* Betrayed by Yellowstone: Park Surrenders Buffalo for APHIS Experiments
These wild buffalo didn't get the freedom that Yellowstone said they would. Instead, they remain prisoners at the Corwin Springs bison prison, having been surrendered to USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for use in experiments with chemical sterilization. BFC file photos by Heather Callin. Click photos for larger image.
Yellowstone National Park has betrayed wild buffalo and the American people. Without giving public notice or seeking any input, Yellowstone National Park consigned fifty-three of America's last wild bison, captured during 2011, to the USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) for a population control experiment. This move contradicts numerous public announcements from Yellowstone officials that all wild buffalo captured during 2011 would be released. USDA APHIS plans to use the buffalo to experiment with GonaCon, a chemical immunocontraceptive vaccine.
APHIS claims that they will need up to 100 buffalo for these sterilization experiments, and says that none of the buffalo will be returned to Yellowstone and many will be consigned to slaughter.
Read Buffalo Field Campaign's press release for more details and see below how you can take action!
* Update from the Field
Wild buffalo flee the Montana Department of Livestock helicopter that descended upon Horse Butte this week. There are never any cattle on Horse Butte or surrounding Gallatin National Forest lands, lands that are the buffalo's birthright. BFC file photo by Darrell Geist. Click photo for larger image.
Beginning Wednesday, state and federal agencies descended upon Gallatin National Forest in full force with sixteen horsemen, an excess of law enforcement, and their helicopter to terrorize wild buffalo, forcing family groups with scores of new calves off of cattle-free public lands, deep into Yellowstone National Park. Every animal in the area felt the threat- grizzly bears, wolves, elk, moose, raptors, blue birds, even humans. The buffalo and all resident wildlife suffer this relentless abuse every year, without cause.
A Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks game warden hazing wild buffalo off cattle-free public land gets a warning look from a mother buffalo, who will defend her calf at all costs. Numerous bluff charges were seen during Wednesday's hazing operations. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
Little calves were frantically trying to keep up with their mothers, as the buffalo were hounded by cowboys riding for the Montana Department of Livestock, Yellowstone National Park, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, with support from Forest Service law enforcement. By Wednesday's end, the buffalo were chased nearly 15 miles to the barely greened-up hills of Yellowstone's Cougar Knoll.
They survived the winter, wolves, grizzly bears ... will they survive hazing? This little calf was run to exhaustion. Agents tried to cut this baby, its mom, and two yearlings away from the haze, but as buffalo always demonstrate, they need the safety of the herd. Mom tried to catch back up with the hazed family, and spent much more of her and her baby's energy doing so. It is not very likely that this little calf would survive the next seven miles of forced march to Cougar Knoll. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
Because no excuse can ever justify their brutal, unnecessary actions, the agencies tend to exaggerate. They claimed that over 500 wild buffalo were still roaming Montana, yet at the end of Wednesday's haze, with the helicopter scouring the landscape in every direction, wasting exorbitant amounts U.S. tax dollars to harass native wildlife, barely 200 had been discovered on the national forest. By the time the hazing ended at Cougar Knoll inside Yellowstone National Park, around 375 buffalo had been caught in the crossfires of these cruel and expensive escapades. A few groups remain in small areas west of Yellowstone, and it is for certain that as you read this today, agents are attempting to harass the buffalo that remain in Montana. But, showing how much of "threat" brucellosis really is, agents will take the weekend off from hazing.
Forced to travel many long miles on a hot day, without chance to drink or graze, any time the buffalo could, they would sneak a little grass before agents "yipped" and "yee-ha'd" them into movement. Some young bulls were heard roaring, vocalizing their serious distaste for how they were being treated. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
BFC patrols have eyes all over these hazes, watching and documenting all moves made against our friends the buffalo. These hazing operations take an especially hard toll on the new calves, who are not physically capable of enduring such strenuous, forced travel. For nearly fifteen miles, agents pushed them and gave them no rest, no chance to graze, no chance to nurse, no chance to do anything but flee their oppressors. Public sentiment is growing strongly against these nefarious activities, and more and more people are raising their support for the work of Buffalo Field Campaign and calling foul on these unnecessary, frivolous, and dangerous activities carried out by government-funded livestock interests.
Please keep the pressure on. You are making a difference!
* NEW ACTIONS TO TAKE!
1. Contact Gallatin National Forest Supervisor Mary Erickson and ask her how, after allowing the state of Montana to chase wild buffalo off the National Forest, she is fulfilling the Forest Service's legal mandate to provide habitat for wild buffalo, and why she allows native wild bison to be forced off of public lands habitat where there are never any cattle. TAKE ACTION!
2. Contact Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk and USDA APHIS Western Regional Director Brian McCluskey and tell them that it is not acceptable for wild buffalo, which are ecologically extinct, to be surrendered without public notice or input for experiments with chemical sterilization. TAKE ACTION: Email Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk AND Email USDA-APHIS Rep. Brian McCluskey
3. Contact your members of Congress and urge them to bring an end to the Interagency Bison Management Plan and re-direct federal funding towards habitat-based solutions for wild buffalo. If your members of Congress are unfamiliar with this issue, urge them to contact Buffalo Field Campaign.
4. Write Letters to the Editor in support of protecting America's last wild buffalo.
Thank You! Spread the word to save these herds! Please share these action links on FaceBook, blogs, etc.
* In Memory of barb abramo: Celebration this Sunday
* Spend Summer in Yellowstone with BFC!
BFC's summer tabling crew is forming, and we could use a few more volunteers. Come to Yellowstone country and help us talk with millions of visitors to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. BFC provides food, lodging, camping, gear, and transportation to and from our table in the Park. We ask for at least a three week commitment in order to accommodate training and orientation. This is a great opportunity to get involved and advocate for America's last wild buffalo! Please contact Tony for more information.
* BFC Wish List: Darrell Needs a New Computer!!
BFC's stellar and hard-working Habitat Coordinator, Darrell Geist, is in need of a new computer. Darrell's current computer has been a faithful work horse for years, helping Darrell craft important briefing papers, develop extensive public comments, engage in solidarity work with Tribal interests, draft legal strategies, conduct vast amounts of research, disseminate critical information to colleagues and decision-makers, and helping him keep wild buffalo and their habitat in the face of everyone. Having given all its able to give, Darrell's computer is ready to retire.
View BFC habitat coordinator's dream machine at here.
* By the Numbers
AMERICAN BUFFALO ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S. The last wild population is currently estimated at fewer than 3,600 individual buffalo.
2010-2011 Total Buffalo Killed: 227
2010-2011 Government Capture: 770
2010-2011 Government Slaughter: 0
2010-2011 Held for Government Experiment: 53
2010-2011 Died In Government Trap: 3
2010-2011 Miscarriage in Government Trap: 1
2010-2011 State & Treaty Hunts: 211
2010-2011 Quarantine: 0
2010-2011 Shot by Agents: 3
2010-2011: Killed by Angry Residents: 2
2010-2011 Highway Mortality: 11
2009-2010 Total: 7
2008-2009 Total: 22
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
* Total Since 2000: 3,986*
*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine, hunts, highway mortality
* Last Words ~ Bison Abuse Merits Harsh Criticism
Guest Editorial: Bison Abuse Merits Harsh Critism by Dr. Brian L. Horejsi
Do you have submissions for Last Words? Send them to Stephany. Thank you for all the poems, songs, quotes, and stories you have been sending; you'll see them here!