For Immediate Release:
January 29, 2003
Ted Fellman, Jonas Ehudin (406) 646-0070
West Yellowstone, Montana - Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) agents captured two bull bison yesterday afternoon and attempted to capture a third this morning. The agents were assisted by a ranger from Yellowstone National Park and game wardens with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
During this morning's operation a herd of approximately a dozen elk was spooked from a riparian area along Duck Creek when eight agents on snowmobiles and two on horseback disturbed them in their attempt to haze the buffalo to the capture facility. The buffalo was hazed through a barbed wire fence at least four times before eluding the agents and escaping into heavy timber.
"The DOL claimed to have hazed the bull back to the park but our volunteers were stationed on the park boundary and the bull never went back in," according to BFC volunteer Mike Mease.BFC volunteer Kat Koch said "I watched eight snowmobiles, two men on horseback, two sheriffs, and a DOL agent in a truck chasing one bull bison. It was completely absurd. And even with all their manpower, wildness won."
The Department of Livestock has spent nearly $3.5 million since 1996 on bison management operations that have killed 1,825 wild bison. The Yellowstone herd is the only wild herd in the United States. It is descended from just 23 wild bison that survived the mass eradication of the 19th century.