Yellowstone Captures 300 Buffalo, Sends 145 to Slaughter
past twelve days have been most difficult for the Yellowstone
buffalo. 300 have been captured inside Yellowstone
National Park. 145 have been handed over to the
Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) and shipped to
slaughter. 154 are being held prisoner in the
Stephens Creek trap until spring, and 79 yearlings and
young buffalo have been experimented on with an ineffective
cattle vaccine, ear-tagged, and confined. All
at the behest of Montana's powerful livestock industry
to "protect" cattle from a disease that Yellowstone's
wild buffalo are incapable of transmitting to livestock.
When will the state of Montana and our federal government
recognize the importance of buffalo? This question
haunts meeveryday. As I watch another hundred buffalo
have the doors of life close on them by government agents
entrusted to protect them, my heart grows cold.
These Park Rangers with the buffalo proudly displayed
on their badges should replace the buffalo with the
domestic cow, because nowadays cows are taking precedence,
even in Yellowstone National Park.
The "lucky" buffalo that test negative are
thrown in a pen until spring. This domestication
process comes complete with ear tags for the millions
of tourists who come to see the buffalo every spring,
winter and fall. Cows, cows and more cows cloud
the national heritage treasure of Yellowstone and the
national forest surrounding it. All wildlife--the
wolves, bears, buffalo, and coyotes--fear these holy
cows, for when they follow their natural instincts,
the cows bring certain death. How long will the
American people have to bear the costs of supporting
the cattleman's way of life?
Of all the lower 48 states of America, the Yellowstone
ecosystem is the only place still filled with the wildness
of all beings that were present before Europeans arrived.
The Montana cattle industry is demanding a zero risk
situation on something that has never happened anyway,
at the expense of the US taxpayer. Elk carry brucellosis--and
have recently transmitted it to livestock--yet they
are not targeted as the buffalo are. Elk are allowed
to come and go across the park boundary at will.
On the north end of the Park, the Church
Universal and Triumphant (CUT), after receiving
13 million US tax dollars to make their land available
to Yellowstone wildlife, still insists on grazing cattle
on their land and demands that buffalo be killed.
Give them a call and ask them why they're still insisting
that buffalo be killed. Their number is: (406)
Another area of land owned by us the US taxpayers, the
Eagle Creek Management Area, is designated as a safe
haven for buffalo. In contrast, to the West of
the Park, on the Gallatin National Forest, the Horse
Butte Peninsula houses a buffalo trap adjacent to a
nesting area for bald eagles. Buffalo are killed
there every winter and spring to supposedly protect
cattle, although the grazing allotments have been closed
for the past two years.
More than fifty Native American tribes formed a group
called the Inter Tribal Bison Cooperative (ITBC) asking
for live Yellowstone Buffalo for their reservations.
Instead the Montana Department of Livestock, in an attempt
at good public relations, donate the buffalo to Native
Americans after they are slaughtered. The ITBC
this week asked its members not to accept and be part
of the justification for the slaughter. "We've
been discouraging the tribes from accepting the meat,
heads, and hides," said Fred DuBray, ITBC's executive
director. "It's too easy for the officials
to claim they're doing these tribes a favor," he
From a population of at least 30 million, now 3,000
is considered too many buffalo. This number was
not derived by science, but was a demand of the livestock
industry. These genetically and behaviorally unique
creatures are being slaughtered, beaten, and caged out
of their crucial habitat by the hundreds at the stubborn
insistence of Montana's livestock industry. It
is time the madness stops.
Help us stop this terrible injustice by coming out to
volunteer. We are currently running camps in Gardiner
and West Yellowstone, Montana. Everyone here is going
out everyday and rest is hard to come by. As much
as I hate to ask for money, we need it more that ever.
I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all
your years of support. Times are tough, but never
as tough as it is for the buffalo. Like the buffalo
we will stand tall and survive. Keep the pressure
on and do something for the buffalo today.
With the Buffalo,
Help us Pass the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act
-- Thanks to your efforts, we continue to gain
cosponsors for H.R. 3446, the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation
Act. This week, we are pleased to report that
63 House Representatives have signed on to this critical
legislation. Please check http://www.wildrockies.org/buffalo/politico/3446.html
for talking points and to see if your Representative
has signed on. If they haven't, strongly urge
them to do so. If they have, please thank them
and encourage them to speak with their colleagues.
You can contact your Representative by calling the Capitol
Switchboard at 800-839-5276, and asking to be transferred
to his/her office. Or, you can use http://www.house.gov/writerep
to look up your Representative and send them
Oppose the Buffalo Hunt--8 Days
-- There are only eight more days left to send in your
comments to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP),
and oppose the state's proposed buffalo hunt.
This so-called "fair chase" hunt is not only
unethical, it's not even supported by hunting organizations.
Just another tool to eradicate buffalo from Montana,
it is all too clear that the MT Department of Livestock
(DOL) - the agency that would authorize and manage
the killing - wants to use this proposal to shift
some of the focus and blame away from their
involvement in buffalo slaughter. Speak out today
for the buffalo and let FWP know you strongly oppose
this hunt! Go to http://www.wildrockies.org/buffalo/press04/huntcomments.html
for talking points and contact information. Send
your comments in before March 12!
* Write a Letter to the Editor
-- If you've already taken action on the two issues
mentioned above - and even if you haven't - please write
a letter to the editor of local, national, or Montana
papers. The editorial page is the most widely-read
section of the paper - and that includes decision-makers
- so it's a terrific way to get the word out, and demonstrate
strong public support for ending the buffalo slaughter.
For a list of national and state papers to target,
If your letter is printed, please send us a copy!
Send your letter via email to bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org
or bu mail to BFC-LTE, P.O. Box 957, W. Yellowstone,
59758. Many thanks for your continued efforts on
behalf of the buffalo.
Washington DC! Save the Date! Save the Herd! Spread
The Buffalo Field Campaign is coming to Washington,
DC the week of March 15th, and will join other
organizations for a busy week of meetings with members
of Congress, urging their support for H.R. 3446, the
Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act. On Thursday,
March 18th, BFC field volunteers will give a presentation
at the Georgetown Patagonia store. We will show
video footage from the field, talk about the plight
of Yellowstone's buffalo, and legislation currently
before Congress. The event begins at 7:00 pm,
and will be held at 1048 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington,
DC. HELP US SPREAD THE WORD! We want a large
turnout, and need help putting posters up around town.
If you can help, please visit http://www.wildrockies.org/buffalo/politico/flyers-east.html
to print out a choice of three fliers. Just fill
in the When and Where information and post them
everywhere! Bring your friends, family, coworkers,
and anyone you know who cares about buffalo. This
will be an unforgettable and inspiring event that
you won't want to miss. See you in DC on March 18th!
Presidential-Hopeful John Kerry about the Buffalo
With Sen. Edwards dropping out of the race, it's looking
like Sen. John Kerry will be the Democratic candidate
for the Presidency. So far, the environment hasn't
even received a mention in the presidential debates
- but you have the power to change that. Please
write to presidential-hopeful John Kerry and let him
know that the protection of Yellowstone's buffalo is
an issue of national importance, and should be given
due attention. Urge him to support efforts to
protect the buffalo, and to stop the senseless slaughter
of these majestic creatures once and for all!
To contact the campaign office in your state visit http://www.johnkerry.com/contact/ or
simply send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Enough is enough. Thus far and no farther.
Think of your children. Of their children.
Of the hawks, buzzards, lizards, bear. Save a
little room and time for the free play of the human
spirit and the wild play of the animal kingdom"
~ Ed Abbey