Did the Dept. of Livestock Haze Illegally?
* Update from the Field & Video: Did the Department of Livestock Conduct an Illegal Haze?
* Attention California! If You’re in Pacific Grove or Monterey, BFC Needs Your Help on Road Show Event!
* Public Meetings Scheduled for Gallatin National Forest Plan: Please Attend!
* Spend Summer in Yellowstone with BFC: Volunteers Wanted!
* TAKE ACTION! Help BFC Protect Wild Buffalo
* By the Numbers
* Last Words ~ William T. Hornaday
* Update from the Field & Video: Did the DOL Conduct an Illegal Haze?
America's National Mammal?
June 1, 2016
Agents with the Montana Department of Livestock chase native wild bison from their chosen habitat near West Yellowstone, Montana. The actions, captured on video by Buffalo Field Campaign, were in violation of governor Steve Bullock's orders that bison be given year-round access to habitat near West Yellowstone.
The Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) conducted a questionable hazing operation last week, pushing buffalo off of public lands where, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), buffalo are allowed to be. BFC patrols confronted the DOL agents, who are interpreting the Governor’s year-round habitat decision much differently, essentially taking advantage of some conflicting language. BFC immediately contacted FWP, and the DOL hazers made their own calls to their bosses. BFC, FWP, and the DOL have calls in to Governor Bullock’s office, and we are all awaiting clarity on this discrepancy. In the interim, the executive officer of the DOL actually gave the order to their hazers to “cease and desist” any hazing of buffalo on these lands until this issue can be resolved.
Photo by Stephany, Buffalo Field Campaign. Click for larger image.
Most of the buffalo have already migrated into Yellowstone on their own. There are fewer than 100 in the Hebgen Basin, and they are simply enjoying their days, eating spring grass, raising their newborn calves, soaking up the sun, and shedding their thick winter coats. We did have a sad encounter with a mother and calf this week. About three days ago, patrols spotted a mom and her newborn, and while the baby buffalo raised her head, she never stood. We monitored the pair for a number of days — the mother never left the calf’s side even though the baby never rose. On Wednesday morning, patrols spotted the calf again, and she was laying lifeless in the grass. Her devoted mother has still not left her side. Our heart grieves with hers, yet we do take some solace in knowing that because of the new habitat they’ve been granted, she has been able to wait and then mourn her baby for as long as she needs, without threat of being hazed. We hope she will soon rejoin her family group. It’s probably just a matter of time before they choose to head into their traditional rutting grounds to join up with other buffalo families and be in the company of the massive bulls who will soon start to battle each other to win the favor of the females.
Photo by Stephany, Buffalo Field Campaign. Click for larger view.
Our incredible crew of volunteers and seasonal coordinators are also starting their migrations. The coming of summer brings many goodbyes, though many will return with the fall to once again answer the call of the buffalo. We have had such an amazing crew this year, it’s very difficult to part ways. Even with all of the challenges the buffalo suffered this year, our achievement of year-round habitat in the Hebgen Basin has diminished hazing enormously. Usually by this time of year, wild buffalo have been sorely abused and brutally forced out of Montana. But wild buffalo remain this year, and we can close this season without feeling defeated and rather, are celebrating a significant victory. Many other things are changing in the buffalo’s favor, so thank you for being with us and never giving up. Together we are making a big difference!
Wild is the Way ~ Roam Free!
*Attention California! If You’re in Pacific Grove or Monterey, BFC Needs Your Help on Road Show Event!
BFC is looking for someone to help us promote our West Coast Road Show event in Pacific Grove, CA. This event will be on Oct. 6 at 7pm at the Pacific Grove Museum. We need someone to print and distribute posters of the event, contact local print and radio media, and contact other groups that could help spread the word. Any way you can help spread the word will be great! We are excited about doing the event here, but it’s a costly one, so we really need a point person to help make the event a success. Please contact Mike at email@example.com or 406-646-0070 if this is something you can help with. Thanks for your never ending support.
*Public Meetings Scheduled for Gallatin National Forest Plan: Please Attend!
The Forest Plan is an overarching document that provides guidance for forest management on the Custer Gallatin National Forest for years to come. “Initial public meetings were well attended and we heard from a variety of people,” said Forest Plan Revision Team Leader, Virginia Kelly, “with this second set of meetings we would like to start the conversation out focusing on what we’ve found to date, changes that we see coming to the forest plans; while also providing an opportunity to hear from those attending the meetings and webinars about what they care about and want to see from the Forest.” Help persuade the Forest Service to manage habitat for the wild buffalo herds who migrate from Yellowstone National Park! More information can be found here.
Public meetings are set for 8 communities, along with 3 webinars:
Tuesday, June 14 – Ashland, MT – 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Ashland Public School
Wednesday, June 15 – Ekalaka, MT – 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Carter County Fairgrounds Building
Thursday, June 16 – Buffalo, SD – 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Buffalo Recreation Center
Monday, June 20 – Big Timber, MT – 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Sweet Grass County High School Cafeteria
Tuesday, June 21 – Red Lodge, MT – 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Edgar Gruell Bldg, Carbon County Fairgrounds
Wednesday, June 22 – Gardiner, MT – 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Gardiner Community Center
Tuesday, June 28 – West Yellowstone, MT – 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Povah Community Center
Wednesday, June 29 – Bozeman, MT – 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Chief Joseph Middle School Multipurpose Rm.
Webinar: *All times listed are Mountain Standard Time, webinars available on mobile device through Adobe Connect App.
Thursday, June 23 – 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 30 - Two Sessions – 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. OR 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
* Spend Summer in Yellowstone with BFC: Volunteers Wanted!
Buffalo Field Campaign is seeking volunteers who have an earnest desire to help our national mammal, the buffalo, roam wild and free! We are seeking people comfortable with talking with Yellowstone visitors to help run our summer outreach program. This is the 100-year anniversary of the National Park Service and Yellowstone is expecting millions of visitors; this is a great opportunity to help educate and inspire people! Volunteers get to spend five days a week camping in beautiful Yellowstone National Park. You'll spend your days enjoying all that the landscape has to offer, from relaxing in the Boiling River, to watching a mama black bear with her cubs. You'll have the amazing opportunity of seeing buffalo during the rut while helping to do outreach on their behalf. Educating park visitors on the plight of America's last wild bison is one of the most important parts of what we do here at Buffalo Field Campaign. While tabling you'll meet people from all over the world and bring the buffalo's story to them. During the five days in the Park, volunteers will share a tent at various campgrounds in and around Yellowstone. When volunteers are not tabling, adventuring in the park is one of the many benefits of summers in Yellowstone, with plenty of places to hike, swim, and enjoy nature. There are also two days a week when volunteers will be back at our main cabin to relax.
* TAKE ACTION! Endless Pressure, Endlessly Applied
1. One of the most important things that can help mitigate buffalo-vehicle collisions is the implementation of safe passage infrastructure, which involves constructing bridges or underpasses that buffalo and other wildlife can use to cross the dangerous road without ever having to step foot on the asphalt. Examples of the enormous success safe passage has for wildlife are growing in the U.S., Canada, and other countries around the world. What better place for wildlife safe passage than on the edge of Yellowstone National Park? Please join us in urging the state of Montana to provide wildlife safe passage in this key migration corridor.
2. Montana Governor Steve Bullock needs to feel the pressure from everyone who cares about wild, migratory buffalo, enough pressure that he has no other choice but to help repeal MCA 81-2-120, the law that is driving the nefarious actions against America's last wild buffalo. Please contact Governor Bullock today, and everyday, demanding he change the status quo for wild bison in Montana by repealing MCA 81-2-120 and rejecting the government's alternatives in the newly proposed Montana-Yellowstone Bison Management Plan.
3. Help change the status quo for wild buffalo by urging your members of Congress to support BFC’s alternative to “Manage Wild Bison Like Wild Elk in Montana."
4.Submit Letters to the Editor in support of BFC's alternative to “Manage Wild Bison Like Wild Elk in Montana,” the only alternative that respects wild buffalo and their right to roam their home.
* By the Numbers
The last wild, migratory buffalo populations are currently estimated at fewer than 4,300 individual animals, living in and around Yellowstone National Park. Wild, migratory bison are ecologically extinct throughout their native range in North America.
Total Buffalo Killed: 598
Government Capture: 150
Held for Quarantine or Slaughter: 53
Buffalo Released from Capture:
Tribal - ITBC, CSKT, & Sho-Ban Slaughter: 97
Died in Government Trap:
Died in Government Research Facility**:
Miscarriage in Government Trap:
State Hunt: 28
State “Damage" Hunts:
Treaty Hunts: 349
Wounded by Hunters & Shot by FWP/NPS or Died in Park: 50
Poached in Yellowstone:
Sent to Quarantine:
Sent to APHIS Research Facility:
Shot by Agents:
Shot by Landowner:
Shot by Idaho:
Highway Mortality: 16
Cause of Death Unknown:
Elk shot under treaty right: 55
Total Killed in Previous Years*
Total Killed Since 2000: 6,232
* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration ~ William T. Hornaday
“The wild things of this earth are not ours to do with as we please.”
~ William T. Hornaday, 1913