Thursday, March 25, 2010

NPS Centennial Coins

Here's an update to yesterday's article. I just found out that Ken Salazar is asking Congress to pass legislation authorizing the U.S. Mint to issue coins commemorating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016. Salazar wrote in a letter to Peloski on his draft of the bill for commemorative coins. Here are some excerpts.
“Commemorative coins would bring national and international visibility to the history and the mission of the Service as a whole as well as its many parks and programs during the bureau’s centennial year." [Bison slaughter is part of their "mission."]

In Salazar's draft of this bill he states that the National Park Service's core mission is,
"to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." ["unimpaired" well it's a little too late for that:P]

Regarding the 100th anniversary of NPS Salazar says it will,
"mark the beginning of the organization's second century of service to the American people as environmental leaders and vigilant stewards of the nation's treasured places and stories." [WOW!]

There will be a surcharge on each coin.
"The proceeds from a surcharge on the sale of commemorative coins will assist the financing of the needs of the National Park Service's parks and programs, helping to ensure that our nation's great natural and cultural resources will endure for generations to come." [More $$$ for bison slaughter]

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Coin Designs to Celebrate Conservation?

You are all familiar by now with the U.S. quarter series in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, featuring each state, including the U.S. territory of Guam. Well, now this year a new quarter series will begin next month in April dedicated to the national parks. Each quarter will feature on one side a 1932 portrait of George Washington and on the other an image depicting a national park totaling 56 coins. The first park will be Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas with the image of the park headquarters with the National Park Service emblem.

Yesterday was a ceremony in WA D.C. unveiling the design for the Yellowstone quarter (pictured right) which will be out in June. What is pictured on the coin is none other than old faithful with a bull bison in the foreground.

"The program is designed to celebrate the nation's legacy of conservation." NPS

Conservation?? Yeah right! For the past 200 years these bison have been slaughtered to near extinction. Even as you read this the Montana Department of Livestock is getting ready for their spring hazing of these remnants. This animal that once numbered into the millions is now down to a meager 3,000 and will be even less if they are slaughtered by government agencies as in the past.

Also, there is a new "study" that is to be carried out this year by Animal Plan Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The guise basis for this is to determine whether or not bull bison (as pictured above in the new U.S. coin) transmit brucellosis to cattle. Of course this is FALSE. First, brucellosis is a reproductive disease brought into this continent by European cattle. It causes cattle to abort their first calf. The disease is transmittable by ingestion of infected afterbirth or infected milk. Brucellosis was first found in Yellowstone bison in 1917 after some buffalo were fed milk from infected cows. Most wildlife are infected or have been at some point and now carry antibodies to the disease. Second, no buffalo would voluntarily mate with domestic cows. This new "study" of APHIS constitutes tranquilizing 50 bull bison, even in rut, in order to study their semen and blood.

Then, there is the deal with Ted Turner where 87 bison, who had been in quarantine were given to Turner for his bison ranch. In a previous post I said 88 were going. This is true, but only 87 went because one cow wasn't pregnant. Here are some more numbers to consider in this atrocity:

40 are still in quarantine at Corwin Springs
86 are housed at Turner's (21 of these are pregnant)
122 have been slaughtered
1 calf died after transport to Turner's land

If this is a "legacy of conservation" then it is very dismal to say the least.

If you would like to help out in saving this countries LAST genetically pure, continuously wild bison check out Buffalo Field Campaign. This is the only group in the field year round documenting the government's actions against the buffalo and taking the issue to WA D.C.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Action Needed to Help Yellowstone Bison!!!

(The following is from BFC)

Stop APHIS from Harming Wild Bull Bison

Without adequate notification to the public, in late-February, the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) department of Veterinary Services (VS) released an Environmental Assessment that outlines their intention to immobilize bull bison in the field in order to study their semen and blood. Their purported reasons for undertaking this study are to determine if bull bison can transmit brucellosis. APHIS intends to dart and immobilize wild bull bison - up to 50 individuals - on Gallatin National Forest lands north and west of Yellowstone's boundary. APHIS has not disclosed the immobilization chemical they intend to use on bison. APHIS also wishes to conduct another phase of this study inside Yellowstone National Park, on bull bison during the rut (mating) season. Yellowstone has flatly denied APHIS's requests for permits, demonstrating that this study is undesirable and unnecessary.

It is already widely accepted that bull bison pose a zero risk of transmitting brucellosis to domestic livestock, and there has never been a documented case of any wild bison transmitting the livestock disease brucellosis back to cattle. APHIS is also under the false impression that wild bull bison would actually choose to mate with domestic cows, however, in the history of cattle being on the buffalo's landscape, this has never happened. Artificial insemination is the only means by which to cross Bison bison with domestic cattle.

Buffalo Field Campaign is adamantly opposed to this study as it is unwarranted, poorly thought out, lacks critical information as well as the necessary permissions APHIS needs to carry it out. More importantly, it will be dangerous to bulls and possibly other buffalo, and will result in absolutely no benefit to wild bison. APHIS also put forth minimal effort to notify the public that this Environmental Assessment was available for public comment, so Buffalo Field Campaign has requested an extension for public comment, but currently there is very little time in which to act. APHIS's comment period ends on Tuesday, March 23, 2010. However, everyone who cares about wild bison should continue to send in comments even after the closing of the public comment period.

Take Action Here:

Download and read APHIS's EA.

Who is APHIS?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

YNP Bison Count

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

March 17, 2010 10-015
Al Nash (307) 344-2015


Yellowstone Late Winter Estimate Shows 3,000 Bison

Yellowstone National Park recently completed a late winter bison population
abundance estimate.

The population is estimated at 3,000 bison.

The aerial survey was difficult to conduct this year, due to low snowpack and the resulting bare patches of ground. These conditions are likely to have resulted in an underestimate of the population by as much as ten percent.

Fifty-six percent of the bison are in the Northern Range herd, with forty-four percent in the Central Interior herd.

Last year's late winter population estimate was 2,900 bison.

State licensed and tribal hunters removed four bison from the population this year. No other bison have been captured or shipped to slaughter, or otherwise removed from the population this winter. [What about the 87 that went to Ted Turner? Interesting that this was left out.]

This population estimate is used to inform adaptive management strategies under the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP). Specific management actions may be modified based on expected late winter population levels, as corroborated by the summer population estimate.

The IBMP is a cooperative plan designed to conserve a viable, wild bison population while protecting Montana's brucellosis-free status. [B.S.]

The five cooperating agencies operating under the IBMP are the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Montana Department of Livestock, and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Signature Gathering

Yesterday I volunteered with Montana Trap-Free Public Lands. The weather was windy, cold and about to rain. We were gathering signatures on I-60, an initiative to end trapping on public lands, "except as allowed for scientific and propagation purposes or for the actions of government in protecting the safety and health of citizens."

We set up an info. table downtown on the St. Patrick's Day parade route. Here we spread out to gather signatures. Being in Montana, most of the responses were, "No thanks." Others were more in opposition like, "People have a right to set up traps on public land." (yeah, and is it also your right to abuse other citizens, pets, and wildlife?)

In one hour I got a whopping 7, yes, that's right, 7 signatures! The others had gathered 13 each. By now it had been raining for a half hour, so we called it quits.

MTFPL needs 25,000 signatures by June. Currently they have only 5,000. If you're registered to vote in the state of MT please sign their petition here.