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.

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