"I called, I wrote, and no response...This is my response."
For Immediate Release:
February 25, 2008
Buffalo Field Campaign, Stephany Seay or Mike Mease 406-646-0070
West Yellowstone, Montana - An unidentified man has made it impossible for Montana Department of Livestock agents to capture bison in the recently erected Horse Butte bison trap. The man is perched upon a platform suspended from the top of a pair of poles that are standing on end and anchored to the walls of the trap. A large banner hanging from the platform reads, "I called, I wrote, and no response...This is my response."
Photos of the blockade are available here: http://gallery.buffalofieldcampaign.org/v/da/My_Response_HB_2-08.jpg.html
The banner's wording is an apparent reference to a series of call-in days organized by local and national environmental and animal rights groups targeting government agencies responsible for the bison slaughter. According to Stephany Seay, Media Coordinator with Buffalo Field Campaign, "Thousands of wild bison advocates from around the world have made calls, written letters, and attended public meetings to strongly speak out against the slaughter of America's last wild bison. Unfortunately we have been completely ignored, put on hold, or otherwise disregarded by these decision-makers, revealing that our public officials are not interested in the public interest. Sometimes people, after exhausting every other means of public participation, have no other choice than to take direct action to stop the slaughter and have their voices heard."
The Montana Department of Livestock was expected to begin capture and slaughter operations in the Horse Butte trap this week. Construction of the Horse Butte trap, which hasn't been in place since 2004, was completed last week.
In spite of receiving thousands of calls from concerned citizens opposed to the bison slaughter, Yellowstone National Park remains intent on capturing and killing bison. Between February 8 and February 21, Park officials used a similar trap to capture and slaughter 290 bison on the north side of Yellowstone National Park and Yellowstone officials captured 157 bison this morning. While the government's official reason for the slaughter is to prevent the spread of brucellosis from wild bison to cattle, no such transmission has ever been documented. Because there are no cattle on any part of the Horse Butte Peninsula at any time of the year, such a transmission is impossible and Montana's intolerance for bison in the area unjustifiable.
According to a statement made by the man occupying the platform, "Until bison management in Montana is guided by sound science and fiscal responsibility with input from every interested party, I choose this stance. In the past few years I have tried every conceivable method of redress. I have written, I have called, and I have gotten absolutely no response. I have nothing left but to put my own life and freedom on the line. The bison are that important."
2,336 wild American bison have been killed or otherwise removed from the remaining wild population since 2000 under actions carried out under the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP), as well as state and treaty hunts. The IBMP is a joint state-federal plan that prohibits wild bison from migrating to lands outside of Yellowstone's boundaries. Wild American bison are a migratory species native to vast expanses of North America and are ecologically extinct everywhere in the United States outside of Yellowstone National Park.
Buffalo Field Campaign strongly opposes the Interagency Bison Management Plan and maintains that wild bison should be allowed to naturally and fully recover themselves throughout their historic native range, especially on public lands.
Buffalo Field Campaign is the only group working in the field, every day, to stop the slaughter of the wild American buffalo. Volunteers defend the buffalo and their native habitat and advocate for their lasting protection.