Friday, February 25, 2011

MT Elk Hunting Journal Supports Bison!

The Montana Elk Hunting Journal posted a down-to-earth article by Klyap. He's point blank, to the point, on what's going on with America's last, wild, genetically pure bison in Yellowstone. Here's a snippet and link to full article.

Meanwhile, upwards of 500 bison that seek  only natural migrations and food are penned up, based on scheming fears of Brucellosis transmission sent down from some senator from Eastern Montana and whomever decides to jump on the farm subsidiary train.  My mom always told me, “corn don’t grow everywhere”.  But, she didn’t mention those free government checks.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Contact New Yellowstone Superintendent

Update from BFC

This beautiful cow buffalo stops to look back towards members of her family, during a hazing operation conducted by Yellowstone National Park, Montana Department of Livestock, USDA-Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, and US Forest Service agents.  BFC file photo.  

  Dan Wenk has started in his official capacity as Yellowstone National Park's new Superintendent.  He enters his office at a critical time for the buffalo and needs to hear from you!  Please take a moment right now to contact Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk, welcoming him to Yellowstone and urging him to take action to protect the buffalo.  Please share this link with everyone who you think might be interested in helping protect the wild buffalo.

Over 500 wild buffalo are still captive inside Yellowstone's Stephens Creek bison trap.   Many of the females in the trap are a month or less away from calving.  Yellowstone's own bison biologist has admitted that confining buffalo during this time can exacerbate increased prevalence of brucellosis among buffalo.

The buffalo in the trap are being fed alfalfa, a livestock food that is not natural for wild buffalo, and  in large quantities can cause complications for pregnant mothers, including calf deaths.  Injuries and death are also very common for buffalo that are confined.  Yellowstone has not announced what they intend to do with the buffalo in the trap - if they will hold them there, or let them go.  Other wild buffalo have suffered hazing operations nearly every day along the west side of the Yellowstone River, as they attempt to migrate out of deep snow into lower-elevation lands where they can find the grass they need to survive the winter.   A few times during hazing operations, BFC patrols have witnessed the trapped buffalo stampeding while their friends on the outside are being chased by agents.  At other times, we've seen buffalo in the trap try to walk along side of their relatives on the outside, who have come to pay them visits, only to bump into the fence, unable to follow their migrating brethren.

Wild buffalo are relentlessly forced to flee their winter range.  Hazing operations like the one shown here are taking place nearly every day on critical habitat north of and inside Yellowtone National Park.  BFC file photo. 
These wild buffalo naturally migrated through the Royal Teton Ranch land easement corridor, only to be hazed back into Yellowstone National Park.  Millions have been spent for buffalo to be able to use these lands, yet they are still refused access.  BFC file photo. 
Further hazing operations belie the failure of the Royal Teton Ranch land lease experiment, which in early January saw twenty-five buffalo forced through a $3.3 million corridor to a small section of Gallatin National Forest, where agents hoped they would stay for a couple months.  Agents said they wanted to see how they might use the landscape.  The buffalo showed them that wild buffalo use the landscape by migrating, so the agents shot two and have the rest in the trap.  On Monday, a group of about forty buffalo used that exact same corridor, naturally migrating there own their own, yet six riders on horseback from Yellowstone, the Montana Department of Livestock, and USDA APHIS, along with US Forest Service law enforcement, chased them all back into Yellowstone. 

The Montana Department of Livestock has also been conducting some curious activities along Hwy. 89 near Gardiner.  On numerous occasions last week, patrols monitored DOL agents driving nearly 100-mile round trips to the Gardiner area in big pick-up trucks towing horse trailers, gathering with National Park Service, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Park County Sheriffs, and US Forest Service law enforcement, as if poised for hazing or shooting buffalo; yet, instead of witnessing actions against the buffalo, patrols saw the agents stand around and chat it up, go to lunch and leave town.  Great for the buffalo, but extremely wasteful with U.S. tax dollars.  A further demonstration of the extreme waste of funds allocated to the Interagency Bison Management Plan.  These funds would be much better spent on habitat-based solutions.

Since we last wrote, twenty more buffalo have been killed by hunters.  Sixteen bull buffalo were taken by the Nez Perce within four days on Gallatin National Forest lands outside of the Park's northern boundary.  Another four buffalo were taken by Nez Perce and Umatilla hunters off of public lands west of Yellowstone.  There are very few buffalo left for hunters to take.

Snow keeps falling, and wild buffalo will continue to migrate as their survival instincts dictate.  BFC remains steadfast on the front lines with the buffalo around Gardinder and West Yellowstone.  We sincerely appreciate all the actions you have been taking for the buffalo, and all the words of support you have been sending our way.  All of you are Buffalo Field Campaign, and together, we will press on, as the buffalo do.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

HB 482--Good for Buffalo

I took some notes at the FWP committee meeting for this bill on February 17, 2011.
One interesting thing to point out is that the sponsor, Mike Phillips, is the executive director of the Turner Endangered Species Fund. Grist did an interview with Mike in 2004.
I don't give public comment at these committees because most of the people on these committees most likely have functional holes in their brain.

Currently the bill is tabled.
Here is a snippet:
  Section 2.  Section 87-1-216, MCA, is amended to read:
     "87-1-216.  Wild buffalo or bison as species in need of conservation and management -- policy -- department duties. (1) The legislature finds that significant potential exists for the spread of contagious disease to persons or livestock in Montana and for damage to persons and property by wild buffalo or bison are culturally important, valued native wildlife in need of conservation and management in the state of Montana.
  (3) In recognition of the cultural heritage and treaty rights of sovereign tribal nations, the department shall cooperate with tribal governments to pursue opportunities for the conservation and management of wild buffalo or bison.

 The only parties that didn't support this bill were:
  • Montana Stockgrowers
  • Montana Dept. of Livestock
  • A Montana women's ranching organization (I don't remember the name)
Besides individual supporters there were the following groups:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Interstate Compact to "Manage" Wolves Approved

On February 17, 2011 I took some notes on the idiotic FWP committee meeting for HB 554, which creates an 'Interstate Wolf Management Compact' as Lee Randall, the sponsor calls it. This bill has already passed the house 12-8.
A snippet from the bill states:
The party states have enacted or anticipate enacting laws that make it a crime in their states for anyone to interfere with their enjoyment of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by current wolf management laws. 
 (It is one's right to enjoy the kill, much like Sara Palin.)

What is this Interstate Wolf Management Compact?
It is an agreement between Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and later Arizona that they will each, separately "manage" wolves according to their own state wolf "management" program.
Lee stated during the meeting that the "intent of the compact provides congruency, so we don't have ups and downs if they are endangered or if they're not."

A Committe member, Kelly Flynn, asked Lee what the advantage was of having a compact.
Lee replied, it is setting up an agreement with states that we will manage wolves independently.
Mike Miller, asked if this compact overrides federal law.
(Here's where Lee shows off his intellligence.)

Lee stated that their are court cases that back this up. What the compact authorizes would be federal law.
Miller corrected Lee reminding him that the compact does NOT override federal law, but is on the same level.

Then there was one man, involved with the Tea Party who spoke in favor of the bill. He said we "need to make sure the commerce clause isn't being thrown at us preventing us from working with our neighbors."

Rally for the Environment!

Where Buffalo Can Never Roam

Earlier this week Gov. B.S. declared and executive order prohibiting "importation of Yellowstone bison into areas of Montana that are outside of the designated surveillance area as designated by the Department of Livestock through administrative rule for a period of 90 days. "

No coincidence that a few days later SB 144 passed 31-19. The sponsor of the bill, Senator John Brendon, is receiving over $33,000/year in farm subsidies.

Here's some of what SB 144 says:
Section 1
  "87-1-216.  Wild buffalo or bison as species in need of management -- policy -- department duties. (1) The legislature finds that significant potential exists for the spread of contagious disease to persons or livestock in Montana and for damage to persons and property by wild buffalo or bison. It is the purpose of this section:

     (a)  to designate publicly owned wild buffalo or bison originating from Yellowstone national park as a species requiring disease control;
     (b)  to designate other wild buffalo or bison as a species in need of management;
(5) The department may not:
     (a) relocate wild buffalo or bison within the state unless the wild buffalo or bison are relocated to the national bison range at Moiese; or
     (b) allow or authorize any person to allow bison to roam free anywhere in this state.

What's wrong with putting America's Last Genetically Pure Bison on the National Bison Range?
Only that the Bison Range is Beefalo. Putting YNP bison here would be an end to their pure genetics.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Eagles Fill West Seattle Sky

Here's some positive news. The eagle population is soaring in West Seattle. Watch the video below.

Anti-Wolf Meeting at Boise State University

Jim Beers gave a speech at Boise State University. What you are about to read is unscientific, impractical, and plain stupid.

Here are a few quotes with a link to the full article with more lunacy below:

Wolves killed Indians and spread a lot of disease, including smallpox.
Countries that allowed wolves to persist don’t have an advanced civilization now – they’re like Africa.

How did America allow wolves back in? It was the love/drug culture of the 1960s-70s. Lots of turbulence resulted in the formation of enviro and animal-rights groups. This is when the term charismatic megaspecies came into use.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

HB 482 Dies in House

The bill to recognize bison as valued native wildlife in Montana failed 14-6.
I'll post more about the meeting later this week.

Bison Abuse in Yellowstone

This is a good opinion article by Dr. Brian L. Horejsi. A Wildlife Scientist and long time Yellowstone user. He lives in Calgary, Alberta
Harsh criticism is increasingly justified in todays world of National Park and public land management, a world in which regulatory retreat from principles and regulation is the new norm and "gut and grab" politics seem to be an every day threat. One such issue deserving of harsh review is the continuous persecution of bison in the Yellowstone ecosystem. What is happening on Yellowstones borders is no less offensive than the corralling and clubbing of dolphins in Japan, the clubbing of seal pups off Canada's coast, or the indiscriminate slaughter of African elephants that eventually led to massive population declines barely a decade ago.

MT--"Global Warming is Beneficial"

Montana legislators have developed a bill stating that Global warming is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana.  I am not surprised to hear this. Montana wants to destroy the environment and so far they have been very successful.

HB549 Sponsored by Joe Reed
Public policy concerning global warming.

(1) The legislature finds that to ensure economic development in Montana and the appropriate management of Montana's natural resources it is necessary to adopt a public policy regarding global warming.
     (2) The legislature finds:
     (a) global warming is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana;
     (b) reasonable amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere have no verifiable impacts on the environment; and
     (c) global warming is a natural occurrence and human activity has not accelerated it.
     (3) (a) For the purposes of this section, "global warming" relates to an increase in the average temperature of the earth's surface.
     (b) It does not include a one-time, catastrophic release of carbon dioxide.

HB482-Recognize Bison As Native Wildlife

Help restore wild buffalo as valued native wildlife in Montana.

The Greater Yellowstone Region is home to America’s largest, genetically pure and truly wild buffalo herd. Buffalo symbolize the natural and cultural heritage of Yellowstone country and the West. It is time Montana properly manage wild buffalo as valued, native wildlife. Join us in making a commitment to restoring and conserving wild buffalo in Montana while respecting and protecting private property rights. Montana Buffalo: Landowners, businesses, hunters, outfitters, tribal members and other local conservationists are working with the Montana legislature to end years of wasteful and divisive wild buffalo slaughter.

HB 482 -
The Montana Wild Buffalo Conservation and Management Act is a bi-partisan effort
which respects and protects private property rights. The Act establishes a
foundation upon which creative solutions and a new commitment to wild buffalo
in Montana can be built. It will:

1) Recognize buffalo as “valued, native wildlife in the state of Montana.”

2) Restore Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks as the primary agency
responsible for wild bison management including fair chase, public hunting.

3) Ensure private property rights and livestock are protected, by
maintaining cooperation with the Department of Livestock at MCA 81-2-121.

4) Repeal current law which allows the government to enter private
property without landowner permission (MCA 81-2-120).

How can you help? Montana landowners, hunters, outfitters, conservationists, tribes
and other local community members are coming together to ensure our elected officials
know we want private property rights protected and wild buffalo respected as valued
native Montana wildlife.

Please let your local legislators know you support HB 482 the
Montana Wild Buffalo Conservation and Management Act by calling 444-4800 today.

For More Information Contact:

Glenn Hockett, Gallatin Wildlife Association, Bozeman,  586-1729.
Jim “JB” Klyap, Dome Mountain Ranch, Emigrant, 333-4361
Bonnie Lynn, Yellowstone Park Riverfront Cabins, Gardiner, 570-4500
Karrie Taggart, Horse Butte Neighbors of Buffalo, West Yellowstone, 646-5140

Review a copy of the proposal at:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gov. B.S. Says He "Cares" About Bison

In an interview with Politics Daily, MT Gov. Brian Schweitzer was quoted with such humble remarks it makes a person sick and frustrated.

"This is a buffalo, OK. This is not a human," he said. "But I care about them, too. I feel a special responsibility."

"I picture them in five years being reintroduced in some of the wildest places in Montana and living like the wildlife they are, free of disease and fending for themselves as they have for 12,000 years."
"Our plan is not to move brucellosis out of the Yellowstone basin ... Is it trying to teach folks in Washington, D.C., that a good-neighbor policy means you listen to your neighbor? Dang tootin'. Do I think they will hear us? No telling,"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

WA Wolf Howls

MT Gov. Exec. Order to Not Import Bison

The first thing I want to point out is there is NO mention of the word "slaughter." The only word is "importation." What does this mean in regards to slaughter? Only that the bison cannot be transported to the slaughter houses inside Montana. This "executive order" does not prevent hazing of bison or shooting bison on sight. So, the bison inside the Steven's Creek trap, can all be shot.

Governor Schweitzer Stops Importation of Bison into Montana for 90 Days

Sarah Elliott 406-444-9725
Jayson O’Neill 406-444-9844
(HELENA) - Governor Brian Schweitzer today issued an Executive Order (below and attached) stopping the importation of bison into the State of Montana for a period of 90 days.

Executive Order language below:


          WHEREAS, brucellosis is an infectious disease and Yellowstone National Park bison exhibit a brucellosis sero-prevalence rate of approximately 50%; and
WHEREAS, the Montana Department of Livestock has adopted a surveillance program that has been highly successful in detecting brucellosis-affected herds and preventing the exportation of diseased livestock from Montana; and

          WHEREAS, the United States Department of the Interior has recently indicated its intent to transport Yellowstone bison into Montana for slaughter at Montana facilities, which presents an unacceptable risk for the transmission of brucellosis to Montana livestock; and

          WHEREAS, Montana legislators and livestock interests have expressed grave concerns that because of the high incidence of brucellosis in Yellowstone National Park bison, the importation of any bison from Yellowstone National Park into Montana presents an unacceptable risk for the transmission of brucellosis to Montana cattle; and

          WHEREAS, several pieces of legislation have been introduced in the 2011 Montana Legislature that propose sweeping changes to bison management in Montana; and

          WHEREAS, for over ten years management under the current court-ordered Interagency Bison Management Plan has resulted in no reduction in the prevalence of brucellosis in bison, nor has it resulted in a sustainable population control model for Yellowstone bison; and

          WHEREAS, under Mont. Code Ann. § 81-2-112, the governor may issue a proclamation prohibiting the importation of diseased animals to Montana.

          NOW, THEREFORE, I, BRIAN SCHWEITZER, Governor of the State of Montana, by virtue of the authority vested in me pursuant to Mont. Code Ann. § 81-2-112, do hereby declare a prohibition on the importation of Yellowstone bison into areas of Montana that are outside of the designated surveillance area as designated by the Department of Livestock through administrative rule for a period of 90 days.

Quotes from judge Lovell

Steven's Creek Trap

Distasteful as the lethal removal may be to some, it is clearly one of the foremost management tools - time honored - necessarily utilized to protect the species, the habitat, and the public. Judge Lovell, Feb. 14, 2011
This has been recognized and authorized by Congress and well-implemented administratively in proper fashion.
Lovell also said the slaughter of 500 Yellowstone National Park bison would not harm the long-term survival of the species. (WTH?)

Monday, February 14, 2011

525 Bison Going to SLAUGHTER

Monday, Feb. 14, 2011. National Parks Service horseback rider hazes bison to move them from one location to another just inside Yellowstone National Park near Gardiner, Mont.

An Unhappy Valentine's Day by Judge Lovell included putting down the injunction filed by environmentalists to stop the unnecessary slaughter of America's last genetically pure, wild, bison.  He wrote that while the slaughter of bison may be "distasteful," it is a "time-honored" method of controlling a disease carried by many of the animals.  ("distasteful"="time-honored") Montana only cares about tradition.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wanting News from Fans

Hi Everyone,
I'm looking for people who would like to contribute their thoughts or news on the issues related to this blog.
Please send me an email through my profile and I'll post your idea.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Fur Banned at Norway's Oslo Fashion Week

A victory for animals!

Paul Vastbotten, general manager of Oslo Fashion Week, told the Huffington Post of the fur ban decision, "It has been a very natural choice for us because we do not want [Oslo Fashion Week] to appear as an arena in which to promote products based on the treatment of animals [as] prohibited by animal welfare concerns in several countries."

 Fur Banned at Norway's Oslo Fashion Week - Associated Content from Yahoo! -

Friday, February 11, 2011

View of Wildlife

People love going to parks and seeing wildlife. But, this is all they see. Like going to a car show. You look at the cars; their make and model, but it's just a machine. You have no personal connection to the car as you would a family member. Indigeneous peoples however, have that personal connection to the animals. They view the wildlife as family who provide for them.

The wildlife suffer because alot of people do not have this personal connection to them and so don't bother with how the animals are treated. Yes, there are many people who don't have the strong relationship to wildlife as indigeneous peoples do, yet they still want to help. Unfortunately laws are not written by these same people, but by those who live to see a car show.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Excellent Letter to Colin Campbell

Here is a comment I received to a previous post. There was no attached map.

My letter to Colin and the Park Service;


First lets start with supposedly 3,900 Bison in the park(a number that is WAY too high, with all the hunter kills, over 100, still about a month of hunt left, not to mention the winter kills happening daily) "They" say 50% of Bison are infected or test positive. How can they say that when the only Bison they have tested in the past many years, are the ones they just did at Stephens creek and only 1/3 tested positive? With their numbers, it comes to less than 2,000 being positive (again their numbers are way off the mark) Then we look at the elk and they are supposed to be 5% positive. At over 30,000 elk in and out of the Park year around, not to mention the tens of thousands in the Madison Valley, even at 5% positive, you have way more infected animals traipsing farther than Bison, and mingling with livestock, (Bison rarely if ever mingle). It has been proven Bison are NOT the culprit for the transmissions, yet the focus is still all on the Bison.

It's known these animals are 'genetically' pure,(THREE different, distinct, genetically pure herds in Yellowstone Park) yet the powers that be want to contaminate them with vaccines, and domestication. Heck they can't manage the domesticated cattle, how in the world do they think they can manage wild animals? 

In the mean time there is a lot of money being thrown down the chute, because the Livestock industry is too embarrassed to admit Brucellosis is NOT a threat to humans. They want that budget, so they can continue wasting the money on hazing Bison where there are no cattle ever(Horse Butte Peninsula), they capture the bison before they leave the Park so the hunters holding tags are left out in the cold. This is like a Ponzi scheme, and we the taxpayer are losing our you-know-what.

In February of 2009 the Medical world released the fact that Brucellosis is EASILY curable in humans.
These Bison belong to every citizen of the United States of America, NOT the Department of Livestock nor Yellowstone National Park I have a piece of each and every Bison out there, and you are taking it away from ME.
Why do the Elk get a reprieve and the Bison don't?

When will you National Park Service People start protecting our animals and parks for future generations, instead of destroying them?

I have attached a map showing the Horse Butte Peninsula, so you can see the peninsula is just an extension of the Park, and Bison can contaminate absolutely no cattle on that Peninsula.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

DOI says Slaughter Bison

400 bison are being held in a trap along Yellowstone's Northern boundary. Wildlife advocates asked federal judge Lovell last week to stop the slaughter of the bison.

The Department of Interior is asking the federal judge not to intervene in the impending slaughter of these wild bison. DOI says the "massive wild animals" could cause property damage, compete with livestock for grazing and destroy crops.

There is no law that Congress can pass that will prevent the buffalo from disappearing before the march of civilization. There is no law which human hands can write, there is no law which a Congress of men can enact, that will stay the disappearance of these wild animals before civilization.
They eat the grass. They trample upon the plains upon which our settlers desire to herd their cattle and their sheep. They range over the very pastures where the settlers keep their herds of cattle. They destroy the pasture. They are as uncivilized as the Indian. 1874, U.S. Representative Conger
The civilization of the Indian is impossible while the buffalo remains upon the plains. I would not seriously regret the total disappearance of the buffalo from our western prairies, in its effect upon the Indians, regarding it as a means of hastening their sense of dependence upon the products of the soil and their own labors. Annual Report of the Department of Interior 1873

Bison Killed
2010-2011 Total: 131

2010-2011 Government Slaughter: 1
2010-2011 State & Treaty Hunts: 128
2010-2011 Quarantine: 0
2010-2011 Shot by Agents: 1
2010-2011 Highway Mortality: 1

Monday, February 7, 2011

Elk Now Targeted for Brucellosis

On Sunday FWP began helicopter netting cow elk north of the Blacktail Wildlife Management Area in the upper Ruby Valley. FWP is checking elk for brucellosis and whether infected cows abort their calves. FWP will also gather data on how far the Ruby herd migrates throughout the year. 

The elk will not be drugged, instead, restrained with a crew and given an instant card test for brucellosis. Any elk found to carry the disease will get a vaginal implant to monitor their pregnancy and be collared to track its movements.

The study will go on for, as specific as FWP is known to be, "several years" according to Kelly Proffitt, FWP wildlife biologist.

First the buffalo. Now the elk. I wonder how many taxpayers' $$$ are being used for the elk studies.

Friday, February 4, 2011


I just wanted to post the links to where you can submit letters to Ken Salazar and Montana government agencies.
  • Defenders of Wildlife pre-written letter

  • Natural Resource Defense Council pre-written letter

  • If you're feeling creative and/or want to tell Montana's government what to do and where to go, here is the link to email legislators and the committees.

Young bulls at West Entrance

Temporary Halt to Slaughter


Officials halted plans Friday to ship bison to slaughter from Yellowstone National Park after saying they first had to review a court challenge filed by wildlife advocates. Almost 400 of the animals were being held in corrals inside the park for testing to see if they have been exposed to the disease brucellosis.

Colin Campbell STOP the SLAUGHTER!

Here's a letter my mother wrote to the acting superintendent of Yellowstone National Park.
Stop wasting taxpayers hard earned money abusing and killing members of the Yellowstone Bison Herd.  The brucellosis excuse is a LIE to U.S. taxpayers.  You already know that there has not been even one documented case of genetically pure, wild bison giving this disease back to the cattle who brought it here to begin with.  Cattle imported from Europe by our European immigrant ancestors.

You are perpetuating the Dept. of Interior's racist war from the 1800's, when the complaint was that Indians and Buffalo are taking grassland away from cattle.  Stop carrying on in the dysfunctions of your predecessors.

Let the Buffalo Roam!

                    Take Action!
Please take a moment right now and urge Yellowstone's Acting Superintendent Colin Campbell and your US Senators and Representative to stop the slaughter of the Yellowstone bison, America's only continuously wild population. 

Colin Campbell, Yellowstone National Park

400 Bison to be SLAUGHTERED!

BFC Photo Week of Jan. 30th-Feb.3rd
Buffalo Field Campaign

Yellowstone Bison
Update from the Field
February 3, 2011
* Update from the Field: Park Service Captures 400 Bison; BFC Files Emergency Injunction to Stop Slaughter
* ‘Corridor to Nowhere’ Fails to Provide Habitat and Wastes Millions of Dollars
* VOLUNTEER!  Please Join BFC on the Front Lines!
* Last Words
* By the Numbers
* Helpful Links

* Update from the Field:
Park Service Captures 400 Bison; BFC Files Emergency Injunction to Stop Slaughter

Friends of the Buffalo,
On Friday the Park Service released the 62 bison that they captured in the Stephens Creek trap starting the first week of January.  Sadly, this was a hollow gesture.  On Monday Park Rangers herded approximately 300 bison, including many of those released just three days earlier, into the trap.  On Tuesday they captured 21 more.  Wednesday another 20 were trapped.  Today BFC field patrols report that 45 to 50 additional bison were captured, bringing the approximate number of bison currently confined in Yellowstone’s trap to 390.
These buffalo, members of America’s only continuously wild population, are currently confined behind cold steel walls where they are being treated like cattle.  Feeding them hay and alfalfa, running them through squeeze chutes, and testing them for antibodies to brucellosis, Yellowstone officials have announced they will slaughter some, and possibly all, of these irreplaceable creatures.

Twenty-seven more buffalo have been killed by state and tribal hunters along the Park’s western and northern boundaries, bringing the total number of hunt kills documented by BFC patrols to 128.  A buffalo died from wounds suffered inside the Stephens Creek trap on January 12 and another was shot by Department of Livestock agents on January 24th, bringing this winter’s total kill to 130.  If the Park Service decides, as they have hinted, to slaughter all the buffalo in the trap, this would represent the loss of more than 520 bison, or 15 percent of the entire population.  And it is barely February.

A Yellowstone Park Ranger chases buffalo toward the Stephens Creek Trap in Yellowstone National Park.  Photo copyright 2011 Jim Macdonald/BFC
Click here to view a slideshow of photos from this week.

Alarmed by the prospect of such a heavy loss and its impact on the genetics of America’s only continuously wild bison population, BFC teamed up with some of our closest allies this week to file an emergency legal injunction to prevent the Park Service from sending the buffalo to slaughter.

We have been waiting for a final decision from federal Judge Charles Lovell on the merits of our lawsuit challenging the Interagency Bison Management Plan since September and have been forced to file this injunction by the Park Service’s recent actions.  We are asking the court to stop the agencies from killing bison in and around Yellowstone National Park and to discontinue the use of traps like the one at Stephens Creek to capture, confine, and ship bison to slaughter.

In addition to running field patrols in both West Yellowstone and Gardiner and our urgent work in the courts, we have been making many trips to Helena to testify against a slew of anti-bison bills in the state legislature.  HB 214 and SB 207 would classify all wild bison in Montana as livestock, SB 184 would permit “the use of bows and arrows” to hunt wild buffalo in Montana, and SB 148, which fortunately appears to have died in committee, would have made it legal for Department of Livestock agents to enter private property without notifying and against the objections of the landowner to haze wild bison.   

We've set up a web page to track these and other buffalo bills in the 2011 Montana legislature and encourage your timely involvement and participation in protecting America's last wild buffalo. 

Buffalo Field Campaign is doing everything we can to prevent a repeat of the winter of 2008, when more than 1,600 bison were killed.  But we are only as strong as you, our supporters.  Please pick up the phone, send an email, support our efforts with a tax-deductible donation, or join us in the field to help us protect the buffalo.  We can not do it without  you.

Take Action!
Please take a moment right now and urge Yellowstone's Acting Superintendent Colin Campbell and your US Senators and Representative to stop the slaughter of the Yellowstone bison, America's only continuously wild population. 

Colin Campbell, Yellowstone National Park

Use this link to find and contact your US Senators and Representative.

Share this email with them and urge them to take immediate action to protect our last wild buffalo.
For the Buffalo,
Dan Brister
Executive Director
Buffalo Field Campaign
* ‘Corridor to Nowhere’ Fails to Provide Habitat and Wastes Millions of Dollars
For some of the buffalo currently awaiting their fate in the trap, the first month of 2011 was a living nightmare.  Never has management of the wild Yellowstone bison been such a heavy-handed and intensive failure.  One group of buffalo in the trap has had it particularly hard, having already been captured, tested, marked, tagged and—for the females—invaded with vaginal telemetry devices at the beginning of January as part of an ill-conceived plan we call the Corridor to Nowhere.  Described in more detail in last week’s Update, this project has been doomed from the start to be a wasteful failure.

After enduring all the horrors of the trap for two weeks, 25 buffalo were “released” and chased by horses down a narrow, electric fence-lined passage further away from the park to a place called Cutler Meadows, an overgrazed pasture denuded of life from years of cattle grazing that impacted soils and killed off native grasses.  For anyone to actually think that wild bison, the very definition of a migratory species, would stay in this area exhibits a striking lack of understanding for the nature of bison.  The fact that the National Park Service, MT Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, National Parks Conservation Association, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Montana Wildlife Federation supported and paid $3.3 million for such an ill-conceived plan shows how little these agencies and groups understand the nature of wild bison.

Almost as soon as they were hazed to Cutler Meadows the buffalo started to leave.  A group of 11 wasted no time in swimming across the Yellowstone River for a reunion with family members that have been penned inside a quarantine facility for several years.  The buffalo inside the pens came to the fence and stood near their still wild kin.  Agents on horseback quickly arrived and hazed the group back across the Yellowstone River.  The buffalo then re-crossed the river only to be hazed again.  Agents used cracker-rounds (explosive charges fired from guns), more powerful explosive charges, and even threw rocks at the buffalo in their attempts to chase them back to Cutler Meadows.

The next day buffalo crossed the river again and were again hazed back.  And the next day.  And the next.  Every day for more than a week the buffalo left Cutler Meadows and every day government agents chased them back.  One of the buffalo, refusing to be hazed, was shot.  Another ran into the hills and has not been seen since.  On January 28 the agents decided they’d had enough.  Using the quarantine pens as a trap, they captured a group of 13 bison, loaded them onto cattle trailers, drove them across the river and released them.  The buffalo, also having had enough, of this so-called tolerance headed south toward the Park, where they joined up with 90 other bison.  All of these buffalo, along with hundreds of others, were captured this week and now find themselves back in the trap at Stephens Creek.
Please take immediate action to prevent their slaughter

* VOLUNTEER!  Please Join BFC on the Front Lines!

Buffalo Field Campaign's multifaceted approach to helping protect our nation's last free-roaming population of bison often leaves us spread thin for volunteers. We are finding ourselves in need of experienced volunteers to join us on patrols of the Yellowstone boundary. The last call for return volunteers was answered with a tremendous and much needed response. THANK YOU!!!!! If you can again - or are able to for the first time this season - come home to Horse Butte, Sandy Butte, the Madison River, your community, your Campaign, and to your buffalo. We all need you and miss you.

* Last Words

We can live with the animals. Buffalo are part of the overall picture.  If you don't want them, go get a farm in Iowa.
~ Hank Rate, bison-friendly rancher, from Bozeman Daily Chronicle article "Gardiner-area Ranchers Weigh in on Nearby Bison"

Have a submission for Last Words?  Send to Thank you all for the poems, songs and stories you have been sending; you'll see them here!

* By the Numbers

AMERICAN BUFFALO ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S. which currently numbers fewer than 3,800 animals.

2010-2011 Total: 131

2010-2011 Government Slaughter: 1
2010-2011 State & Treaty Hunts: 128
2010-2011 Quarantine: 0
2010-2011 Shot by Agents: 1
2010-2011 Highway Mortality: 1

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

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


BFC Photo
Yellowstone Park Rangers captured 340 of America's last wild bison this week, including the one in this photo. Park officials say they will send some of the buffalo to slaughter and hold some in the pens until spring. 
Please take action now and urge the Park Service to set the buffalo free:
CONTACT: Acting Superintendent Colin Campbell
PHONE:    307-344-2003