Friday, December 30, 2011

BFC Honored as "Small Green Group That Makes a Big Difference"

Buffalo Field Campaign is proud to be named one of "Ten Small Green Groups That Make a Big Difference" in a recent CounterPunch article written by Jeffrey St. Clair. 

The article features ten grassroots groups who "stand up for what they stand on, who put protection of the environment before politics. They all operate close to the bone, their meager budgets are spent on activism and litigation, not on self-promoting direct mail operations, glitzy offices or bloated administrative expenses. These groups will put your money to work defending the planet."

On BFC and the crisis facing wild North American bison St. Clair says "Since 1985, the federal government, working in concert with Montana cattle barons, has killed more than 6,800 bison that have migrated out of Yellowstone National Park.  The slaughter is rationalized on the specious grounds of preventing the spread of brucellosis from bison to local cows. Buffalo Field Campaign has exposed this dreadful bloodbath as a political hoax. Their volunteers courageously place themselves between the bison and their would-be killers. They spend all day, from sunrise until sunset, watching and documenting actions taken against the buffalo. They run patrols from cars, skis and snowshoes to protect buffalo outside the park. Their tactics range from video documentation to nonviolent civil disobedience."

Looking ahead to 2012 and the struggles we know await us there, we are honored to have earned such praises. More importantly, we are honored and indebted to each of you for sharing the bison's story with your friends, families, and co-workers; for picking up the phone and firing up your computers time and time again to take action for the buffalo; for putting your lives on hold to join us in the field to patrol the Yellowstone boundary; and for making Buffalo Field Campaign's every action possible through your financial contributions and steadfast support.

If you have made a recent donation we thank you. If not, please consider contributing any amount within your means. We will put your contribution to good use funding Buffalo Field Campaign frontlines field patrols and defending the buffalo in the courts and in the policy arena.  Please click one of these buttons or send a check to the address below.  Buffalo Field Campaign could not exist without you.

Show Your Support!
Make a 2011 tax-deductible contribution or purchase BFC's beautiful 2012 Wild Bison Calendar.

Buffalo Field Campaign
PO Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Santa's Reindeer Certified Brucellosis Free!

Rene Carlson, American Veterinary Medical Association president gave all 9 reindeer a check up and has found them to be free of brucellosis. Now they and Santa can fly anywhere in the world, including Montana and not cause any states in the US to lose their brucellosis free status. Read More...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Buffalo Art Gifts

FWP Suggests Giving Bison to MT Tribes

Today FWP Director, Joe Maurier signed an official "Record of Decision"
suggesting that 68 bison held in quarantine be relocated to the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation near Malta and the Fort Peck Indian Reservation near Wolf Point respectively.  Last January Maurier wasn't so keen on this idea. In his own words during a commission meeting,
If we give them [buffalo] to another nation, it could be seen as the ultimate in privatization. So, until we can resolve that issue, I will not be able to do much. But it's still under consideration.
Also, in January there were other relocation sites considered. Bob Marshall Wilderness Area and Spotted Dog Wildlife Management Area. Again Maurier considered these areas because he was looking for appropriate areas that could support huntable populations of at least 50 bison. 50 is a "huntable population?" How many tags would be sold?
Now, however these sites were rejected by many neighboring landowners, livestock producers, local governments, and hunters. Hunters? How ironic.

If the bison are moved onto Tribal lands the bison, like the people, will still be subjected to the rules and regs of the federal government.
The following is from a media release by FWP
Accordingly, management-plan agreements for each tribal site must include commitments to: (1) continue disease testing for five years, (2) properly contain bison, (3) immediately respond to any escapes of bison, and (4) provide Montana with disease-free bison for future conservation efforts. There are no infrastructure costs for FWP to pay associated with the recommended tribal lands.

FWP Commission will decide on this at its meeting in Helena on Dec. 9. If approved the bison could be moved this winter. I hope they are moved. This would be one step closer in the right direction toward restoring what the US government tried to eliminate 200 years ago.

Albert Einstein Was Right About Caring For Animals!

A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.   
Albert Einstein

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Support HR 3432!

On Wednesday, November 16, H.R. 3432, the Rural Economic Vitalization Act (REVA), was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Adam Smith (D-WA-9th) and six original cosponsors.

This bill would allow federal grazing permittees to voluntarily relinquish their grazing permits back to the managing federal agency in exchange for compensation paid by a third party.

Grazing permit retirement is a voluntary, non-regulatory, market-based solution to public lands grazing conflicts.  Permittees determine if and when they want to retire their grazing permits. Permittees and third parties separately agree how much a permittee will be paid for relinquishing their permit. And federal agencies facilitate the transaction by immediately retiring grazing permits received from a permittee. The Rural Economic Vitalization Act caps the total number of grazing permits that may be retired each year at 100.

Send a letter urging your House Representative to cosponsor this bill!
Click here to go to letter

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Grizzly Lawsuit May Help Wild Buffalo

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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
July 21, 2011


* Update from the Field
* Join BFC for Wood Cut Week September 5-11
* Lawsuit: Helicopter Hazing of Buffalo Harms Grizzly Bears
* BFC's Wild Bison 2012 Calendar Now Available
* Please Respond to APHIS' Claim of "Protecting" Wildlife
* By the Numbers
* Last Words

* Update from the Field

  A graceful and gentle giant, this bull buffalo grazes among the summer flowers, shedding his winter wool.  Photo by Barbara Magnuson and Larry Kimball, used with permission.  Barbara's and Larry's photos are featured in our Wild Bison 2011 and 2012 calendars!  Click photo for larger image.

Many thanks to everyone who contacted Dr. Marty Zaluski of the Montana Department of Livestock about the agency's unnecessary lethal action against a bull buffalo on Independence Day weekend.  It is crucial that the Livestock Department hears from people and is kept aware that we are all paying close attention to and actively opposing their every move against America's last wild buffalo population.

Last week BFC joined with our powerful allies Western Watersheds Project to intervene in a lawsuit by Park County and the Park County Stockgrower's Association.  These two anti-buffalo entities seek to prevent wild buffalo from accessing temporary habitat in the Gardiner Basin, north of Yellowstone National Park.  BFC and WWP hope to help Montana move forward with this long-overdue plan to allow the buffalo a little bit of room to roam north of park boundaries.   Read the full press release.

The Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) agencies will be holding meetings on August 4-5.  For the first time ever, the meetings will be held on tribal land and hosted by the Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes.  It will be very interesting to see how the typical arrogance of the U.S. and Montana government agencies might change as they discuss their issues in the presence of a First Nations buffalo culture.  The two-day meeting will be organized with a field trip one day and a full day of discussions the next.  The field trip will be particularly important, as the Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribe has the longest stretch of wildlife safe passage highway infrastructure in the lower 48, on Highway 93, which we hope can be put in place on highways that wild buffalo must navigate in their migration corridors.   BFC will be at the meetings and you can come, too.  Check here for the agenda, times, and location.  If you can't make it in person, rest assured that we will give you a full report.

  This young buffalo has found a nice place to rest its head, while contemplating admirers inside Yellowstone.  Photo by Tim Springer used with permission.  Tim's photos are featured in our Wild Bison 2011 calendar!  Click photo for larger image.

The buffalo are enjoying the peace and abundance of summer and BFC is focusing on our outreach efforts.  As America's last wild buffalo are being admired by millions of Yellowstone visitors, many of those visitors are stopping by BFC's information table at Tower Falls to talk with our field volunteers and learn about the buffalo and the work BFC is doing in their defense.  You can help do the same thing in your very own community; we have thousands of newsletters on hand and can really use your help in getting them out across the country.  If you would like us to send you some, please contact Elizabeth with the number of newsletters you'd like and where you'd like them to be mailed.  If your address has recently changed or if you'd like to be added to our mailing list for the first time, please let Elizabeth know that as well.

Thank you so much for being with us for the buffalo and for helping us spread the word to save these last wild herds!

Roam Free!

* Join BFC for Wood Cut Week, September 5-11

The heat of summer makes the cold grip of winter seem almost like a faraway dream, but it is a frosty reality that will return in a few short months.  BFC Headquarters is located in one of the coldest climates in the lower-48 states, with temperatures averaging well below zero, and snowfall averaging 5-10 feet.  Our volunteers rely on wood heat to stay warm in our cabin, tipis, and yurt, and the time is coming to gather, cut and stack that wood.

Please join BFC for our Annual Wood Cut Week this coming September 5-11, 2011.  Meals will be provided.  Extra friends and chain saws are welcome!  Please contact Mike if you are able to join us.  See you then!

* Lawsuit:  Helicopter Hazing of Buffalo Harms Grizzly Bears

  This grizzly bear is probably thinking twice about trying to eat this massive bull, but winter-killed bison as well as the rarely unguarded young or injured serve as an important part of the grizzly bear's diet.  Sharing the same habitat, grizzly bears are also heavily impacted by the war-like helicopters that come to chase the buffalo out of Montana every spring.  Photo by Kim Kaiser, used with permission.  Kim Kaiser's photos are featured in our Wild Bison 2011 and 2012 calendars and many other BFC publications.  Click photo for larger image.

On July 14 Public Interest Defense Center attorney Rebecca Smith filed suit in federal court on behalf of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies to stop buffalo harassment by government helicopters in threatened grizzly bear habitat.

The complaint details how several Interagency Bison Management Plan agencies are in violation of environmental laws including the Endangered Species Act for illegal take of grizzly bears and their habitat and for failing to consult and properly consider impacts in a scientific biological opinion, the National Environmental Policy Act for failing to properly analyze cumulative effects to grizzly bears, the National Forest Management Act for violating Gallatin National Forest Plan grizzly bear standards, and the Administrative Procedure Act as the above acts and omissions by the government agencies are arbitrary and capricious and an abuse of discretion.

Defendants include the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, who provided $525,000 in U.S. taxpayer dollars to fully fund the Montana Dept. of Livestock's operations targeting bison that migrate into Montana.   The livestock department is also named as a defendant along with the U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

In 2010 Buffalo Field Campaign videotaped the Montana Dept. of Livestock helicopter disturbing a grizzly bear feeding on bison winterkill on the Gallatin National Forest near the Horse Butte Peninsula.  In records discovered through the Freedom of Information Act, Yellowstone National Park also admitted in 2010 that "during several hazing events in YNP the helicopter flew over grizzly bears and wolves."

Grizzly bears co-evolved with buffalo and once numbered up to 100,000 ranging across the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains. Like the buffalo, the grizzly was pushed to the brink of extinction and extirpated from 98% of their original range. Breeding individuals in the subpopulation of Yellowstone grizzly bears numbers around 100 today.

Malnourished bears emerging from winter denning - a fast lasting 5 to 6 months - are dependent on winter killed ungulates to nourish newborn cubs and restore their health.

The suit is before U.S. District Court Judge Charles C. Lovell who has made several adverse rulings that have harmed the buffalo and their habitat. Buffalo Field Campaign is assisting the Public Interest Defense Center with video and documentation.

Stay Tuned!

* BFC's Wild Bison 2012 Calendar Now Available

  Rave reviews are in!  We are getting extremely positive feedback from folks who have already ordered their Wild Bison 2012 calendar.  Order yours now by clicking on the image or go here.

Connect with the buffalo through Buffalo Field Campaign's brand new 2012 calendar.  Filled with eye-catching and awe-inspiring images of wild buffalo on their native habitat in Yellowstone country, this year's calendar is a beautiful tribute to this amazing species.

Wild Bison 2012 is a positive celebration of the last continuously wild herds of bison in America.  This year's calendar features photographs submitted by BFC supporters or shot by volunteers.  Each month offers a seasonal perspective on wild bison and highlights their natural history.

With a limited print run of just 5,000 calendars, be sure to order yours as soon as possible.  Why not order one right now?!

* Please Respond to APHIS' Claim of "Protecting" Wildlife

We just came across a recent blog post by USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service veterinarian Jack Rhyan titled "APHIS Veterinarians, Protecting our Nation's Wildlife Populations."  Huh?  APHIS, as you know, is the dark force behind the Interagency Bison Management Plan.  They are the agency that initiated the bison quarantine (read: domestication) study.  They are the agency that has been molesting bull bison to study their semen.  They are the agency that recently stole 53 ecologically extinct wild buffalo to conduct birth control experiments on.   APHIS likes to treat wild buffalo like livestock and there is not a single thing we have seen from them that could be remotely considered "protecting" wildlife.  Dr. Rhyan notes that one of the "coolest things" he's ever done is radio collar wild buffalo, while further stating that his "work....impacts how wildlife is managed."  Yes, we know that all too well.

We thought it would be fun for you - and actually, very important - to respond to this blog.  Dr. Rhyan, who probably admires buffalo in his own way, should be reminded that these are not "Yellowstone" bison, but America's last wild population, and that brucellosis is not a problem for wild buffalo, outside of the nefarious politics that mismanage them, and that to truly love a wild and free creature, it is important to let them be wild and free and learn from them on their terms.  There are a lot of points in this post that could be addressed, and we're sure you'll find them.

Here's the link

* By the Numbers

AMERICAN BUFFALO ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S. The last wild population is currently estimated at fewer than 3,600 individual buffalo.  Wild buffalo are ecologically extinct throughout their native range of North America. 

2010-2011 Total Buffalo Killed: 227

2010-2011 Government Capture: 770
2010-2011 Government Slaughter: 0
2010-2011 Held for Government Experiment:  30
2010-2011 Died In Government Trap: 3
2010-2011 Miscarriage in Government Trap: 1
2010-2011 State & Treaty Hunts: 211
2010-2011 Quarantine: 0
2010-2011 Shot by Agents: 4
2010-2011: Killed by Angry Residents:  2
2010-2011 Highway Mortality: 11

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

* Total Since 2000: 3,972*

*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine, hunts, highway mortality

* Last Words

"It's amazing the effect one species, the wolf, can have on the entire ecosystem," says William Ripple, at Oregon State University, co-author of an international report on the profound and cascading impact large animals have on ecosystems.

He and his colleagues say the demise of lions, wolves, bison, sharks, great whales and other large animals is part of the "the sixth mass extinction" now underway, and that their disappearance affects everything from wildfires to the spread of disease.

"The loss of these animals may be humankind's most pervasive influence on nature," the team of 24 scientists from the United States, Europe, Africa and Canada are reporting Friday in the journal Science.

~ From Margaret Munroe's article "Wolves show 'sixth mass extinction' can be fought," Post Media News, July 14, 2011.  Read the full story.

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


Media & Outreach
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!

     ROAM FREE!   

Thursday, July 14, 2011

BFC & WWP Defend Bison's Room to Roam

Buffalo Field Campaign and Western Watersheds Project File to Intervene
in Lawsuit to Defend Bison's Room to Roam Beyond Yellowstone National Park

- July 14, 2011

Press contacts:
Darrell Geist, Habitat Coordinator Buffalo Field Campaign: 406-646-0070;
Jon Marvel, Executive Director Western Watersheds Project: 208-788-2290;

Lewistown, MT:  Buffalo Field Campaign and Western Watersheds Project filed today to intervene in consolidated lawsuits by Park County and the Park County Stockgrowers Association to stop a plan by the state of Montana to permit bison some room to migrate within Gardiner Basin outside Yellowstone National Park.

The groups say Gardiner Basin provides critical winter habitat and is a key corridor for the migratory species to roam in Montana.

"This reconnection of buffalo and the land on which they belong is a long overdue first step," said Daniel Brister, Executive Director of Buffalo Field Campaign.  "Local Montanans welcome the buffalo's migration, have learned to live with buffalo, and desire to see the wild species return."

Gardiner Basin encompasses a small portion of the bison's northern winter range originally reaching 40 miles beyond Yankee Jim Canyon into Paradise Valley along the Yellowstone River.

Park County residents who filed affidavits in state court say the bison need a break from wasteful taxpayer funded government hazing, capture, and slaughter operations that harms their interest in co-existing with the wild species in their native range.

"Yellowstone is one of a very few nearly intact ecosystems on the planet and is considered a world treasure," said Fred Baker, who owns property the bison migrate onto along the Old Yellowstone Trail. "To not support free roaming Bison in my opinion is an American travesty."

"I found this winter very special in viewing bison up and down the Gardiner Basin," said Gardiner, Montana resident Scott Hoeninghausen. "A limited amount of tolerance created an unlimited amount of beauty."

The plan agreed to by Montana would permit some bison to temporarily occupy some winter range in the Gardiner Basin.

Bison migrating beyond Yankee Jim Canyon would be subject to shooting by state officials, an action which the groups and residents deplore.

"It is long past time for bison to be able to return to their historic range in Montana," said Jon Marvel, executive director of Western Watersheds Project. "WWP welcomes the opportunity to support the State of Montana."

District Court Judge E. Wayne Phillips of Lewistown has scheduled a hearing for the consolidated cases in which BFC and WWP seek to intervene in the fall of 2011.

Judge Phillips replaced Park County District Court Judge Nels Swandal who was removed from the case after Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks petitioned for a new judge.

Before he was removed from hearing the suit, Judge Swandal granted a temporary restraining order to the stock growers and the county thwarting Montana participation in the new agreed upon plan.

Help fishers and wolverines: Your Comments Needed!

 The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission has tentatively approved "business as usual" with FWP allowing for the continued trapping of Montana's fishers and wolverines, two extremely rare species that are highly vulnerable to trapping and already struggling for survival.

Please send a comment to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission requesting the closure of the fisher and wolverine trapping season. Also, please support the reduced quota of bobcat trapping in districts 3 (400 to 300) and district 7 (800 to 600). Please write your comments into the form at the link below:

The deadline for comments is Monday, July 18th at 5 p.m.

Talking points to support the end of trapping of fishers:

·         Montana is not only the only state in the lower 48 that allows trapping of fishers but it is also among the few remaining states that do not have a mandatory trap check!

·         Fishers in Montana are not connected to populations in Canada, and given their low numbers in increasingly isolated mountain ranges across western Montana, the mortality from the proposed trapping quota of seven individuals, may not be sustainable.

·         The wolverine is listed as a Species of Concern in Montana, and is likely at risk for extinction due to limited and/or declining numbers, range, and/or habitat.

·         Though fishers still remain in five drainages in Montana, their status is unknown; however, the decline in fisher numbers is clearly due to logging and trapping.

·         Historic data indicates that fishers were extirpated from Montana by 1920 due to over-trapping and they had to be reintroduced!

36 individuals from British Columbia were caught in live-traps and translocated to Montana in 1959. Another 110 fishers lost their homes in Minnesota and Wisconsin in 1989 and 1991and were translocated to Montana. After that, the trapping season was reopened in Montana in 1983. The statewide quota for fishers then was 20, then it was reduced to ten and now seven individuals can officially be killed for the entertainment of trappers.

Talking points to support end of trapping of wolverines:

·         Montana is not only the only state in the lower 48 that allows wolverine trapping but it is also among the few remaining states that do not have a mandatory trap check!
·         Given the low numbers of wolverines in increasingly isolated mountain ranges across western Montana, the mortality from the proposed trapping quota of five individuals, may not be sustainable.
·         The wolverine is listed as a Species of Concern in Montana, and is likely at risk for extinction due to limited and/or declining numbers, range, and/or habitat.

·         Wolverines are struggling for survival due to various threats, including habitat fragmentation and loss, and climate change. Yet, trappers can kill them for trophies!

·         Researchers estimate that a total of 400 breeding pairs are needed for the long-term survival of this species while the total number of wolverines in the US appears to be only 500 individuals with a large part of the population non-breeding subadults.  [USDI 2008/Cegelski et al. 2006, pg. 197; Inman 2007a]

·         Trappers kill wolverine outfitted with radio-collars, in fact, trapping has impacted expensive and difficult research studies to the point where researchers are unable to collect sufficient data to meet their objectives.

·         One research study (Squires et al. 2007) found that between 2001 and 2005, 64% [9 of 14 individuals] of known mortality was attributed to trapping. The same study showed that trapping was the primary factor for decreased survival of wolverines in Western Montana.

·         Trapping is an outdated hobby of few and causes our wildlife to suffer. It is time to end this kind of commercial and recreational exploitation of Montana's wildlife. Not trapping but wildlife is our heritage!

While we don't know if the Montana FWP Commissioners consider our public comments, we nevertheless need to let them know that we as citizens concerned about our wildlife, are watching their actions. Trappers can only continue to do what they do when we don't speak up!

Please send a comment. Again, the deadline is July 18.


Your friends at Footloose Montana

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Q-Fever Spreads in 2 States

Q Fever spreads into the environment most commonly through livestock infected afterbirth and feces. Q Fever is caused by a microbe and can survive for months even years in dust an soil. People can contract Q Fever by coming into contact with the above mentioned material and inhaling infected barn dust. 
Health and agriculture investigators in Washington have traced the outbreak to a goat herd in the central part of the state where animals on two farms have since been quarantined.
The goats from one of the farms were sold to at least one livestock operator in Montana, where three human cases are confirmed and three more suspected, officials said.               (Yahoo News)
Is there a vaccine for animals & people for Q Fever? 
Yes, but not in USA.
A vaccine for Q fever is not commercially available in the U.S., although a human vaccine (Q-VAX®) is produced and licensed for use in Australia. A similar product, which is not licensed, is administered as an Investigational New Drug in the U.S. This vaccine is available through the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases for vaccinating at-risk persons. A vaccine for use in animals has also been developed, but it is not available in the U.S.     Q Fever-U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine     
There is currently not a licensed vaccine to prevent Q fever in livestock in the United States.  Colorado State University            "Q Fever" by Dr. Van Meter

Why do I bring this up? Q Fever can be contracted by humans from livestock, yet there is no livestock vaccine. In 2008 the number of yearly cases of Q Fever went down dramatically with less than 140 human contractions.

Whereas with brucellosis there is an effective vaccine (if ranchers choose to use it) and states like Montana have funding appropriated by the legislature on developing even better vaccines.  The number of human contractions of brucellosis in the USA is 100-200 per year.

Yet, even with all this funding and prevention federal tax payer money is used each year to harass and slaughter Yellowstone National Park Bison with the excuse that these bison transmit brucellosis to cattle, even though there has never been a case of this happening. No cattle are allowed on the bison birthing grounds or even into the state of MT until mid June, long after bison have given birth.

Friday, June 17, 2011

MT Wolf Hunt Comments Needed!

This is from Defenders of Wildlife. 
Montana wolves once again need your support.  As you may have heard, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is proposing a general rifle hunting season for wolves, set to begin Oct. 22 and running through Dec. 31, 2011. They are also proposing an archery and backcountry season beginning in September.  The proposed plan includes a statewide quota of 220 wolves divided across 14 Wolf Management Units (the 2010 year-end minimum count for wolves in Montana was 566).  According to FWP’s models, this represents a 40% harvest rate of the predicted pre-hunt population and will result in a population reduction of up to 25% by year end 2011.  FWP is accepting comments regarding this proposed hunt until 5:00 PM on Monday, June 20.  This doesn’t give us much time! 

We have included some talking points below.  Feel free to use these as a starting point when submitting your comments.

General talking points for wolves in the Northern Rockies:
  • The return of the gray wolf to the Northern Rockies is a remarkable achievement in wildlife restoration and an Endangered Species Act success story. Wolves have a long history in the West and are part of our unique wildlife heritage. 
  • As a Montana resident who support wolf conservation efforts, it’s important that the state manage wolves as native wildlife and appreciate the important ecological role they play, instead of treating them like pests and actively reducing their numbers to minimum levels.
  • Hunting quotas should be as conservative as possible, and based upon professional wildlife management standards.
  • According to a University of Montana study, people who visit the Yellowstone region hoping to glimpse a wolf spend around $35 million annually in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.  This is an important economic resource for our state.
  • Elk & Wolves:  Contrary to popular misconception, most elk herds in the Northern Rockies are thriving. Elk numbers in the region have increased 18% since wolf reintroduction and 60 percent statewide in Montana, according to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Today, there are nearly 400,000 elk in the Northern Rockies and about 1,700 wolves. FWP needs to work harder to dispel myths and misinformation regarding wolves and their relationship with elk and other wildlife.
  • Livestock & Wolves:  Livestock lost to wolves represent less than 1% of total livestock losses in Montana and the Northern Rockies. Disease, coyotes, domestic dogs, and severe weather kill many times more cattle and sheep than wolves do.
The favorable aspects of the plan:
  • It’s good that no trapping is allowed under the current plan.
  • The required 5-day waiting period after purchase of a wolf license is a good idea.  It will help discourage some poachers.
  • The plan includes a mandatory 12-hour reporting after killing a wolf, and carcass inspection within 10 days. 
The things we’d like to see changed in the proposed plan:
  • The proposed 220 wolf statewide quota is too high.  It is a huge jump up from the 75 wolves allowed in the 2009 hunting season, and represents an attempt to seriously reduce wolf numbers in the state without adequate cause.
  • Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks already authorizes the killing of a lot of wolves in Montana (141 wolves in 2010, for example) in response to livestock depredation. This is currently in addition to wolves killed by public hunting. This harvest quota should be reduced to reflect this already substantial loss of wolves blamed for livestock losses.
  • The Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks commission needs to lower the hunting quota and focus on wolf conservation as the top objective as directed by the state’s wolf management plan instead of dramatically reducing the wolf population.  The state should err on the side of caution during the first years of state management and maintain a healthy, robust wolf population.
Please see the link below for more information and to submit comments:  

Again, comments are due by 5:00 PM on Monday, June 20.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flower Budget FY 2012

 After yesterday's announcement by VP Biden to cut spending of taxpayer dollars on things that benefit nobody and then his attack on the Desert Tortoise website, comes another fluke.

In the FY 2012 agriculture appropriations bill there is a provision requiring the National Arboretum to maintain a very specific portion of its azalea collection. The bill says, The Committee encourages the National Arboretum to work collaboratively with supporters of the National Arboretum to raise additional funds to ensure the long-term viability of these and other important collections.

Also, the bill would cut $832 million from a program that provides food assistance to low-income mothers and children. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that the reduction could result in as many as 475,000 people being turned away from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) if food prices continue to rise.--Huffington Post

Since this is an "agriculture appropriations bill," we can't forget wolves. The bill states:

Wildlife Damage Management – The Committee provides $72,500,000 for Wildlife Damage Control, approximately $4 million above the President’s request. ... Special emphasis should be placed on those areas such as livestock protection...predator control, and other threats to agriculture industries. [p. 20]

If you're a single mother, child, or wolf, you can't compete with the priceless Azalea.

US politics ARGH!

Monday, June 13, 2011

V.P. Biden Wants to Stop Wasteful Spending

Biden has good ideas. One thing to note though, is his attack on the Desert Tortoise, an endangered species. In cutting funding for things like a website about this animal, Biden says he will be stopping wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars on things that benefit nobody. Interesting...So, endangered species are of no importance? 
If you'd like to send any comments to the V.P. you can contact him here  Ask him to quit spending taxpayer money on abusing America's Last Genetically Pure Bison who reside in Yellowstone National Park.  This definitely qualifies as one of those things that benefit nobody.

The White House, Washington

Good morning,
Did you know that the government spends millions to maintain buildings that have sat vacant for years? Or that your tax dollars pay to needlessly ship copies of the Federal Register to thousands of government offices across the country even though the same information is available online?

And I bet you didn't know that your tax dollars pay for a website dedicated to the Desert Tortoise. I'm sure it's a wonderful species, but we can't afford to have a standalone site devoted to every member of the animal kingdom. It's just one of hundreds of government websites that should be consolidated or eliminated.

This kind of waste is just unacceptable. Particularly at a time when we're facing tough decisions about reducing our deficit, it's a no-brainer to stop spending taxpayer dollars on things that benefit nobody.

That's why President Obama asked me to head up the Campaign to Cut Waste—a new effort to root out wasteful spending at every agency and department in the Federal Government.

Like millions of American families, the Federal Government has to take a hard look at spending and live within its means. Most of these cuts we're going to make are small. They won't close our deficit or solve all of our fiscal problems. However, no amount of waste is acceptable, and these cuts will add up over time. This year alone we've found $33 billion in savings, but we know there's a lot more work to be done.

When we passed the Recovery Act back in 2009, President Obama insisted that we use that program to set a new standard in government transparency and accountability. And he appointed me as "Sheriff Joe" to make sure the job gets done.

Now, there were a lot of naysayers back then who said that there was no way we could implement the Recovery Act without massive waste, fraud and abuse.

You know what? They were wrong. Thanks to our diligence (and some help from advanced computer models and sophisticated data analysis), the Recovery Act has had an unprecedentedly low level of fraud, with less than 0.6% of all awards experiencing any waste or abuse.

There's absolutely no reason why we can't apply these same principles and techniques to all government spending.

And that's exactly what I intend to do with the help of a new Government Accountability and Transparency Board, a group composed of independent inspectors general and high-level agency officials who will help me root out waste, fraud and abuse across the government. Helping me ensure that your tax dollars are being spent on things that matter, like investments in education, innovation and improving our infrastructure.

So, folks, we're changing the way your government does business (and spends your hard-earned tax dollars), and I think you're going to like the results.


Vice President Joe Biden

P.S. If you're interested in keeping up with our progress in hunting down wasteful spending, you can sign up for regular email updates.

The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111

Friday, June 3, 2011

Yellowstone Bison Experiment

Yellowstone National Park has given permission to APHIS and the USDA to experiment on 100 bison the effects of GonaCon. This is a pesticide contraceptive approved by the EPA. GonaCon is a single-shot immunocontraceptive vaccine. It is effective for 1-5 years. (These people need to use it.)

Buffalo w/Calf along Hebgen Lake. photo by Eva Vincent
As part of its program to develop tools for managing populations of overabundant wildlife species, NWRC [National Wildlife Research Center] scientists have developed a new GnRH immunocontraceptive vaccine (named GonaCon™) that shows great promise as a wildlife infertility agent. (Technical discussion on how GnRH immunocontraception works)

GonaCon was originally made to reduce white-tail deer populations, which the EPA has classified as a public health pest.

To read a PDF fact sheet on GonaCon click here.

Create 'Animal Appreciation Week'

This is a great petition to sign!
This petition is dedicated to the kitten lovingly named 'Little Heart', who was savagely beaten and nearly stabbed in Virginia by a 12 year old boy. Another child intervened in time to knock the blade from the 12 year olds hands, sparing the kitten from even more unspeakable torture. The kitten suffered a broken leg, and has since passed on. As of 06/03/2011, it is unclear whether or not the horrific abuse bestowed upon the kitten contributed to it's death. As of right now, the child has only been charged with one misdemeanor count of cruelty. 

 Sadly, this sort of case happens more often that we think. Adults are not taking enough time to educate their children of the wrongs of Animal Cruelty. I say that schools should be required to have an annual 'Animal Appreciation week', where the children learn more about animals and animal welfare. There should also be a focus on educating them about the wrongs of Animal Cruelty, and teach them how they can help animals instead of hurt them.

 One of my suggestions for an idea would include learning about how animals help people, such as therapy dogs, police dogs, guide dogs, etc. 

SIGN Petition

Tell Nestea STOP Abusing Animals

Tell Nestea to Stop Abusing Animals

Before taking your next sip of tea, check the label on the bottle because you may be drinking a cupful of cruelty to animals. Nestlé, the maker of Nestea, is testing and paying others to conduct painful and deadly tea tests on animals. The company has caused animals to suffer simply to investigate the possible health benefits linked to tea products and ingredients, even though not one of these experiments is legally required for beverage manufacturers, and regulators have stated that animal tests are not sufficient to prove a health claim about a product.
In these cruel tests, mice and rats were tormented and then killed by such means as decapitation. The following are some details of the horrors endured by the animals used in Nestea's tea experiments:
  • Mice bred to suffer from brain dysfunction and rapid aging were fed green-tea extracts and then locked in a dark chamber, only to receive painful electric shocks to their feet; the mice were then killed.
  • Mice bred to suffer from muscle degeneration were fed green-tea extracts, after which experimenters cut open the animals' leg muscles and then decapitated them.
  • Experimenters injected toxic chemicals into mice to destroy insulin-producing cells, causing the animals to develop diabetes. After this cruel procedure, the mice were force-fed tea extracts and then killed.
  • Rats made to suffer from high fat and cholesterol levels were forced to consume tea extracts through a tube that was forced down their throats; the rats were then killed and dissected.
Modern, cruelty-free research methods are available and are in use by other leading beverage companies around the world. We need YOU to join us in telling Nestea to ditch its cruel-tea to animals and to use non-animal methods instead.

Please take a moment to ask Nestea to stop testing on animals and join other brands—such as Lipton, Arizona, Snapple, Honest Tea, Tazo, Twinings, Stash Tea, Celestial Seasonings, Luzianne Tea, and others—that don't experiment on animals.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Canada to Protect Wolves

The National Democratic Party has introduced a bill that seeks to amend the Wildlife Act to make it illegal to hunt wolves by placing bait.

The bill, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Michael Sather's Fair Chase Act, would also forbid anyone from impeding the movement of wildlife "by placing a motorized vehicle, aircraft, boat or other mechanical device between wildlife and the direction the wildlife is proceeding." (the USA needs to do this as well )

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Animal Rights Conference 2011

July 21-25th in Los Angeles, CA

  • More than 100 speakers from 60 organizations
  • Sessions on animal abuse, organizing, tactics, issues
  • Eyewitness reports on key campaigns
  • Diverse approaches to animal liberation
  • Talks by other social justice leaders
  • Awards to celebrities and activists
  • Extensive learning and networking options
  • 90 exhibits (free & open to the public)
  • 40 videos, including premieres
  • Highly discounted sleeping rooms
 Click Here for More Info.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

USDA 2011 Cattle Death Loss Report

Deaths from Carnivore Predation= .23% Yes. That's less than 1/4 of 1% of cows killed by predators.
The USDA's / FWS' war on predators is just a bunch of smoke.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

ID Begins Aerial Gunning Wolves This Week

Idaho is more than eager to begin their Palin style warfare on wolves. US Fish Wildlife Service will likely have the wolves delisted by Thursday or Friday.  The new Idaho Fish and Game Director, Virgil Moore, who became director March 31, 2011, will implement the states science-based plan to reduce wolf numbers in the Lolo area where elk herds have already experienced mass die offs in the severe weather.
We believe there is still enough snow on the ground that we can pursue those animals via aerial gunning and try to reduce those numbers. Moore says.
The department is scrambling to find aircraft to carry out the mission before snow melts and will seek assistance from federal wildlife agents to do the shooting. Once snow has melted, trapping will be used in the Lolo Zone. 
Scrambling to find aircraft to carry out the mission. ROFL. Those red necks are trying to be bad ass making soo much hype over wolves.

But, as all Palin aspirants believe, aerial gunning is not enough. Director Moore will also immediately issue trapping of wolves as soon as the snow melts. This fall, he will work with FWS to implement a wolf hunt.

An interesting tidbit about Moore..He was chief of fisheries for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game but in 2006 went to Oregon and became director for Oregon Fish and Wildlife. Then, 11 months later he says  for personal reasons, I’ve decided to return to Idaho.

ID F&G is an agency with a $78 million annual budget and 567 full-time employee.

This year the department is facing shrinking revenue from hunting licenses, less federal money, and a Legislature that’s been leery of fee hikes for residents. (boohoo)

Moore says he intends to seek direction from the hunters and anglers who finance much of the department through license and tag fees.

If you'd like to contact Director Moore

Sunday, May 1, 2011

US Recovers Gray Wolves to Kill Them

Severe Winter in NW=Severe Game Die-Off

A record number of big-game animals perished this winter in parts of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming from a harsh season of unusually heavy snows and sustained cold in the Northern Rockies, state wildlife managers say.
Wildlife managers estimate die-offs in the tens of thousands across thousands of square miles that span prairie in northeastern Montana, the upper Snake River basin in Idaho near Yellowstone National Park and the high country of northwestern Wyoming near the exclusive resort of Jackson.
Can't blame the wolves for low game numbers this year.

WY Fish & Game Wants to Delist Wolves, Grizzlies

The argument that grizzlies can’t survive with fluctuations in the whitebark pine crop is a “red herring,” he said. “We don’t believe that argument has any content to it.-- Wyoming Game and Fish Department Director Scott Talbott
Just like with the wolves, a federal judge ruled that "adequate regulatory mechanisms aren’t in place" to protect grizzlies.

Also, within the next few weeks members of the governor’s policy staff will meet with key stakeholders about moving the wolves over to state management.

Talbott makes $137,249 a year! That's US government. You can't be too smart to be rich.

Good news. If you'd like to contact Scott regarding anything he says one of his short-term goals is to "improve our image and relationships with all our constituents whether those be private land owners, conservation groups..."

Listen to an interview where he describes all his goals here

Give him your thoughts on delisting aka eliminating wolves and grizzlies.

Scott Talbott
Director WY Game and Fish
(307) 777-4501

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Russia to Send Wolves to Sweden

Russia has too many wolves in some areas according to them. Sweden wants to increase genetic diversity of wolves. They say this after issuing a wolf hunt in January. Why the change?

Swedish Wolf
The European environment commissioner, Janez Potocnik, claims the hunt violates an EU directive that protects endangered species..

Wolves are an endangered species in the EU? At least someone is doing the right thing.
With increasing the wolf population in Sweden it'd be interesting to see how demographics and geography compare to that of the Northwest states in the US.

Let's look at human population, land size & wolf populations. US wolf numbers from MT FWP
  • Sweden
    • 9 million people
    • 158,663 sq mi
    • currently 200 wolves soon to be 1,000
  • Montana 
    •  989,000
    • 45,388 sq mi
    • 524 wolves in 2009
  • Wyoming 
    •  563,000
    • 96,989 sq mi. 
    • 843 wolves in 2009
  • Idaho 
    • 1.5 million
    • 82,412 sq mi.
    • 320 wolves in 2009
Total land size in NW  
224, 789 sq mi.

Total human population in NW  

Total wolf population in NW 
1, 687

Looking at the math

The NW has almost 1.5 times as much land as Sweden and a population of just 3 million.

The NW has more land and not much more wolves than Sweden wants to gain. If Sweden is increasing their wolf population with less land and 3 times as many people than the Northwest states, then why can't US handle their current wolf population?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Yellowstone Becoming Green?

This month Yellowstone has been bragging about their new eco-sustainable buildings that they claim go beyond LEED certification.  The certification they use in Yellowstone is Greater Yellowstone Framework for Sustainable Development. 

Now, the park is boasting of their new partnership with Universal Textile Technologies. This company states they will purchase the recyclable plastic bottles Yellowstone collects each year and convert them into a non-woven, fleece material used to manufacture BioCel™ and EnviroCel™ highperformance backing for carpet and synthetic turf.

I think this is great, but it's all for show. Yellowstone just wants to attract more tourist$ and keep up their reputation as an eco-tour destination.

All this hype, but the park service takes part in the extermination of America's Last, Genetically Pure, Wild Bison.

The images to the right show the American bison as simply an icon. The one above is simply a mascot while below it is out of memory. You notice in the NPS badge there is only one bison, yet bison are herd animals. So, why only one bison when there are lots of trees? To depict what the park's goal is? Eliminate bison, til only a few remain. It can also show the short-sightedness of the park service. They can't handle large concepts, so, they place just one bison on their badge.

What can you do? You can thank Yellowstone for their movement toward going green and remind them of the eco-sustainability bison offer to restoring native plains.

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent
Dan Wenk

Director of the National Park Service
Jon Jarvis

Sign a petition asking the National Park Service to set free the 400+ bison they currently have in a capture facility INSIDE Yellowstone