On Earth Day, April 22nd, a small contingent from Buffalo Field Campaign ventured into Yellowstone during its first weekend open to cars to attend the Yellowstone chapter of the March for Science. We went to tell Yellowstone to listen to the best-available-science and STOP KILLING BUFFALO. The event was small, and tucked on an out-of-the-way path near Old Faithful Geyser in a strictly enforced "free speech zone." Some of our group, who tried to get a bit closer to the actual crowd at Old Faithful, were grumpily escorted back to the "free speech zone" by a burly park ranger.
The event's organizers, however, were happy to have us there, which was interesting, as they were Yellowstone employees. It seems there is some growing activism (if of the polite and permitted sort) within the National Park Service. Our signs targeted Yellowstone with messages like "Yellowstone: listen to science, not the livestock industry," "Buffalo slaughter is bad science," and "Yellowstone, respect the science, reject the IBMP [Interagency Bison Management Plan]." We spoke to participants of the rally and passing tourists about Yellowstone's role in the buffalo slaughter, and handed out many of our newsletters. Our signs were also featured on a local news report.
Though the event was small, it was good for us to be there with our message, to let Yellowstone know they couldn't celebrate "Earth Day" while hiding the truth of their buffalo slaughter. Endless pressure, endlessly applied!