Jim Macdonald's blog
Jim Macdonald of Buffalo Allies of Bozeman volunteered with Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) on April 19. Stephany and Peter from BFC took Jim up Horse Butte, where he took a lot of pictures.
For all the pictures, follow this link.
Horse Butte is a peninsula in Hebgen Lake outside of Yellowstone National Park about seven miles NNW of West Yellowstone. Despite the fact that there are no cows on Horse Butte and support from a lot of property owners (including our friends in Horse Butte Neighbors of Buffalo), buffalo are not tolerated by the state of Montana on this peninsula after May 15. They are forced back into Yellowstone after that date.
A small group of us with Buffalo Allies of Bozeman went down to volunteer with Buffalo Field Campaign on Saturday. I'm going to share a little here so that you know how easy it is to do and how much fun besides.
On January 5, 2009, I was a participant in a march on behalf of the wild buffalo population in Yellowstone National Park, animals who have been denied year round habitat in the state of Montana. The action, sponsored by Buffalo Field Campaign and Buffalo Allies of Bozeman, was in Helena and was targeted at the swearing in of the state legislature and Gov. Brian Schweitzer, under whose watch the greatest wild buffalo slaughter since the 19th century has happened. It was in support of the Montana Wild Buffalo Recovery & Conservation Act of 2009, which calls for shifting management of wild bison from the Montana Department of Livestock to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks so that bison are managed as wildlife instead of as animals in need of disease control.
The map on the left, courtesy of Buffalo Field Campaign, shows bison herds and migrations inside of and outside of Yellowstone National Park. All the problems with and all the inspiration we have of buffalo herds must take these migrations into account.
Humans have an issue with migration because the variance in movement often comes against boundaries that humans have set up. Many Americans have trouble with the migration of people, especially from Mexico, who are often escaping the economic boundaries placed on their own existence by global trade policies - many of them promoted by American politicians. Boundaries create boundaries, and the consequences of the boundaries often create unexpected movements. In 1872, Congress set aside Yellowstone National Park, with boundaries that have not changed a great deal since then. No one could communicate with the animals those boundaries, but each animal has had its movement impacted by those boundaries and others.
I wrote the following letter to McKee in response.
I am writing on behalf of myself and not the group I am a member of - Buffalo Allies of Bozeman - regarding your article today that appeared in some newspapers on the brucellosis issue as it relates to corriente roping cattle. Though I am writing for myself alone, I am quoted in the press release that we sent out, and I helped edit and distribute the release.