|Yellowstone Bison Slaughter
Update from the Field April 2, 2009
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Update from the Field
* BFC's Dan Brister Appears on Montana Public Radio
* Mother's Day Cards in Support of Buffalo Field Campaign
* Boogie Down for Buffalo! Bluegrass and Beyond Benefit
* Bill to Prevent Relocation of Quarantined Buffalo
* Last Words
* Kill Tally
* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
We are excited to report that more
buffalo have arrived on Horse Butte.
There are now approximately 60 buffalo on Horse Butte,
an enormous peninsula just a few miles west of Yellowstone
National Park. Many of the buffalo now on the Butte are
expectant mothers, and calving season will begin in just
a few weeks. It is fun to see the little red calves from
last year who now don their adult coats of shaggy dark
brown and black wool, sporting small straight horns that
will grow and curve into that familiar buffalo shape in
a few years.
These buffalo should be safe from harm at least until
May 15. Under the new adaptive changes to the Interagency
Bison Management Plan an unlimited number of buffalo are
allowed to occupy Horse Butte until that date. While the
time free from harassment is very positive, May 15 is
a date we dread. And judging from their actions in the
past, the government may come up with some excuse to harass
the buffalo before then.
As we knew they would, various "scouts" from
the Montana Department of Livestock, Yellowstone National
Park, and Gallatin National Forest have been scouring
the area on their snowmobiles, reporting back to the agencies
the location and numbers of the buffalo. Although they're
not allowed to harass buffalo on Horse Butte now, they
still insist on wasting U.S. tax dollars to count and
spook the buffalo with their noisy machines.
As always, we remain with the buffalo, ready to document
and challenge all actions made against them.
* BFC's Dan Brister Appears on Montana Public
On Friday, March 27, Buffalo Field Campaign's Dan Brister
presented a commentary
on Montana Public Radio. Dan has been with BFC since
the beginning; he is a talented writer and a passionate
champion of wild buffalo. Listen
to this excellent commentary and please share it with
others! This is a very informative piece and those who
hear it will gain a better understanding of the issue
and no doubt will be moved to help the buffalo.
* Mother's Day Cards in Support of Buffalo Field
Mother's Day is a perfect time to reflect on the Earth
we intend to leave to future generations. Will we "see
beyond our own time" to ensure that wild bison roam
free? That our children's children will have the chance
to marvel at these magnificent wild creatures?
This is what Buffalo Field Campaign works for, with your
generous support. We will send a beautiful card to the
person of your choice. This year, our popular Mother's
Day card features a hand-drawn (and reproduced) original
copied from a smaller, accompanying photo of mom and baby
in Yellowstone. Our card is appropriate for all the nurturing
relationships you'd like to honor with a gift to BFC.
The deadline for orders is April 22, 2009.
A minimum donation of $15 is requested for each card you
would like us to send.
For more information, and to order, click
here or send a check or money order (no cash, please)
to: BFC / PO Box 957 / West Yellowstone, MT 59758
* Bluegrass & Beyond! Benefit for BFC
Come to Bozeman, Montana and boogie down with us for the
buffalo! BFC volunteer Art Brown, together with Buffalo
Allies of Bozeman, has put in a tremendous amount of effort
to organize "Bluegrass & Beyond" a benefit
for Buffalo Field Campaign. This fun-filled event with
incredible local bands is bound to inspire you to cut
a rug and help the buffalo while you do.
Saturday, April 11, 2009 from 4pm until 2am at the Pour
House, 15 N. Rouse Ave., Bozeman, Montana. NO COVER CHARGE!
HELP US SPREAD THE WORD by downloading
a flyer that you can reproduce and post around town.
Our thanks and appreciation go to Buffalo Allies of Bozeman
who are co-sponsoring this special event, and to all the
bands and musicians who are making this possible. Many
thanks also go to the Pour House for providing the space
for this event. There is no cover charge, so donations
are most welcome. Please bring friends!
* Bill to Prevent Relocation of Quarantined Buffalo
A state bill that would have prevented quarantined Yellowstone
buffalo from being relocated was tabled in the Montana
House of Representatives. This bill, crafted by livestock
interests, would have prevented even disease-free buffalo
from gaining any ground on their native range. While BFC
vehemently opposes the state-federal quarantine project,
which captures and orphans wild bison calves in a scheme
to "create a disease-free herd" we found it
extremely revealing that livestock interests rejected
even brucellosis-free buffalo from stepping out of confinement,
proving that this whole war against buffalo is about grass,
After the bill was killed, Montana Fish, Wildlife &
Parks issued a decision
notice that bison translocation would take place.
This month, 41 buffalo from the quarantine facility will
be transported to the Wind River Indian Reservation in
central Wyoming, where the Northern Arapaho people will
welcome them home. We are pleased that the Tribe will
be the caretakers of these buffalo who have been through
so much turmoil in the hands of the government. They will
be in good hands and will eventually have 30,000 acres
on which to roam. But, we feel that the quarantine project
is a very disrespectful way for the government to "give"
buffalo to First Nations. First Nations and the buffalo
The quarantined buffalo have been captured with their
families and the adult members have been shipped to slaughter.
The orphaned calves are trucked to a facility just a few
miles from where they once roamed Yellowstone. They are
held captive in small paddocks surrounded by two fences,
one being electric. They are fed hay, ear tagged, and
regularly handled and tested like livestock. More than
half of the young buffalo that have entered the facility
have been slaughtered for study's sake. Those that survive
are placed into breeding programs. The government claims
that when the survivors are ready for release, they will
"teach them how to be wild."
The livestock industry, having attempted to block the
relocation of even disease-free buffalo that have gone
through this rigorous torture gauntlet has certainly revealed
its true colors. While we are glad that these buffalo
will be going to the Northern Arapaho rather than being
killed, there are better ways to restore buffalo. Instead
of accepting the government's idea of quarantine, Tribes
and buffalo advocates should work together to create migration
corridors that would allow buffalo to walk back to their
native lands on their own four feet, while the government
should monitor the cattle industry and ensure that livestock
stays out of the buffalo's way. For more information on
the harmful effects of quarantining wild buffalo visit
* Last Words
"Meanwhile, [Montana Senator John] Brenden Friday
urged people to continue fighting the spread of wild bison
across Montana. 'The main thing is the people need to
keep putting pressure on the agencies and the governor's
office so we don't get these bison translocated in Montana,'
From a 3/28/09 Bozeman
Daily Chronicle article on the death of the quarantine
* Kill Tally
AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population
in the U.S.
2008-2009 Total: 2
2008-2009 Slaughter: 0
2008-2009 Hunt: 1
2008-2009 Quarantine: 0
2008-2009 Shot by Agents: 1
2007-2008 Total: 1,616
Total Since 2000: 3,683*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts
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Buffalo Field Campaign
P.O. Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
BFC is the only group working in the field every day
in defense of the last wild buffalo population in the