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.


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

Western Watersheds Project & Buffalo Field Campaign


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


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.


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

ACTION ALERT: Oregon Wolves Need Your Help! Little Red Riding Hood Syndrome Epidemic!

Little Red Riding Hood Syndrome

Update:February 19, 2012

As I discussed in a previous post, Oregon HB 4158, would make it easier to persecute and kill  Oregon’s tiny wolf population for supposed livestock depredation.

The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association is pushing hard for this legislation. Unfortunately the bill was passed by the Oregon House on Friday, February 17, by a vote of 42-15. It now moves to the Senate for a vote. It has a better chance of being voted down in the Senate.

“HB4158 now goes to the Senate, where Democrats hold a 16-14 advantage.”

If the bill passes the Oregon Senate the only thing stopping it from becoming law is a veto by Oregon Governor Kitzhaber.

Please continue to call Governor Kitzhaber and let him know America supports Oregon’s fledging wolf population and does not want them  slaughtered on the altar of the sacred cow.

As I’ve stated over and over, 51,000 Oregon cattle were lost to non-predation causes in 2010, including disease, weather, calving and theft. Compare those numbers against the 20 cow deaths blamed on the Imnaha pack and you can see the hysteria driving the persecution of Oregon’s wolves. Anyone who possesses the power of reason knows that in a state with a million cows, 20 cattle deaths blamed on wolves would not even register as any kind of threat. Why are Oregon ranchers so silent about the thousands and thousands of cattle losses to non-wolf causes? I’ll tell you why, it doesn’t fit into their wolf demonization campaign.

The Imnaha pack is the iconic Journey’s (OR7) natal pack. They want to kill his father and sibling. This would effectively destroy the Imnaha pack and leave the alpha female, Sophie (B-300) and her offspring, as the only surviving members.

Conservationists believe the bill is a response to the Oregon Court of Appeals stay of the kill order issued against the Imnaha alpha male and sub-adult.

“Conservation groups sued the state last year to stop plans to kill the wolves. They say the legislation is an attempt to get around their lawsuit and the state Endangered Species Act. Ranchers say the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife should make decisions about wolves, not judges, based on a wolf management plan already in

This bill is reminiscent of the infamous wolf delisting rider, attached to a spending bill last year, which ultimately passed the US Senate and was  signed into law by President Obama, stripping ESA protections from wolves in the Northern Rockies.  Due to that betrayal of wolves by the Democrats, the anti-wolf forces have learned they can circumvent the court system by turning to friendly pro-ranching state legislatures to get what they want. If the courts don’t rule in their favor, as in the case of the Oregon Court of Appeals stay, then they’ll just take their case to politicians to get it done. When wolves were delisted by budget rider last year,  I knew it would open the flood gates to do an end-round the court system. Now any endangered species can be delisted if  they become inconvenient to special interests.

Please act now for Oregon wolves.

Contact the Oregon Senate and Governor Kitzhaber.

Continue to sign the petition to the Governor!!


The Governor of OR: SAVE OREGON’S 29 WOLVES, oppose HB 4158

Petition Letter


We, the undersigned, urge you to oppose HB 4158, a bill proposed by the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, which allows killing of wolves to address livestock depredation and declares a “state of emergency.” With less than 30 wolves in the entire state, we find this declaration absurd. We, and most Oregonians, highly value our wildlife and strongly support endangered species protection and the return of wolves to Oregon, and their strong recovery.

Oregon has less than 30 confirmed wolves in the entire state and approximately 1.3 million cows. We feel that a Bill establishing a “state of emergency” over the presence of a tentatively recovering endangered wolf population is an attempt to bypass the Oregon Endangered Species Act and would set a dangerous precedent which could be used to circumvent protections of other endangered species at the behest of special interests. Furthermore, we believe it is an effort to short-circuit current litigation which aims to clarify the relationship of the state Endangered Species Act with the Oregon Wolf Plan.

Statements by Oregon Cattlemen’s Association members and officers constantly stress the aim of lethal removal over the use of non-lethal measures and tools, which they routinely disparage. As quoted in the Lewiston Tribune Online, 7/2/11, OCA Wolf committee Chair Rod Childers said, “To be able to move to lethal control we as producers have to show we tried nonlethal actions. I can’t say if it works or not, it is just things we have been told we have to do, and the whole key to me is getting them to move to lethal control,…” With this in mind, we believe HB 4158 to be an attempt to weaken the commitment to non-lethal measures.

With so many critical issues before this short session of the legislature, devoting precious time to this controversial and unnecessary Bill is a mistake.

Please oppose HB 4158.

Thank you.

[Your name]

Click Here To Sign Petition

Alpha male of the Imnaha pack. He was slated for death until the Oregon Court of Appeals stayed the “kill order”.  If this bill passes the Senate and is signed into law by Governor Kitzhaber, this  wolf will be killed.  He is OR7’s father.



Gov. John Kitzhaber

Governor’s Citizens’ Representative Message Line

Fax: 503-378-6827

Governor Kitzhaber
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, Oregon 97301-4047


Oregon Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources



Sen. Jackie Dingfelder


Sen. Alan Olsen


Sen. Mark Hass

Sen. Floyd Prozanski

Sen. Chuck Thomsen


Senator Jackie Dingfelder 

Party: D  District: 23
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1723
District Phone: 503-493-2804
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-407, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: PO Box 13432, Portland, OR, 97213


Senator Peter Courtney

Party: D  District: 11
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1600
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-201, Salem, OR, 97301


Oregon State Senate


State House Votes To Ease Killing Of Ore. Wolves

JONATHAN J. COOPER, Associated Press

POSTED: 11:42 am PST February 17, 2012


September 27, 2011

Oregon’s wolves are more important than cattle


Top Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Bottom Photo: Courtesy ODFW

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Oregon Wolves

Tags: Urgent action needed, sign petition, HB 4158, Oregon House of Representatives, Oregon Governor Kitzhaber, Imnaha pack, Oregon tiny wolf population, B-300, Oregon Cattlemen’s Assoc., OR-7’s natal pack

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