

Fewer than 3,000 wild bison exist in the United States, all inhabiting areas in and around Yellowstone National Park. Since 2000, under the Interagency Bison Management Plan, thousands of wild American buffalo have been harassed and killed, with millions of federal tax dollars wasted each year to carry out these abusive, superfluous operations. The purported excuse for the brutal activities is to prevent the transmission of brucellosis, a European cattle disease, from wild bison to livestock. Wild bison have never transmitted brucellosis to cattle, and further, there are no cattle within miles of the area where the bison were grazing. Closer investigation of the issue and the history of the livestock industry reveal that brucellosis is being fraudulently used to cover up the industry's gratuitous control of grassland use.

Buffalo Field Campaign is the only group working in the field, every day, to stop the slaughter of the wild American buffalo. Volunteers defend the buffalo and their habitat and advocate for their lasting protection. For more information, video clips and photos visit Buffalo Field Campaign."