Local judge stifles free roaming bison reforms

Park County, Montana judge issues a temporary restraining order to prevent bison from roaming Gardiner Basin

This means trouble for the bison just released from the pens on the north boundary of Yellowstone Park. I see they are still playing the brucellosis card and the new Old West favorite, We’re scared of the animals!!

Park County judge halts bison changes. AP

Bison ‘managers’ kill calf

Montana Bison ‘managers’ kill calf north of West Yellowstone-

Bison are now allowed to leave the Park to the west in the winter at Horse Butte, but they are supposed to be back in the Park at an abnormally early time.

This year the Park is still under snow. The brutal Montana Department of Livestock hazed the bison toward the Park until the calf died. From the Island Park [Idaho] News- Bison ‘managers’ kill calf

Hundreds of bison were also held at the North Entrance of the Park. They have/had no grass to eat. There was talk about slaughtering a hundred of them, but that was forestalled.  Many of them were released in early May, but they went north out of the Park instead of back into it. They were recaptured. Yellowstone hopes to release bison back into park for summer.  by Adam Bell. KBZK

Meanwhile, cold and rain/snowy days continue well into May. The Park will be green when the snow finally melts and it finally warms.


Montana probes killing of Yellowstone buffalo

Park bison killed by small arms fire-

It is redundant to call this sad and dangerous. Small arms are used not primarily to cause suffering, but to avoid a loud report from the gun attracting attention. Rural neighbors who are out to settle scores kill each others livestock this way.

Montana probes killing of Yellowstone buffalo. Laura Zuckerman. Reuters US Online Report Domestic News

Addition. Here is the story in the Island Park, Idaho newspaper. Bison haters attack roam-free policy.

4/23. More. Story makes it the U. K. Hunt for the Yellowstone bison serial killer after beasts shot in protected national park. The Daily Mail.

Agreement reached to let Yellowstone Park bison to roam outside Park at Gardiner

Some good news at a time of general craziness-

A “Bison conservation area” will be established in the Gardiner Basin, and for the first time it looks like migrating bison that cross the Yellowstone Park boundary on the north end will be allowed to roam rather than be shot or trucked off to slaughter.

Although the area is a large 75,000 acres almost all of it is steep mountainslope that bison rarely use. The basin itself is a couple thousand acres along both sides of the Yellowstone River until the mountains squeeze it shut at Yankee Jim Canyon on the north.

A hunt will be established and the annual bison slaughter ended. Apparently an average of 400 bison will need to be killed each year to keep the current population in the Park about stable. In mild years, few bison migrate north, so obviously in some years no hunt is possible.

Tea partiers and cattle cranks in the Montana legislature have passed a number of anti-bison bills, so this announcement assumes that Governor Schweitzer will veto them.

I think this is something to celebrate at a time when radicals have taken over many state legislatures and weird, dangerous and mean spirited laws emerge daily.

Agreement to let Yellowstone bison roam in [Gardiner area].
Associated Press.

Buffalo Field Campaign: On-the-ground activism

Here are a couple of articles about the Buffalo Field Campaign and how they, and other groups are funded.  Contrary to popular belief BFC’s top paid people don’t make much money (trust me, I know this because I am on their Board of Directors).  BFC is also very efficient with its money and has very resourceful people working to maintain and improve its cars and property.  Most of its funds are spent on keeping people out in the field to document what happens to the buffalo and educating visitors to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park during the summer months.

Buffalo Field Campaign: On-the-ground activism.
By CARLY FLANDRO, Bozeman Daily Chronicle Staff Writer

The Donor Dance: How green groups stay funded.
By CARLY FLANDRO, Bozeman Daily Chronicle Staff Writer

Poll Finds Strong Public Support for Bison Restoration in Montana

Buffalo Bull © Ken Cole

In February the National Wildlife Federation conducted a poll of 400 Montana voters and found that they are strongly in support of bison recovery in Montana.  Particularly, 70% say they support recovery in areas such as the Spotted Dog WMA near Deer Lodge and the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge which covers 1.1 million acres in central Montana.

These results run contrary to the measures that the Montana Legislature has been to trying to push through which would make reintroduction of bison illegal or subject to the approval of county commissioners.

Among other findings, the poll showed that:

  • 63% of Montanans believe that it is possible to manage wild bison in much same ways as other wildlife species such as deer and elk.
  • 70% of Montanans favor having the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and parks investigate where wild bison populations could be restored.
  • 70% of Montanans favor allowing hunters to hunt wild bison
  • 72% s of Montanans support establishing a bison population at the 26,000 acre Spotted Dog Wildlife Management Area, near Deerlodge
  • 70% of Montanans support establishing a population of wild bison in and around the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in north-central Montana.

Press Release.

Poll Results.

Herd of wild bison living in Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness

Their origin is not known-

The Eagle Cap Wilderness in the Wallowa Mountains is large and rugged. It’s in extreme NE Oregon near Washington and Idaho. This herd of 25 bison is of unknown origin. What a happy discovery!

The Eagle Cap Wilderness,  the nearby Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness and areas in Oregon’s Blue Mountains are also where the state’s wolves live.

Wild herd of bison roams base of Wallowa Mountains in Oregon. Richard Cockle. The Oregonian

One of my photos of the Eagle Cap Wilderness.