Three men hired by the farm opened fire on the animals Friday afternoon in woods in the town of Coeymans, about 10 miles south of the capital. …… They escaped Thursday from a farm across the Hudson River in the Rensselaer County town of Schodack. The owner believes they swam across the river to the town of Bethlehem, where they wandered across a busy stretch of Interstate 87 and into neighboring Coeymans.
Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC)
[NOTE from All-Creatures.org: The confinment, harassment and slaughter of bison is because cattle ranchers do not want wild animals “competing for food” with their cows. GO VEGAN and you will help save bison!]
HB 194 is another attempt by special interests to block the resoration of wild bison in Montana. This act must not become law.
Contact Montana Governor Steve Bullock and let him know you stand for recovering America’s wild buffalo. If you live out of state, let him know why you visit Montana and what is important to you. Tell him to veto HB 194.
And/or better yet,make direct contact:
Governor Steve Bullock
Office of the Governor
Montana State Capitol
P.O. Box 200801
Helena, MT 59620-0801
phones (855) 318-1330 or (406) 444-3111
fax (406) 444-5529
INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS
- HB 194 is an act requiring a forage (range) analysis before wild buffalo (or bison) are released, transplanted, or migrate naturally, onto land in Montana.
- HB 194 is another unfunded mandate required to be performed before transplanting or reintroducing buffalo as a wildlife species in Montana.
- HB 194 provides no funding for a required forage analysis by a range scientist from MSU-Ag or US NRCS.
- HB 194 uses agricultural theories based on livestock grazing principles rather than professional ecological analysis by wildlife and wildlands professionals.
- Yellowstone National Park
- Yellowstone Bison Management Plan EIS
- PO Box 168
- Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE!
Stop Yellowstone National Park’s Bison Slaughter!
Sign Our One Click Letter No Matter Where You Live!
In February 2014, we asked you to oppose the slaughter of …bison in America’s oldest national park and you responded by the thousands. We need you to speak up again, because Yellowstone National Park is continuing to kill these majestic and wild animals. Since January 15, approximately 250 bison have been captured inside the park and all, with the exception of five, tragically transported to slaughterhouses. In addition, Montana hunters and treaty hunters have killed at least 150 bison along the park’s borders, raising the death toll to 400 individuals.
The Montana livestock industry wants America’s last wild bison dead.
The Montana Livestock Industry has zero tolerance and no respect for wild animals such as bison. These bison are being rounded up and shipped to slaughter to appease livestock ranchers in Montana who unfairly compete with bison for grazing space.
In 1995, the Montana legislature adopted MCA 81-2-120 in response to political pressure by cattle ranchers to stop wild bison from migrating from Yellowstone National Park into Montana. MCA 81-2-120 gives the Montana Department of Livestock complete jurisdiction over migratory bison, which means that bison can be physically removed, hazed, rounded-up, killed by hunters, and sent to slaughter at the will and order of the Montana livestock industry.
Click here to take action:
See this alert on our website here:
Here is a short multiple-choice quiz to test your knowledge of our fellow animals.
Instructions: Choose the species that best fit the descriptions below.
Note: Although some may share a few of the characteristics, they must meet all the criteria listed in order to qualify as a correct answer.
1. Which two species fit the following description?
- Highly social
- Live in established communities
- Master planners and builders of complex, interconnected dwellings
- Have a language
- Can readily learn and invent words
- Greet one another by kissing
B. Prairie Dogs
Answer: A. and B
2. Which two species fit the following description?
- Practice communal care of the youngsters on their block
- Beneficial to others who share their turf
- Essential to the health of their environment
- Without them an ecosystem unravels
- Have been reduced to a tiny portion of their original population
B. Prairie Dogs
Answer: B. and C.
3. Which two species fit the following description?
- Out of control pest
- Multiplying at a phenomenal pace
- Physically crowding all other life forms off the face of the earth
- Characterized by a swellheaded sense of superiority
- Convinced they are of far greater significance than any other being
- Nonessential in nature’s scheme
B. Prairie Dogs
D. Sewer Rats
Answer: Sorry, trick question; the only species fitting the criteria is A.
If this seems a harsh assessment of the human race or a tad bit misanthropic, remember, we’re talking about the species that single-handedly and with malice aforethought blasted, burned and poisoned the passenger pigeon (at one time the most numerous bird on the entire planet) to extinction and has nearly wiped out the blue whale (by far the largest animal the world has ever known). Add to those crowning achievements the near-total riddance of the world’s prairie dogs, thereby putting the squeeze on practically all their grassland comrades, and you can start to see where this sort of disrelish might be coming from.
When the dust settles on man’s reign of terror, he will be best remembered as an egomaniacal mutant carnivorous ape who squandered nature’s gifts and goose-stepped on towards mass extinction, in spite of warnings from historians and scientists and pleas from the caring few…
The preceding was an excert from the book, Exposing the Big Game.
Yellowstone National Park has shipped at least 200 bison near the park boundary with Montana to slaughter as the famed tourist destination seeks to reduce a herd by 900 animals this winter, a U.S. conservation group said on Friday.
A park spokesman, Al Nash, could not immediately confirm how many bison may have been handed over to tribal partners and taken to slaughter. But he said 162 bison had been captured and placed into a holding facility as of a week ago.
The Buffalo Field Campaign, which opposes the culling and has been monitoring it, said the bison had been dispatched to slaughter since Wednesday, and anticipated that 55 more could be sent on Monday.
The culling plan allows the bulk of bison marked for death to be transferred to Native American tribes for slaughter and a certain number of the wandering buffalo to be killed by hunters.
The strategy is designed to address worries by ranchers that bison infected with the bacterial disease brucellosis, which can cause miscarriages in cattle, could transmit it to their herds, potentially threatening Montana’s brucellosis-free status.
The plan this winter to reduce the bison population to 4,000 from 4,900 comes as conservation groups are seeking federal protections for a herd that is a top attraction for the 3 million annual visitors to a park that spans parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.
Buffalo Field Campaign spokeswoman Stephany Seay called the culling practice “the brutal abuse and slaughter of the only wild population of buffalo remaining in this country.”
The iconic hump-backed animals once roamed by the tens of millions west of the Mississippi until hunting campaigns reduced their numbers to the fewer than 50 that found safe harbor at Yellowstone in the early 20th century.
The Buffalo Field Campaign said that roughly another 100 bison have been killed by hunters outside the park in Montana, while Nash, citing state officials, put that number lower, at 70.
Nash said the park usually engages in culling in winter, when bison migrate to lower elevations in search of food. Federal and state officials on horseback have been capturing animals along the park boundary, both inside and outside the park.
Conservationists petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last year to provide federal safeguards for the Yellowstone herd, contending it was the only free-roaming band in the country to retain its genetic integrity.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Sandra Maler)
When David Crites walked out of his apartment last month, he was greeted by a line of six or so bison standing shoulder to shoulder in the front yard. He sidled over to his truck, staring at the huge animals, slipped into the front seat, then closed the door and turned on the ignition. As the pickup slowly made its way down the driveway, the bison lumbered alongside.
“It was like I was in Yellowstone,” Crites says. But he wasn’t. His temporary job (which includes housing) is to remove trees and install fences in the Nachusa Grasslands of north-central Illinois—where wild bison recently set hooves down for the first time in almost 200 years.
The herd of 30 bison is part of an effort by the Nature Conservancy to restore grasslands in the Prairie State, which, perhaps ironically, has lost more than 99 percent of its former grassland. In the late 1980s, conservationists happened to be passing by the Nachusa when they heard the call of an upland sandpiper, a bird that breeds in tallgrass prairies. The Nature Conservancy then began buying farms in the area as they became available, and now it owns a total of 3,500 acres.
The group is doing its best to re-create a lost landscape, says Jeff Walk, director of science for the Nature Conservancy’s Illinois chapter. He knows the prairie won’t be exactly the same as yesteryear’s, but he and the rest of the team are trying to get as close a match as possible.
To do that, volunteers and seasonal employees like Crites (who spends the rest of his year working in data centers) erect fences, collect and sow seeds, and replicate natural growth cycles with controlled burns. So far, their work has paid off. Even on a winter day when dry brown oak leaves cling to trees, the undulating hills are colored in red, orange, and gray, a mosaic of newly planted big bluestem, Indian grass, and switchgrass.
But until October, the landscape had been missing one thing it needs in order to really thrive: grazers.
After decades of preparation, genetically pure bison (meaning they don’t have any cattle genes) arrived this fall from a preserve in Iowa. There are a few herds just like them living in reserves across the country, but this group is now the first one east of the Mississippi.
So far the experiment is working well. Aside from a roundup every fall, when the bison will get their vaccinations, these wild oxen will roam across 500 acres enclosed by a woven wire fence. Signs hung on the wire warn visitors that the bison are wild. Anyone who hops the fence could suffer the consequences (i.e. a potential horn to the buttocks, or worse, a trampling).
Within the enclosure, the bison eat the grasses and avoid the forbs, or flowering plants. This helps promote plant diversity, because without the bison noshing them down, grasses would dominate the prairie, leaving little room for rare species like the prairie violet. The nearly one-ton beasts will also help spread seeds and sculpt the soil with their hooves, something researchers will study on site.
“The other thing is poop; they’re very productive,” says Kirk Hallowell, a volunteer steward and my guide for the day. Their pies will fertilize the soil and attract insects, which will (hopefully) bring birds. If all goes well, Nachusa project director Bill Kleiman and ecologist Cody Considine will open up more land to the bison next year.
Despite the project’s success, the land will never be what it was 200 years ago. The bison each have an identification chip embedded in them, and seven of them wear GPS collars. They’ll never be able to roam wherever they want, and people will always have to manage fires on the land, raising the question of what is truly wild.
“It’s an interesting and important concept, but the answers don’t fit on bumper stickers,” says Kleiman. He argues that the bison are semi-wild, and an important part of our natural heritage. “Everyone loves bison. They’re a national symbol of what we discovered when we came to North America—that wistful longing for wide-open spaces. And they’re a symbol of it right here.”
The bison certainly feel wild when Hallowell and I step out of the open-air truck to get a closer look, nothing but knee-high grasses swaying between us. Lying on top of a hill, their shaggy hair blows with each wintery gust. The 1,900-pound bull, fondly nicknamed “Chain Breaker” because he did just that in a corral once, fixes his big brown eye on us. He gets up, hind legs first, and shakes. Other animals stand up, too, and join the viewing party.
We get back in the truck. As we start to drive away, I look back and see Chain Breaker, his horned silhouette regal against the gray sky. Looks wild enough, for now.
The award for Most Ridiculous Spin of the Century goes collectively to Kit Fischer, sportsmen’s outreach coordinator with the National Wildlife Federation (what the hell kind of environmental/wildlife advocacy group hires an outreach coordinator to attract sport hunters?); Dave Chadwick, executive director of the Montana Wildlife Federation; Jim Posewitz, board member of Helena Hunters and Anglers; Casey Hackathorn, president of Hellgate Hunters and Anglers; Chris Marchion, board member of Anaconda Sportsmen and Glenn Hockett, president of Gallatin Wildlife Association. These revisionists recently had the insolent audacity to try to boast that “hunter-conservationists saved bison from extinction a century ago” in their article, Enlist Montana Hunters to Manage Bison Numbers.
Let’s not forget that the vast herds that once blackened the plains for hundreds of miles on end were almost completely killed off by hide-hunters, market meat-hunters or by sport-hunters shooting from trains just for a bit of fun.
The only reason hunters stopped the insanity was that the bison were all but completely wiped out. By the time they ended their killing spree, only 18 wild bison remained, holed up like wrongfully-accused outlaws in the upper reaches of the Yellowstone caldera.
Although Yellowstone National Park is now synonymous with the shaggy bovines, bison would prefer to spend their winters much further downriver, on lands now usurped and fenced-in by cowboys to fatten-up their cattle before shipping them off to slaughter.
If today’s ranchers and hunters had their way, bison, along with wolves and grizzly bears, would be forever restricted to the confines of the park. Rancher-hunters already have such a death-grip on Montana’s wildlife that bison are essentially marooned and forced to stay within park borders, battling snow drifts no matter how harsh the winter, despite an instinctual urge to migrate out of the high country during heavy snow winters.
Instead of making amends for the historic mistreatment of these sociable, benevolent souls, twenty-first-century sport hunters want their chance to lay waste to them again–this time in the name of “tradition.”
Parts of this post were excerpted from my book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport
(West Yellowstone MT)— Did you know that Yellowstone National Park and other government agencies behind the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) are planning to slaughter 900 buffalo this coming winter under the guise of “disease risk management” even though there has never been a documented case of a wild bison transmitting brucellosis—a bacterial disease that affects livestock and wildlife—to cattle?
In an effort to avert the bloodshed, Friends of Animals (FoA) and the Buffalo Field Campaign filed an emergency rulemaking petition Sept. 15 with the National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to protect the genetic diversity and viability of the bison of Yellowstone National Park. They are requesting that the NPS and USFS undertake a population study and revise the IBMP to correct scientific deficiencies, make the plan consistent with the best available science, and follow the legal mandates the U.S. Congress has set. Until then, the groups are also requesting that the capture, removal or killing of bison at the Stephens Creek area of Yellowstone National Park and the Horse Butte area of the Gallatin National Forest be prohibited.
“Yellowstone National Park and other federal agencies are required to follow the best available science and not the latest political whims of Montana,” said Daniel Brister, executive director of Buffalo Field Campaign. “Our joint petition seeks redress to ensure the buffalo are protected for future generations. The IBMP currently is heavily weighted in favor of protecting the profits of the livestock industry at the expense and peril of our nation’s only continuously wild bison population.”
Every winter and spring, snow and ice cover the bison’s food and hunger pushes them to lower elevations across the park boundary in Montana. When they cross this arbitrary line, the buffalo enter a zone of violent conflict with ranchers. Last winter 653 bison were slaughtered, and back in the winter of 2007/2008, the largest scale wild buffalo slaughter, claimed the lives of 1,631 animals. At the turn of the 20th century, similar reckless behavior nearly drove bison to extinction.
“Slaughtering wild bison is the livestock industry’s way of eliminating competition and maintaining control of grazing lands surrounding Yellowstone National Park and across the west,” Brister said. “Montana’s livestock industry continues to use brucellosis to frighten and mislead the public into supporting its discrimination against bison. There has never been a single case of wild bison transmitting brucellosis to livestock.”
The IBMP was designed to be an adaptive management plan allowing for greater tolerance for bison as new information becomes available and conditions on the ground change, but no such tolerance has been afforded to the bison. Despite new scientific research showing that the Yellowstone population is comprised of distinct herds with unique genetics and behaviors, the agencies continue to treat Yellowstone bison as though they comprise a single homogeneous herd, Brister said.
“We want to make sure that each herd has a viable population number so that we are not starting to degrade the species,” said Mike Harris, director of Friends of Animals’ Wildlife Law Program. “Right now they are managing the numbers based largely upon misinformation regarding the genetic viability of the herds. The data they are using is not the best available data right now. They are using data that doesn’t match up with what is the actual status of the herd populations in the park. The petition is asking the federal agencies responsible for protecting these animals make an effort to establish stronger scientific criteria to protect the viability of the remaining Yellowstone herds, and to stop slaughtering the last 4,000 genetically pure bison left in the United States.”