|Yellowstone Bison Slaughter
Update from the Field June 18, 2009
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the Loss of Our Friends
* Update from the Field - Four Bulls Killed by Agents
* Our Friend Frog: BFC Celebrates His Life, Mourns His
* Last Words
* Kill Tally
Update from the Field
Bull bison rubs on a tree. BFC file photo.
We lost four brother buffalo yesterday to the ignorance
and greed of Montana's livestock industry.
We are sad to report that the Montana Department of Livestock
(DOL) sent three bull buffalo to slaughter yesterday after
capturing them on private land at Duck Creek, in a trap
just 200 yards from the boundary of Yellowstone National
the full press release here.
In addition, agents shot another bull buffalo on Gallatin
National Forest land yesterday. Both DOL and Montana Fish,
Wildlife & Parks (FWP) participated in the killing
and processing of this beautiful emblem of the wild. In
a disgraceful act, the FWP agent, game warden Jim Smolzynski,
even brought his young daughter along to help participate
in the violent act. Just three weeks ago, she participated
in the prayer ceremony with Chief Arvol Looking Horse.
The FWP agent's dog was also present at the kill site,
and was allowed to sample the buffalo carcass, which will
likely be processed and given to a food bank or a Native
American charity organization.
This bull bison was on Gallatin National Forest land,
where, according to the Adaptive Management Plan, bulls
are supposed to be allowed year-round. However, a local
hobby rancher insists that the bull co-mingled with cattle,
which in Montana is an immediate death sentence for buffalo
under the ill-intentioned Interagency Bison Management
The bulls captured at Duck Creek were also set up to fail.
The Adaptive Management Plan put forth by the Interagency
Bison Management Plan participants states that bull buffalo
will be allowed in certain areas outside of Yellowstone
year round. However, the agents made sure to make it as
difficult as possible for buffalo to live through these
changes as they exclude bison from areas north of Duck
Creek, the favored migration corridor for bull bison along
Yellowstone's western boundary lands.
can view footage of both incidents here but please
be warned that some of the images are very graphic and
disturbing. It is important to remember that federal tax
dollars are being used to carry these atrocious activities
The Adaptive Management changes have been used by the
agencies in an attempt to tranquilize the public and make
us believe that things are actually getting better for
the buffalo. It is a lie, these incidents - like last
month's intensive hazing - clearly demonstrate that little,
if anything, has actually changed on the ground.
Bull bison cannot transmit brucellosis to cattle. The
disease, which no wild bison has ever transmitted to cattle,
is the excuse Montana uses to justify the harassment and
slaughter of wild bison. A closer look at the issue, underscored
by the death of bulls, reveals that it's really about
grass, and the cattle industry would rather kill bison
than share the grass with them.
Make your voice heard for these
buffalo so that their lives are not lost in vain:
1. Contact Montana Department of Livestock State Veterinarian
Marty Zaluski and let him know how you feel about these
tragic and senseless incidents: email@example.com
2. Then, please contact
President Barack Obama, even if you have done so before,
and keep pressure on until he takes positive action to
help the buffalo and stops the slaughter once and for
BFC file photo.
* Our Friend Frog: BFC Celebrates His Life, Mourns
The buffalo and our community lost a dear friend this
last week. On Thursday, June 11, 2009, "Frog"
passed on in the waters around the San Juan Islands off
the coast of Washington. His last days were beautiful
and happy, filled with oysters and canoe camping, friendship
Brian Gharst arrived at BFC early on, and was a passionate
advocate for the wild. As the third Brian at camp, he
was quickly dubbed with a new name - another volunteer
called him "Frog" after he leaped up the slopes
behind the cabin on a hike. Frog brought so much caring,
peaceful energy, humor, and brilliance to BFC, and to
this world. Friends and acquaintances knew him as someone
who could do or create anything, as a person with an enormous
heart, as someone who accepted people without judgment,
and as a person who cared genuinely and deeply about this
planet and its creatures.
Before arriving at BFC, Brian had been baking with the
Bionic Baking Brigade; and he went on to actively support
and work with many other campaigns and causes - with Seeds
of Peace, Wild Rockies Earth First!, and more. During
his time in Missoula, Brian crafted rickshaws and bicycle
trailers, built greenhouses and gardens, revived the free
community bicycle shop, and sought treasures throughout
town from dumpsters to mountain streams. He took his brilliance
and offerings to the world everywhere he went.
This weekend, many friends and family are gathering in
Missoula to honor Brian, mourn our loss, and celebrate
his life and this community of people he continues to
bring together. For those also affected by Brian and his
life, and who wish to participate, you can contact the
campaign (406-646-0070) or friends in Missoula for more
details. Another ceremony will also take place on Horse
Butte in West Yellowstone, a place special to Frog and
many of his friends. Some of his ashes will be offered
there, and his spirit will continue to bless the buffalo,
and bless us all.
love you, Frog. Thank you for all you gave this world.
* Last Words
"In the eyes of the agencies, 'tolerance' merely
means delaying the inevitable slaughter of America's
last wild buffalo."
~ Dan Brister, Executive Director, Buffalo Field Campaign
* Kill Tally
AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population
in the U.S.
2008-2009 Total: 22
2008-2009 Slaughter: 3
2008-2009 Hunt: 1
2008-2009 Quarantine: 0
2008-2009 Shot by Agents: 2
2008-2009 Highway Mortality: 16
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
Total Since 2000: 3,702*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts,
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Media & Outreach
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