Yellowstone Bison Back Under the Gun

Wolves aren’t the only once endangered species being targeted right outside of Yellowstone National Park. Bison, the symbol of our National Park system, have been killed by the thousands in recently imposed state and tribal hunting seasons and by the Montana Department of Livestock, who, with the full blessing of the National Park Service, have rounded up over 5000 migratory park bison since 2008 and shipped them to slaughterhouses (those nightmarish death camps where so many forcibly domesticated bovines meet their ends).

In a ruthless act of rabid backstabbing, 1600 bison—who had never known confinement or any reason to fear people—were slain to appease Montana ranchers during the winter of ‘08. More than half of Yellowstone’s bison were killed in what was the highest body count since the nineteenth century.

Instead of making amends for the historic mistreatment of these sociable, benevolent souls, twenty-first-century Montanans are still laying waste to them. Spurred on by industry-driven greed for grazing land (veiled under the guise of concern about brucellosis, a disease with a negligible risk of transmission that has never actually been passed from wild bison to cattle), the state of Montana sued to seize control of bison ranging outside Yellowstone. Now their department of livestock has implemented a lethal policy and the US National Park Service is facilitating it. Since the dawn of the new millennium, over 5000 Yellowstone bison have been put to death.

The following action alert from the Buffalo Field Campaign includes contact info…

Before wild bison have even begun their annual migration to their winter habitat in Montana, State, federal, and tribal governments — including Yellowstone National Park –are aiming to kill hundreds of wild buffalo this winter through hunting, slaughter, or both. The agencies state that they want to “even the sex ratio” and have placed a heavy target on female buffalo, wanting to kill at least 400 female buffalo that migrate north of the Park into the Gardiner Basin. The herds that migrate north include buffalo from both the Northern and Central herds, which also means that the Central herds (which also migrate west) will be doubly impacted by hunting and slaughter.

Yellowstone National Park states that a “skewed sex ratio” has resulted from years of capture and slaughter operations, which have removed more bulls than cows from the population. In other words the government is saying they will slaughter more buffalo to mitigate the impact of slaughtering so many buffalo. Talk about playing God in Yellowstone.

With these plans aimed to placate Montana’s livestock interests, Yellowstone National Park threatens the buffalo’s immediate survival and evolutionary potential.  Yellowstone’s plans to capture and slaughter wild bison are absolutely contrary to their mission to preserve and protect plant and animal species unimpaired for present and future generations.  The wild bison of the Yellowstone ecosystem make up America’s last continuously wild population. Wild bison are ecologically extinct throughout their native, historic range, and currently number fewer than 4,300 individuals.  Wild bison once teemed across the North American continent in the tens of millions, but today the last remnant herds only exist in and around Yellowstone and are in dire need of protection.

TAKE ACTION!  Tell Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk that you absolutely oppose any capture or slaughter of wild buffalo.  Yellowstone is mandated by law to protect wild bison, not cater to Montana’s cattle politics.  Tell Superintendent Wenk to stop being a puppet for Montana livestock interests, pull out of the draconian Interagency Bison Management Plan, and to stand up for the wildlife that the American people have placed in his care.  Wild bison are a natural, national treasure, the prehistoric and rightful roamers of North America, and we will not stand by and allow Yellowstone or Montana’s cattle industry to jeopardize their future for any reason.

Daniel Wenk, Superintendent

Yellowstone National Park

P.O. Box 168

Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

(307) 344-2002 phone

(307) 344-2014 fax




7 thoughts on “Yellowstone Bison Back Under the Gun

  1. This has been going on for so long and it’s amazing the general public knows little to nothing about it. Wish we could get the word out, Stop Placating Ranchers! The number one reason I haven’t eaten beef in over 35 years, the wolves and the bison!

  2. The skewed (toward female) sex ratio is INTENTIONALLY achieved with deer, where they WANT to get the birth rate as high as possible so they can sell as many licenses as possible (all while claiming they MUST “thin the herd” — or they’ll STARVE!! — what heroes they are — NOT). Of course, in this case, when they actually WANT to wipe out a species, they do it by wiping out females. Talk about manipulative, lying assholes talking out of both sides of their mouths. These poor bison are caught up between a bunch of selfish, greedy, heartless and genuinely bad people. They’ve been dealt a horrible hand through no fault of their own. Oh — another reason to stay away from beef (and there are SO many) — wild horses. I would certainly HOPE that anyone who supports the bison, the wolves or the mustangs, and claims to abhor animal suffering in general, never touches beef.

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