Friday, May 25, 2012

Yellowstone Bison Captured!

Buffalo Field Campaign is the only group working in the field
and in the policy arena to protect America's last wild buffalo.


Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign, 443 417-3106
Dan Brister, Buffalo Field Campaign, 406-646-6506

WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONTANA:  27 wild American buffalo (bison), members of America's only continuously wild population, were captured this morning near West Yellowstone.  The operation was led by the Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) and took place at the MDOL's Duck Creek bison trap, located on private land adjacent to the western edge of Yellowstone National Park.  12 newborn calves, 12 mothers, and three two-year-olds were relocated in the operation.

Other state and federal agencies participating in todays capture operation include the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (MFWP), the National Park Service, the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and the Gallatin County Sheriffs Office.

The buffalo were sorted by age inside the trap--with newborns being separated from their mothers--loaded onto livestock trailers, transported into Yellowstone National Park, and released at Fountain Flats early this afternoon.  It is unknown whether any animals suffered injuries as a result of confinement and transportation. 

The agencies have been engaged in intensive hazing here for the past six weeks, incessantly chasing bison at the height of calving season.

"While we hail the decision not to slaughter these animals, we are deeply disappointed in Montanas stubborn refusal to let wild bison be wild bison," said Buffalo Field Campaign's Executive Director Dan Brister, "How long will we treat our last wild bison like livestock, separate newborn calves form their mothers, and allow the Department of Livestock to dictate their fate?"

Buffalo Field Campaign is a non-profit public interest organization founded in 1997 to stop the harassment and slaughter of Americas last wild bison populations that inhabit the Yellowstone region, protect the natural habitat of wild free-roaming bison and other native wildlife, and to work with people of all Nations to honor the sacredness of wild bison. 

More information can be found at


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Judge Halts Bison Helicopter Hazing!!!

BFC Update: At 1:45 PM May 14, 2012,
U.S. District Court Judge Charles C. Lovell issued a Temporary Restraining Order upon the Interagency Bison Management Plan agencies "from conducting further bison helicopter hazing operations in the targeted Hebgen Basin area pending further order of this Court."

Attorney Rebecca K. Smith presented arguments in today's hearing on behalf of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies to prohibit the use of Dept. of Livestock helicopters in threatened grizzly bear habitat to forcefully remove bison that have migrated into Hebgen Basin for the calving season.

Judge Charles C. Lovell's order is in effect for 14 days and can be renewed for an additional 14 days upon showing cause.
Buffalo Field Campaign provided expert assistance, video and photo documentation of grizzly bear activity and disturbances by the livestock agency's helicopters, evidence which weighed heavily in today's hearing and in Judge Lovell's order.

Read Lovell's order here: PDF

"Lovell granted the temporary restraining order after a hearing in Helena in which attorneys for the wildlife advocacy group Alliance for the Wild Rockies argued state and federal officials had not properly studied how the use of helicopters affects grizzly bears."  So, hazing bison is o.k. but, hazing grizzlies is not? Yeah, that makes no sense.

Read more:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Montana Bison Management Plan

Bison Management Plan Open House

Contact: Ron Aasheim, 406-444-4038, or visit the FWP website at


Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks announced today that it will host a series of public meetings this spring as a first step toward developing a long-term bison conservation and management plan for the state. The plan will be developed through a programmatic environmental impact statement, which will address issues associated with bison and options for their long-term management as a Montana wildlife species.
The programmatic EIS, which will take about three years to complete, will examine an array of issues and possible alternatives—including no action—and each alternative’s potential beneficial and adverse environmental, social, and economic impact.
FWP will begin a formal public “scoping” process as required under the Montana Environmental Policy Act. Public scoping is aimed at identifying issues, impacts, public concerns, and conservation challenges and opportunities. The comments will assist FWP in further identifying issues and developing possible alternatives.  
Some issues already identified include: (1) the risk of bison spreading disease to domestic livestock, (2) competition between bison and other wildlife, (3) competition between bison and livestock for rangeland, (4) damage to fencing, (5) public safety, and (6) the legal classification and status of bison in Montana.  
Eight scoping meetings are scheduled for May. The sessions will be held from 6-9 p.m., with the first hour dedicated to informal discussions and the remainder of the evening set for recording scoping comments. Here are the meeting dates and locations:
  • May 14        Missoula     Holiday Inn Downtown – 200 S. Pattee St.
  • May 15        Kalispell    Red Lion Hotel – 20 N. Main St.
  • May 16        Glasgow    Cottonwood Inn – 45 1st Ave NE  
  • May 17        Helena        Montana Wild Center – 2668 Broadwater Ave.
  • May 21        Billings    Holiday Inn Grand MT Convention Center – 5500
                    Midland Rd.
  • May 22        Miles City    BLM conference room, BLM center – 111
Garryowen Rd.
  • May 23         Great Falls     Townhouse Inn – 1411 10th Ave. S.
  • May 24         Bozeman    Holiday Inn on Baxter – 5 Baxter Lane

Last year, in anticipation of a programmatic EIS proposal, FWP prepared a summary of bison history and activities in the West that offers information related to the possible restoration of bison in Montana. The “Bison Background Document” presents information on the bison's genetic and disease history, management concerns and a brief synopsis of different bison management philosophies among an array of private groups and organizations. The document is available online at Under 'For Fish & Wildlife Information' choose "Bison Background." The document may also be obtained on CD or other formats by calling Margaret Morelli at 406-994-6780 or via email at