Whatever happened to the vaunted new May 15 tolerance date?
Supposedly it would be different this spring. Bison would allowed to migrate out of the Park and onto Horse Butte free from harassment until at least May 15. The reality is pretty much like recent years. Brutal Montana Department of Livestock agents and Yellowstone Park personnel on horses are chasing bison back into the Park. Helicopters harass them from above. Not just bison, but all Yellowstone wildlife on the west side of the Park are disrupted.
The whole exercise is pointless because there are no cattle in the area to which the bison can theoretically transfer brucellosis. According to the Buffalo Field Campaign, there remains just one small hobby rancher in the area who won’t have cattle on his ranch until mid- to late-June.
In case anyone has missed it, my view is that the entire point of this yearly outrage is simply to show us who really runs things in Montana, and it’s not the citizens of the state or of the United States.
Please contact President Obama. It’s time to see if our new President cares any more about this than George W. did.
Here is the report from the Buffalo Field Campaign.
~Update from the Field
This mama buffalo and her newborn calf have had a very difficult week.
Chaos is reigning along Yellowstone National Park’s western boundary as the thumping of chopper blades and the shouts of government agents repeatedly harass wild buffalo families and all wildlife near the Madison River. Nearly 200 buffalo – including dozens of newborn calves, yearlings, and pregnant mothers – have been ruthlessly run off of their spring habitat within the Gallatin National Forest. Agents are out harassing buffalo as this Update is being written.
Newborn buffalo calves and many pregnant buffalo cows have been run for miles through pockets of deep snow, barbed wire fences, thick forests laden with dead-fall, fast moving river currents, mucky wetlands, and steep, sandy bluffs. For these babies, it is a terrible and sometimes deadly introduction to the world. The new and developing muscles of these little ones cannot sustain such abuse. Today, mounted Montana Department of Livestock and Yellowstone National Park horsemen have picked up the hazing operation at Yellowstone’s border, after it left Gallatin National Forest land, and are currently pushing the exhausted buffalo deep into Yellowstone National Park’s interior with the assistance of the Montana Department of Livestock’s helicopter.Two days ago, Buffalo Field Campaign patrols witnessed one baby buffalo unable escape the DOL agents, trying unsuccessfully to negotiate a barbed wire fence. Numerous times the baby buffalo ran into the sharp, unforgiving fence, as its worried mother waited. Frightened, the little one finally scrambled through, only to be continuously pursued by the harsh, aggressive actions of Department of Livestock agents.
Yesterday and today patrols documented buffalo being hazed across the Madison River by horses and the helicopter after being forced to run for miles. The buffalo were exhausted and yesterday three little calves narrowly escaped being carried away by the river. One baby buffalo collapsed after it used it’s last bit of energy to climb the steep bank. It took every ounce of restraint for our patrols not to jump in and help it out. Thankfully, the baby was able to finally climb the bank. While these horrific events take a tremendous toll on the buffalo, it is amazing to see the strength and resolve that enables them to escape.
Watch BFC’s video footage from this week and please share these images with others so that more people can be made aware of what is happening. Then, please take a moment to contact President Barack Obama – even if you have already done so – and continue to urge him to take immediate action to stop the harassment and slaughter of these gentle giants.
All of these heavy-handed management actions have been taking place south of the Madison River. Next week, the rest of the western boundary lands, including the always cattle-free Horse Butte Peninsula, will be terrorized. May 15 marks the dreaded day where livestock interests demand that all wild bison be forced out of Montana, even though there’s not a cow in sight.
Your federal tax dollars are being wasted to harass buffalo and all the wildlife in this fragile ecosystem because the cattle industry doesn’t want wild buffalo eating grass they claim is for their cows alone. They use the fraudulent brucellosis argument as means to scare the public into accepting that these horrific actions are necessary. Yet there’s not a single cow in sight, and there’s never been a documented case of wild bison transmitting the cattle-disease brucellosis back to livestock. And even if there were, neither invasive cattle nor the economic interests of Montana’s cattle industry are worth this disastrous management scheme that harms America’s last wild bison population, terrorizing the Yellowstone ecosystem and all of her inhabitants. As an example of wasteful government spending, all of the past week’s activities have essentially been focused to cater to the interests of one small hobby rancher who won’t even have cattle on his ranch until mid- to late-June.
~BFC Needs You on the Front Lines!
Buffalo Field Campaign is looking for volunteers to join us on the front lines now. Buffalo migration is in full swing and our shaggy friends are everywhere, keeping us busy nearly 24 hours a day. Extreme and invasive hazing operations have begun, and will likely continue throughout the rest of the month, and possibly beyond. We need you to join us on the front lines! BFC provides room, board, training, and gear; the ecosystem provides the magic and mystery. If you are interested, please contact Chris, our volunteer coordinator at email@example.com or call 406-646-0070.
We are also looking for summer volunteers to help us with outreach in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Talking to park visitors who are in the company of the buffalo we are trying to protect is a great way to raise awareness and make more friends for the buffalo. If you would like to spend some or all of your summer with BFC, please contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 406-646-0070.
See you in West Yellowstone in the land of the last wild buffalo!
~Freedom to Roam: Patagonia Features Wild Buffalo
Patagonia, Inc. has been a long-time supporter of Buffalo Field Campaign helping us in so many ways we could never thank them enough. Patagonia sets the example for businesses to become ecologically-minded, walking the talk for decades, championing numerous efforts around the globe that aim to protect wild places and the creatures that live there.
In their most recent initiative, Freedom to Roam, Patagonia is featuring wild buffalo and the efforts of locally-based organizations to help America’s last wild population recover their stolen ground. Patagonia explains, “Freedom to Roam is Patagonia’s current environmental campaign. Its goal is to create, restore and protect wildways or corridors between habitats so animals can survive. Patagonia’s partners in Freedom to Roam include the Freedom to Roam Coalition, which includes other companies, conservation organizations, rural activists, recreation groups, and those who live on the land.”
View a video clip featuring Horse Butte Neighbors of Buffalo, Buffalo Field Campaign, and our wild shaggy friends themselves. Thank you Patagonia!
~!Apple Laptop Computer Needed for BFC’s Media Crew
BFC’s media crew is looking for a good Apple/Mac laptop computer. All of our computers are currently stationary systems, and a laptop will enable us to work from other locations and consequently be more effective with communications and outreach. All donations to BFC are tax deductible and are very much appreciated! If you can help us acquire a laptop please contact Stephany at email@example.com or call us at 406-646-0070.
“The hubris [of those] who believe that nature will fall apart if humans aren’t there “managing” the land is unbelievable. All livestock production in the arid West has unavoidable ecological impacts-changes in nutrient cycles, changes in fire regimes, soil compaction, spread of weeds, competition with native herbivores, damage to riparian zones, dewatering rivers (for irrigation), and so forth. And the list of species endangered or jeopardized primarily or largely as a result of livestock production includes many animals … Indeed, livestock grazing is the single greatest cause of species endangerment in the West. “
~ George Wuerthner Wildlands champion and editor of “Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West”
AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2008-2009 Total: 17
2008-2009 Slaughter: 0
2008-2009 Hunt: 1
2008-2009 Quarantine: 0
2008-2009 Shot by Agents: 1
2008-2009 Highway Mortality: 15
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
Total Since 2000: 3,698*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts, highway mortalities