Bison Attacks California Tourist at Yellowstone National Park

I think the headline should read “Bison Defends Itself from California Tourist at Yellowstone National Park” as the tourist approached within 10-feet of the bull.  I’m glad the man was not severely injured but every visitor is handed a little flyer with a drawing of a person being thrown through the air by a bison.

Bison Attacks California Tourist at Yellowstone National Park
Local 8 News, Eastern Idaho

Bull bison weigh up to 2000 pounds and they have big pointy things on their head. I’ve seen them walk slowly up to a 5-foot fence and jump over it like a deer.

Don’t walk up to them unless you want a big hole in your leg or groin area which is where most people are gored.  Most people injured by bison approach them too closely.  I’ve never heard of a bison that went out of its way to attack someone.

As my friend Mike Mease always says, “if a buffalo lifts its tail then it is either going to charge or discharge”.

Here are videos of what can happen very quickly to people who approach bison too closely.

Sage Grouse & Wind Farms Collide

Energy development on public lands impact wildlife habitat.  Wind developers are finding that the potential ESA listing of sage grouse is likely to significantly impact attempts to develop wind farms on public lands, especially in Wyoming :

Gov’s office disputes grouse impactCasper Star-Tribune

A decision to block wind energy development from key sage grouse habitats in Wyoming could effectively nullify a significant portion of the state’s wind energy resource. But exactly how much is unclear.

More corporate welfare for public land livestock production

Obama’s Department of Agriculture has published a rule to extend more subsidies to public land ranchers.

EQIP Extended to Public Lands – National Cattleman’s Beef Association

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a final rule authorizing the use of Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds for conservation efforts on public lands. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the Public Lands Council (PLC), and other conservation and ranching groups had requested this language in comments submitted to USDA in March. 

Fencing is harmful to wildlife for many reasons © Brian Ertz 2009

Fencing is harmful to wildlife © Brian Ertz 2009

EQIP is a federal agricultural subsidy :

EQIP provides payments up to 75 percent of the incurred costs and income foregone of certain conservation (sic) practices and activities.

“Conservation practices” is a tricky term.  In practice, these federal dollars are often spent subsidizing the construction of agricultural developments like the materials and labor to build fences and to dig wells to pump water on private land.  The new rule expands the subsidy to provide federal cost-sharing for practices which include fences and water developments for livestock production on federal public lands.

Limit per individual or entity is not to exceed $300,000 in 6 year timeframes.

According to the USDA, from 1997 to 2008, over $100 million in EQIP dollars were distributed to subsidize livestock grazing in the country.