On The Trail With Yellowstone’s Wild Bison….

It was a snowy March day in Yellowstone National Park, very cold. We hiked out of West Yellowstone and were lucky to briefly share the trail with several of  Yellowstone’s wild, free-roaming, bison. It was an honor to be in their presence, I hope you enjoy this short video.

Please support the Buffalo Field Campaign and the vital work they’re doing to protect and save America’s last genetically pure wild bison herd. They are in serious danger. Winter 2013/2014, 653 bison were slaughtered. Just this week a bull buffalo was killed by a Montana hunter. They need America’s help!

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Buffalo Field Campaign

Bison Threatened, Bighorn Dying in Gardiner Basin‏
* Update from the Field
* TAKE ACTION! Support ESA Listing for Wild Bison

Another bull buffalo was killed by a Montana hunter this week, bringing the total to five. One by one the buffalo migrate across Yellowstone’s boundary, and one by one they are killed. Once again, there is not a single wild buffalo in Montana. The current hunt is no more than an extermination program set up to satisfy livestock industry’s intolerance for this national icon.

Government agencies plan to kill 900 to 1,000 buffalo this season through hunting and slaughter. BFC and Friends of Animals Wildlife Law Program filed an emergency rule-making petition to stop the slaughter but the government has yet to respond. Mild weather has so far stemmed large migrations, keeping the larger population of buffalo alive for now.

Click HERE to visit their site and learn how you can help Yellowstone’s wild bison!

Yellowstone Bison_2013

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Video: YouTube Nabeki

Photo: Nabeki

Posted in: Yellowstone’s Wild Free Roaming Bison, Biodiversity

Tags: Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone Bison, Buffalo Field Campaign, Support ESA listing for Wild Bison

Action Alert: Petition to List the Yellowstone Bison as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act

Yellowstone Bison_2013

November 14, 2014

Update: I made this a little confusing. There is no petition to sign. Western Watersheds Project and Buffalo Field Campaign petitioned the USFWS to list Yellowstone bison as threatened or endangered.

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Petition to List the Yellowstone Bison as Threatened or Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act

Western Watersheds Project & Buffalo Field Campaign

http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/ESAPetition20141113.pdf

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From the Buffalo Field Campaign

Endangered Species Act Protection Sought for the Imperiled Yellowstone Bison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 13, 2014

Press Contacts:
Travis Bruner, Executive Director, Western Watersheds Project, 208-788-2290
Michael Connor, Western Watersheds Project, 818-345-0425
Daniel Brister, Executive Director, Buffalo Field Campaign, 406-646-0070
Darrell Geist, Habitat Coordinator, Buffalo Field Campaign, 406-531-9284

FACT SHEET: WHY YELLOWSTONE BISON ARE THREATEND WITH EXTINCTION

MONTANA: Western Watersheds Project and Buffalo Field Campaign petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) today to list the Yellowstone bison under the Endangered Species Act. Yellowstone bison are found primarily in Yellowstone National Park and migrate into the jurisdictions of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming where the wildlife species is forcibly removed or destroyed completely. Yellowstone bison are the only extant wildlife population of plains bison that retains its genetic integrity and still freely roams in the United States.

Nearly all plains bison in the United States are private livestock and/or descendants of bison that were commercially interbred with cattle. These hybridized cattle-bison no longer retain their identity as plains bison, or status as a wildlife species in privately owned herds. All privately owned bison are managed as livestock. Nearly all publicly held bison exist in small, isolated populations on restricted and fenced ranges with no predators and subject entirely to human selection.

The best available science presented in the petition shows that the Yellowstone bison are unique, significant, and genetically and behaviorally distinct. For this reason, the Yellowstone bison population is critical to the overall survival and recovery of the species.

“Prompt listing under the Endangered Species Act is required if this last remnant population of plains bison is to survive and recover,” stated Travis Bruner of Western Watersheds Project.
“The extirpation of the unique Yellowstone bison would represent the complete loss of wild bison from the last stronghold of their historic and ecological range, loss of unique ecological adaptations to the local environment, and the loss of valuable and unique genetic qualities.” stated Michael Connor of Western Watersheds Project.

The petition catalogues the many threats that Yellowstone bison face. Specific threats include: extirpation from their range to facilitate livestock grazing, livestock diseases and disease management practices by the government, overutilization, trapping for slaughter, hunting, ecological and genomic extinction due to inadequate management, and climate change.

The Yellowstone bison population is comprised of genetically and behaviorally distinct subpopulations with differing migration patterns. The wild migratory species uses a significant portion of the geothermal habitats in Yellowstone National Park, an unusual ecological adaptation unique to Yellowstone bison.
“The wild bison living in and around Yellowstone National Park are the only bison in America to continuously occupy their native habitat since the days when tens of millions migrated freely across the continent,” said BFC Executive Director Dan Brister. “A listing under the Endangered Species Act is necessary to ensure the survival of this iconic species.”

Policies of the National Park Service and National Forest Service, and state regulatory mechanisms threaten rather than protect the Yellowstone bison and their habitat. Since 2000, the Park has taken over 3,600 bison in capture for slaughter operations. The Forest Service issues livestock grazing permits in bison habitat. State regulatory mechanisms in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming all result in the forced removal or complete destruction of bison migrating beyond Park borders.
The groups have requested the USFWS issue an initial finding on the petition within 90 days as required by the Endangered Species Act.

Once numbering tens of millions, there were fewer than 25 wild bison remaining in the remote interior of Pelican Valley in Yellowstone National Park at the turn of the 20th Century. The 1894 Lacey Act, the first federal law specifically safeguarding bison, protected these few survivors from extinction.
The petition is available online download the PDF, HERE.

http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/press1415/pressreleases1415/111314.html

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Photo: Nabeki 2013

Posted in: Action Alerts, Yellowstone’s Wild Free-Roaming Bison

Tags: Yellowstone Bison, Western Watersheds Project, Buffalo Field Campaign, ESA, protect Yellowstone Bison

Confusion Concerning Facts Surrounding The Killing Of Bull Buffalo In Idaho…

UPDATE: July 28, 2012

This is most recent statement posted on the Buffalo Field Campaign’s website concerning the killing of the Yellowstone bull buffalo.

“This morning a bull buffalo that had migrated from the Yellowstone region into Island Park, Idaho was shot and killed. BFC patrols responded to the scene only to learn that the bull had been killed moments before we arrived by an Idaho Department of Agriculture official and the Fremont County sheriff’s office. The Nature Conservancy, who owns a ranch and grazes cattle in the area where the buffalo was killed–and at least one other resident–contacted the State of Idaho to notify them of the bull’s presence. According to what BFC learned, the Fremont County sheriff said they called Montana and Yellowstone National Park, neither of whom wanted the bull buffalo returned. The sheriff further claimed that the bull was a “danger” to campers in Idaho and posed a brucellosis “threat” to cattle, neither of which is true. Buffalo are gentle giants and have very clear ways of communicating, making it extremely easy to co-exist with them. Further, no wild buffalo has ever transmitted brucellosis back to the cattle they got it from, and it is basically impossible for a bull bison to transmit brucellosis. Idaho demonstrated this by leaving his guts and reproductive organs in the field after they killed him. BFC patrols responded that wild elk – who also carry brucellosis – roam freely throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and the sheriff’s response was that elk “bring in revenue.”

This bull buffalo was a perfect example of natural restoration that wild buffalo will undertake if humans will only learn to relax their coveted control over all things wild and free, learn to co-exist, and welcome the rightful roamers of North America back on their native habitat.”

http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/update1112/072612.html

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UPDATE: July 27, 2012

On July 26 I posted information about a bull buffalo, who migrated from the Yellowstone area to a Nature Conservancy Ranch in Idaho. The buffalo was shot and killed. This information came directly from the Buffalo Field Campaign.  They stated:

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Update from the Field: Idaho Stops Wild Bison Dead in His Tracks

“This morning a bull buffalo that had migrated from the Yellowstone region onto the Nature Conservancy-owned Flat Ranch was shot and killed. The Nature Conservancy, who grazes cattle on their ranch, acted in gross contradiction to their name and purpose by calling authorities to request that the bull be removed. BFC patrols responded to the scene only to learn that the bull had been killed moments before we arrived by a USDA official and the Fremont County sheriff’s office.

According to what BFC learned, the Fremont County sheriff said they called Montana and Yellowstone National Park, neither of whom wanted the bull buffalo returned. The sheriff further claimed that the bull was a “danger” to campers in Idaho and posed a brucellosis “threat” to cattle, neither of which is true. Buffalo are gentle giants and have very clear ways of communicating, making it extremely easy to co-exist with them. Further, no wild buffalo has ever transmitted brucellosis back to the cattle they got it from, and it is basically impossible for a bull bison to transmit brucellosis. Idaho demonstrated this by leaving his guts and reproductive organs in the field after they killed him. BFC patrols responded that wild elk – who also carry brucellosis – roam freely throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and the sheriff’s response was that elk “bring in revenue.”

This bull buffalo was a perfect example of natural restoration that wild buffalo will undertake if humans will only learn to relax their coveted control over all things wild and free, learn to co-exist, and welcome the rightful roamers of North America back on their native habitat. Instead of conserving nature as their name implies, The Nature Conservancy is shamefully responsible for ending the life of the only wild bison in the state of Idaho.

The Nature Conservancy is shamefully responsible for ending the life of the only wild bison in the state of Idaho. While Idaho would likely have taken lethal action anyway, The Nature Conservancy should have stood their ground in defense of wildlife, especially an ecologically extinct species. 

Please hold The Nature Conservancy accountable for this unforgivable and incongruent action.

You can call Ruth Harbaum of The Nature Conservancy’s Flat Ranch, who made the call that killed the bull, at 208-558-7629, and let her know how disappointed you are by her and her organization’s actions. You may want to also contact the Idaho and National offices of The Nature Conservancy.”

http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/update1112/072612.html

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Today The Wildlife News posted a retraction of their reporting of the story and the Nature Conservancy’s version of what happened. Here’s the link.

Nature Conservancy Statement Regarding Bison Killing in Idaho

http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2012/07/27/nature-conservancy-statement-regarding-bison-killing-in-idaho/

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There is no further information about this situation on the Buffalo Field Campaign’s website that I could find. In light of that, I decided to remove my post.

I will update you if new facts or clarifications come to light concerning this incident. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Bison

Tags: Yellowstone bison shot and killed, Idaho, Buffalo Field Campaign, Nature Conservancy

URGENT!! Comment To Stop Buffalo Slaughter, Comment Period Ends Today, February 13, 2012

From the Buffalo Field Campaign

Comment to Stop Montana’s New Buffalo Firing Line!

Click Here To Comment

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Bison, Animal Cruelty, Action Alerts

Tags: Yellowstone Bison, Buffalo Field Campaign, Bison Slaughter, Montana FWP, Bison under fire

How Many More Yellowstone Bison Will Be Sacrificed On The Cow Altar?

UPDATE: February 5, 2011

Plan to slaughter stray Yellowstone bison ignites furor

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110205/us_nm/us_yellowstone_bison

Please sign the Buffalo Field Campaign’s Petition To Stop The Slaughter of Yellowstone’s Bison

CLICK HERE TO SIGN:

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Here we go again. Yellowstone bison are in danger of being slaughtered because they are daring to leave the park in search of food. A request for an emergency injunction, to stop the slaughter, has been filed by Western Watersheds Project, BFC and other wildlife groups. To read the brief CLICK HERE.

This winter has been extremely harsh in Yellowstone National Park and the bison are HUNGRY!! They are leaving the park to access better feeding grounds but Montana livestock officials are having none of it. Bison are being stopped at the border, rounded up and put in holding pens. Why? Because the excuse is SOME bison carry brucellosis. Really? So do ELK!!

From the Buffalo Field Campaign:

The fact that elk also carry brucellosis, yet are not slaughtered as a result, reveals an inconsistency in the Montana Department of Livestock’s logic. Over 100,000 elk are allowed to roam freely in and around Yellowstone National Park’s borders. Elk hunting is also a tremendous source of revenue for the State of Montana and there would be tremendous public outcry from outfitters and the hunting public if there were a slaughter of the elk. Slaughtering the buffalo makes no sense when there is always the risk of reinfection from the elk. The real issue is the competition between buffalo and cattle public-lands forage. The livestock industry has no interest in sharing these public lands with America’s largest free-ranging herd of buffalo.

Yes, precious elk carry the same disease, yet they are allowed to run freely though out Montana. If elk can roam free, while carrying brucellosis, why are bison singled out?  Because as was previously stated outfitters and hunters would have a fit. That seems to drive everything in Montana. What hunters, ranchers and outfitters want, they get. Dead wolves? Dead bison? Two species being sacrificed on the cow altar.

The captured bison are being tested for brucellosis. ALL bison testing positive are due to be shipped to slaughter. These animals, pushed by hunger,  have been sentenced to death because they tried to access their lower elevation feeding grounds. Does it get any harsher than that?

The remaining bison are supposed to be held in the holding pens until Spring but in reality the pens only hold 400 animals and they’re almost full. With more and more bison wandering out of the park in search of food, there will be no pens left to hold them. Will 2011 be a repeat of  the slaughter of 2008?

“In 2008, a record 1,600 bison were killed leaving the park, including more than 1,400 that were shipped to slaughter.” (AP)

The Buffalo Field Campaign has done a tremendous job monitoring and working to protect Yellowstone’s wild free-roaming bison. BFC has teamed up with Western Watersheds Project and other wildlife advocates to try to prevent the latest round of killings of America’s iconic bison. A brief has been filed asking  for an emergency injunction, to prevent the bison from being carted off to slaughter.

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400 Bison Captured In Yellowstone; BFC Files Emergency Injunction to Stop Slaughter

Weekly Update from the Field February 3, 2011

Update from the Field: Park Service Captures 400 Bison; BFC Files Emergency Injunction to Stop Slaughter
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/update1011/020311.html

Bison were once nearly extinct in the US, destroyed along with the Native American way of life. Estimates of 25 to 50 million bison were wiped out during the settlement of  America. The history of this country is drenched in bison blood. Yet the harassment and killing of Yellowstone’s iconic wild free-roaming bison continues, all in the name of the sacred cow?

“The US Army sanctioned and actively endorsed the wholesale slaughter of bison herds.[28] The US federal government promoted bison hunting for various reasons, to allow ranchers to range their cattle without competition from other bovines, and primarily to weaken the North American Indian population by removing their main food source and to pressure them onto the reservations.[29] Without the bison, native people of the plains were forced either to leave the land or starve to death.”Wikipedia

It gets worse:

For a decade from 1873 on, there were several hundred, perhaps over a thousand, such commercial hide/market hunting outfits harvesting bison at any one time, vastly exceeding the take by American Indians or individual meat hunters. The commercial take arguably was anywhere from 2,000 to 100,000 animals per day depending on the season, though there are no statistics available. It was said that the Big .50s were fired so much that the market hunters needed at least two rifles to let the barrels cool off; The Fireside Book of Guns reports they were sometimes quenched in the winter snow. Dodge City saw railroad cars sent East filled with stacked hides.Wikipedia

That’s just a tiny peek into the brutality that reigned down upon the American bison. We owe them better than that. Yellowstone bison are a national treasure with a limited gene pool. The annual cycle of hazing and slaughtering bison, when they attempt to leave the park in search of food, is brutal and unnecessary.

The Montana Department of Livestock, the cattle industry and their minions are behind this outrage.I don’t think any of this has to do with brucellosis.  They don’t want to share grass with the bison. It’s reminiscent of the 1800’s when the government wanted “to allow ranchers to range their cattle without competition from other bovines.”

Think about it, nothing is done to stop “brucellosis carrying elk” from freely wandering the state? If Montana was so worried about it they’d be rounding up, testing and slaughtering elk.

The Montana livestock industry can hide behind this transparent disease excuse but common sense tells you it’s a red herring. It diverts attention from their real agenda which is to of prevent competition for grazing land between bison and cattle. Wild horses are being run off their lands for the very same reason. Hundreds of wolves are killed every year for ranching interests.

Meanwhile Yellowstone bison continue to suffer. Not just this year but every year they dare to leave the park.

They are hazed with helicopters, snowmobiles, etc., to drive them back into the Yellowstone.  This is especially deadly in Spring months when new calves, some just days or hours old, must run for their lives, sometimes becoming separated from their mothers, sometimes dying in the chaos filled madness as they are being driven relentlessly back to the park. Any bison remaining outside the park boundaries by May 15 will likely be shot and killed.

In this 2006 video, from the Buffalo Field Campaign, the Montana Department of Livestock hazed these bison onto thin ice and they fell into the freezing water. It’s heartbreaking to watch.

http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org These buffalo are chased onto thin ice by Montana’s Department of Livestock. They subsequently fall though and are some die thanks to those in charge of the last wild bison on Earth.

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http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org On March 14 and 15 the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) captured and slaughtered 33 Yellowstone buffalo. These buffalo had been peacefully grazing on the shore of Hebgen Lake since early January. This is the same herd that DOL agents chased onto thin ice on January 11, drowning two in the frigid water.

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SPEAK OUT FOR YELLOWSTONE’S WILD FREE-ROAMING BISON BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!

Please support and donate to the Buffalo Field Campaign!!

Visit their website and take action for Yellowstone’s beleaguered bison. They need our help!!

Buffalo Field Campaign

http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/update1011/update1011.html

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Bison slaughter on hold as park reviews lawsuit

February 4, 2011

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/02/04/bison_slaughter_challenged_as_habitat_ef\fort_flops/

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Bison slaughter challenged as habitat effort flops

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110204/ap_on_re_us/us_yellowstone_bison_slaughter

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400 Yellowstone Bison Held For Possible Slaughter

February 4, 2011

Animals that test positive for exposure to the disease Brucellosis were to be sent to slaughter in coming days. Matthew Brown/AP

http://www.npr.org/2011/02/04/133489875/400-yellowstone-bison-held-for-possible-slaughter?ps=cprs

 

Videos: Courtesy www. buffalofieldcampaign.org  

Photo: Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Yellowstone’s Wild Free-Roaming Bison, Biodiversity

Tags: Buffalo Field Campaign, Western Watersheds Project,  Montana Department of Livestock. bison slaughter, harsh Yellowstone winter, bison under siege, hungry bison

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