Hazing Continues, More Calves Injured.


Buffalo Field Campaign
Yellowstone Bison
Update from the Field
May 21, 2009

In this issue:
* Update from the Field
* Complain to FAA About the DOL’s Helicopter Use
* Traditional Prayer Ceremony on Horse Butte May 31
* Join BFC on the Front Lines
* Thank You! BFC’s Media Crew Receives Laptops
* Last Words
* Kill Tally

* Update from the Field

DOL helicopter hazing bison. Photo courtsey of Lance Koudele

DOL helicopter hazing bison. Photo courtsey of Lance Koudele

The Montana Department of Livestock and Yellowstone National Park continue to aggressively haze any wild bison in Montana. The sounds of the rotating blades of the Department of Livestock’s helicopter can be heard outside the media cabin this morning as I write. Just a few miles from here, on cattle-free Horse Butte and other areas of Gallatin National Forest, the buffalo are currently under attack by livestock interests. BFC patrols are with the buffalo, documenting all actions made against them. The scenes we’ve been witnessing are the stuff of nightmares.

Newborn bison calf. Photo courtesy of Lyle and Sue Wood

Newborn bison calf. Photo courtesy of Lyle and Sue Wood

Within a single week, at least four newborn buffalo have suffered broken legs or debilitating leg injuries as a result of government hazing activities. All injuries have been documented by Buffalo Field Campaign. You can view footage of last week’s injured calf. Be advised that these images are difficult to watch, but take inspiration from the mother bison defending her calf. We don’t know the fate of this calf, though the calf that was separated from it’s mother during last week’s hazing operations was reunited with her the following day. Unfortunately, during today’s hazing operation, another mother and calf were separated, and patrols are currently monitoring the mother as she searches for her lost baby.

On Friday the DOL chased all of the bull bison that had been grazing in the Duck Creek area, deep into Yellowstone National Park. By Monday, eleven bulls had returned to their chosen ground, and the DOL resumed their harassment operations forcing them into Yellowstone, through the Park’s grizzly bear closure area. Patrols documented bulls being shot with paint balls by the agents. This is a way the DOL marks the
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Permit for jaguar’s capture questioned

Documents and e-mails suggest state may have lacked authority to take cat

Macho B after being collared

Macho B after being collared

Could the capture and subsequent death of the only wild jaguar in the U.S. by Arizona Game and Fish have been illegal?

Permit for jaguar’s capture questioned

As hunters age, do they support allowing ATVs in more places?

White River National Forest, Colorado offers new travel plan that would restrict ATVs-

In interesting question is, is ATV use a generational thing or is it related to aging? If Bob Elderkin (in the article below) is in the majority, it is a generational thing, with older forest users, including hunters, being less, not more favorable to them.

Fight brewing over new national forest travel plan in Colorado. By Dennis Webb. The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

Grizzly bear carcass found gutted and skinned north of Columbia Falls, MT

Illegal grizzly bear kill found in NW Montana. FWP investigates. Billings Gazette.

Update 5/28/2009. More about grizzly bears in the same general area (actually about 10 miles southwest). Grizzlies roaming east valley. The Daily Inter Lake.

Bighorn Sheep/Domestic Sheep Advisory Group Meetings Suspended.

Collaborative effort to save public lands domestic sheep grazing suspended in favor of a more closed process mandated by the Legislature and the Governor.

Bighorn Sheep © Ken Cole

Bighorn Sheep © Ken Cole

The Governor, Legislators, and sheepmen apparently didn’t like the direction the Bighorn Sheep/Domestic Sheep Advisory Group was headed so the whole effort was scuttled…… for now. Many of the groups participating in the group didn’t sound favorable to putting their stamp of approval on continuation of the status quo.

I guess all of those long meetings where bighorn sheep were hardly talked about didn’t amount to much. Now it’s time for people to give input into the process where “Best Management Practices” are developed cooperatively between the sheep permitees and the Idaho Fish and Game. Will they listen to outside input? Do they have to? Will the BMP’s be acceptable to the US Forest Service? Will the BMP’s continue the same old practices?

I received this message while I was away on vacation:

To all the individuals who have been involved in the Bighorn Sheep/Domestic Sheep Working Group:

After considerable discussion, we have decided to delay further meetings of the Bighorn Sheep/Domestic Sheep Working Group. As most of you are aware, a new statute is in place, S1232a, which directs Idaho Fish and Game to “within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this act will cooperatively develop best management practices with the permittee(s) on the allotment(s).” Under this timeline the Idaho Department of Fish and Game with the Idaho Department of Agriculture will be very busy working with individual producers to develop best management practices. Unfortunately, this timeline will not accommodate a collaborative process.

We do intend to reconvene the working group in late summer or early fall and appreciate everyone’s effort to date. Additionally, we would like to invite all working group participants to submit BMP comments to IDFG within the 90 day period.


Brian Oakey
Deputy Director
Idaho Department of Agriculture

Jim Unsworth
Deputy Director
Idaho Department of Fish and Game

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