Bison Abuse Merits Harsh Criticism

Guest editorial by Dr. Brian L. Horejsi-

Bison Abuse Merits Harsh Criticism

Harsh criticism is increasingly justified in todays world of National Park and public land management, a world in which regulatory retreat from principles and regulation is the new norm and “gut and grab” politics seem to be an every day threat. One such issue deserving of harsh review is the continuous persecution of bison in the Yellowstone ecosystem. What is happening on Yellowstone’s borders is no less offensive than the corralling and clubbing of dolphins in Japan, the clubbing of seal pups off Canada’s coast, or the indiscriminate slaughter of African elephants that eventually led to massive population declines barely a decade ago.

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Firsthand witness account of Tuesay’s Buffalo haze

Jim McDonald’s Account of Montana’s DOL pushing bison into Yellowstone Park-

This is the time of year when Montana’s Department of Livestock pushes bison back into the Park for no real reason except to demonstrate that they run things in the area. Activist Jim McDonald has written a long essay on a blog describing the disgusting event from his perspective on the ground.

Buffalo torture 2010: Firsthand witness account of Monday’s haze. Buffalo haze 2010: Firsthand witness account of Tuesday’s haze. by Jim Macdonald. Jim’s Eclectic World

Mourning the Loss of Our Friends

bufffamilia.jpg

Buffalo Field Campaign
Yellowstone Bison
Update from the Field
June 18, 2009

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In this issue:
* Update from the Field – Four Bulls Killed by Agents
* Our Friend Frog: BFC Celebrates His Life, Mourns His Passing
* Last Words
* Kill Tally

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Montana Department of Livestock Captures and Slaughters Three Wild Bull Bison

Buffalo Bull © Ken Cole

Buffalo Bull © Ken Cole

Buffalo Field Campaign
P.O. Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
406-646-0070
bfc-media@wildrockies.org
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org

Montana Department of Livestock Captures and Slaughters Three Wild Bull Bison

* PRESS RELEASE *

For Immediate Release: June 17, 2009
Press Contact: Mike Mease, 406-646-0070

West Yellowstone, MT: Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) agents captured three bull bison this morning in the Duck Creek bison trap located on private land less than 200 yards from the western border of Yellowstone National Park. The bison were loaded onto a livestock trailer and shipped to a slaughterhouse. They had been grazing peacefully near the Park border for the past several weeks on and around National Forest lands purchased for wildlife habitat.
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Hazing Continues, More Calves Injured.

bufffamilia.jpg

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

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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

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* 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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Bison on Horse Butte Mercilessly Hazed out of Montana

bufffamilia.jpg

Buffalo Field Campaign
Yellowstone Bison
Update from the Field
May 14, 2009

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In this issue:
* Update from the Field
* The Wild in Us
* Join the Front Lines
* BFC Media Crew Needs a Laptop
* Last Words
* Kill Tally

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Montana Department of Livestock Helicopter violating private property rights.  Photo by Lance Koudele

Montana Department of Livestock Helicopter violating private property rights. Photo by Lance Koudele

* Update from the Field

Though a day early, the dreaded time has come: All the buffalo have been cruelly forced off of Horse Butte.

All week patrols have been documenting the Montana Department of Livestock, Yellowstone National Park, Gallatin National Forest and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks agents carry out massive and relentless hazing operations, harassing and harming America’s last wild bison population.

Helicopter Hazing on Horse Butte.  Photo by Lance Koudele

Helicopter Hazing on Horse Butte. Photo by Lance Koudele

On Tuesday, agents were set to haze bison within Yellowstone National Park to “make room” for the bison that would be hazed off of Horse Butte. But Mother Nature had different plans: one group of bison the agents planned to target consisted of forty bulls who would follow none of the agents’ orders. An incredible hail storm assisted and the haze was called off for the day. But such luck was momentary.

Every day this week agents chased bison family groups, including newborn calves and pregnant mothers, off of the south side of the Madison River, and today they set their sights on cattle-free Horse Butte. In fact, all of the Gallatin National Forest lands where the buffalo roam are cattle free, yet livestock interests insist on assaulting them with mounted cowboys*, ATVs, local and federal law enforcement and the DOL’s helicopter.*

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Brutal harassment of bison west of Yellowstone Park

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.

Ralph Maughan

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

Anthrax NW of Yellowstone now killing wildlife

Anthrax NW of Yellowstone now killing wildlife. Bozeman Chronicle. By Jessica Mayrer

The anthrax that has killed about 250 of Ted Turner’s bison is now killing deer and elk in the area. When I think of this and Montana Department of Livestock’s single-minded focus on brucellosis, it makes me furious.

Apparently the anthrax was dormant in the area, not brought in by Turner’s bison.

Posted in wildlife disease, Yellowstone. Tags: , . Comments Off on Anthrax NW of Yellowstone now killing wildlife

Withdraw from the Interagency Bison Management Plan

This news release was just issued by Buffalo Allies of Bozeman.

– – – – –

Contact: Chris Klatt
406-599-3629
lodgepole@riseup.net
June 12, 2008

Buffalo Allies of Bozeman Calls on Governor Schweitzer to Withdraw from Interagency Bison Management Plan.
Brucellosis outbreak where there are no bison shows that IBMP is not working for buffalo or for cows.

(Bozeman, Mont.) – The grassroots citizens group Buffalo Allies of Bozeman responded to the Monday announcement of brucellosis in a cattle herd in the Paradise Valley with a challenge to Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer to withdraw from the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP).

According to a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office report, the IBMP “lacks accountability and transparency.” The IBMP has also been criticized by Gov. Schweitzer. Despite criticism, federal and state government agencies acted under the IBMP to sanction the slaughter of over 1,600 wild bison this past winter under the guise of preventing the spread of disease to cattle. However, the largest slaughter of buffalo since the 19th century did not prevent cattle in Greater Yellowstone from being afflicted. “There has never been transmission of brucellosis from bison to cattle in the wild, and it is clear that no link can be made between the current outbreak in Pray and Yellowstone’s buffalo herds, which haven’t been that far north in the Paradise Valley since they were extirpated for livestock interests. It’s time to scrap the useless IBMP, which treats buffalo as diseased, domesticated animals instead of as wildlife,” said Buffalo Allies member Jim Macdonald.

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Today’s statement by Buffalo Field Campaign on the hazing

PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS VIOLATED BY LIVESTOCK AGENTS HAZING WILD BISON: Property Owners Welcome Bison, Not DOL, on Cattle-Free Horse Butte

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 29, 2008
Press Contacts:
Janae & Rob Galanis, 406-646-4848
Ed & Vicky Millspaugh, Hebgen Lake Estates, 406-646-9176, (cell) 406-580-0321
Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign, 406-646-0070

WEST YELLOWSTONE, MT – With horses, a helicopter, state and federal law enforcement, and U.S tax dollars to spend, Montana Department of Livestock agents have descended upon the cattle-free Horse Butte Peninsula, violating private property rights and upsetting human and wildlife residents in an attempt to chase wild American bison out of Montana and into Yellowstone National Park.

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Bison to be hazed off of Horse Butte, despite private property

Montana Department of Livestock is expected to haze the bison off of Horse Butte today, despite the fact that most are on private property, whose owners welcome the bison.

The hard pressed bison have been gaining much needed nutrition from the lush grass and forbs after the winter of starvation and slaughter. The excuse from Montana DOL is that the Montana Stockgrowers Association has filed a lawsuit to get all the bison back inside Yellowstone Park lest brucellosis be spread to all the non-existent cattle in the area (they didn’t mention the later, as they like to pretend there are cattle present).

Of course we known what this is really about — to show us who is boss and that the average Americans’ private property rights are beneath contempt when confronted with the whims of the mighty livestock industry.

It is important to remember this offensive action the next time you hear these welfare ranchers whining about their property rights.

Montana promise bison slaughter was over not true. It continues.

This is from the Buffalo Field Campaign. I edited it to put all their links at the end (suggestion, more people will read the news if they find it quickly). Ralph Maughan

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Buffalo Field Campaign
Yellowstone Bison
Update from the Field
May 1, 2008

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In this issue:
* Update from the Field
* Call Out for Summer Volunteers
* Buffalo in the News
* Photo of the Week
* Last Words
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* Update from the Field
This week on the Yellowstone National Park’s western boundary, the largest buffalo slaughter since the 18th century continues, even after Montana governor Brian Schweitzer promised two weeks ago that no more buffalo would be killed this season. The Montana Department of Livestock blatantly ignored the governor’s statement, capturing three bull buffalo at the Duck Creek trap on Monday and shipping them to slaughter without testing on Tuesday morning.

The plight of Yellowstone bison

I was recently in the Park. The snow is incredibly deep in mid-April (deep even for winter). It is snowfree, however, at Gardiner (typical — strong rainshadow). That is where the wintering wildlife migrate to and then north out of the Park. They all do it, except for bison it is an almost certain death sentence courtesy of the Montana Department of wildlife.

Here are some photos from my trip. Copyrighted by Ralph Maughan

Bison move out of Yellowstone Park
© These bison have just left Yellowstone Park (April 10, 2008). Like the deer and elk, they move out of the deep snow to the generally snow free area north of the Park (it’s in a strong rain shadow). But for bison, it is a capital offense.

About 75 left in a single file as I watched. They next morning, Montana Department of Livestock had all of them loaded into trucks to take to slaughter. This happens day after day. I was so sick that I almost went home.

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