Action reports and essays
This editorial is written by Jim Bailey, a board member of the Gallatin Wildlife Association and a retired biologist. We have printed this with his permission.
Violating Yellowstone Policy
With all the furor over slaughter of 1600 bison from Yellowstone National Park, we are overlooking a serious issue. The Interagency Bison Management Plan and Yellowstone Superintendent Lewis are violating mandates and policies of the National Park Service.
Congress mandates retaining Park resources “in their natural conditions” and leaving them “unimpaired for future generations.” Park Service policy is to “maintain processes of naturally evolving ecosystems” and to minimize “human interference with evolving genetic diversity.”
It is likely that genetic diversity of the Park’s bison was lost to slaughtering in 2008. Moreover, natural selection has largely been replaced by human intervention. Coevolution of the Park’s animals, plants and microorganisms has been sidetracked, along with bison adaptation to their physical environment.
sent out by member Glenn Hockett. Update: Unfortunately, we have confirmed that the nine bulls have been sent to slaughter. All the same, please let these officials know your extreme displeasure at the breaking of the promise that the slaughter was over for the season.
YOUR URGENT ACTION IS NEEDED: Nine trophy Montana bull bison are currently captured and being held in the Duck Creek bison trap, located just outside of Yellowstone's western boundary. The Department of Livestock says they intend to truck these wild Montana bull bison to slaughter soon.
Over 1600 bison have been removed from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem this winter/spring due to inadequate habitat planning by the governor of Montana and the various interagency bison management planning members that carry out his adopted PLAN. The current PLAN is nothing more than a license to eradicate free ranging wild bison from Montana. It is time to stop the B.S. and demand common sense action.
Knowing that a few days in advance, I created the flyer shown in the picture, which you can also download as a pdf. Because the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) has three federal agencies as its partners, it was fitting that we try to convince people who are supporting the man who might be the next president, to do something about the buffalo in part by pulling the federal government's support for this terrible plan.
I couldn't have possibly created enough flyers. They went out of my hands so fast as people waited in line to enter the event.
Some of us in Buffalo Allies of Bozeman went over to the State Capitol building in Helena to support Buffalo Field Campaign's rally for the wild buffalo in and near Yellowstone National Park and to protest Governor Brian Schweitzer's part in the largest slaughter of wild buffalo than at any time since the 19th century.
This season to date 1,607 buffalo have been killed, according to Buffalo Field Campaign. As the killing continued, I joined a new group dedicated to providing support for the buffalo. One part of that mission is to provide solidarity to other groups with related missions. As a result, those in our group gladly support Buffalo Field Campaign; a few of us found the time to take the trip to Helena - a town I personally had never before been.
Today (April 16, 2008), I attended a prayer ceremony led by the Lakota elder, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, just outside the National Park Service's Stephens Creek Capture facility inside of Yellowstone National Park.
This winter, the buffalo in Yellowstone have suffered enormously, mostly at the hands of the government. To date, at least 1,598 buffalo have been killed, others have been sent to quarantine or are being held in capture facilities. Hundreds more have been dying from the harsh Yellowstone winter. This is a record number of killings. From a total of 4,700 buffalo counted in the fall, the number fell to 3,000 by the end of winter. Since then, at least another 400 have been killed.
This is a travesty, one that has been completely unnecessary. I'm not going to talk about why this is in fact a travesty; there are a million places where the sordid issues and non-issues have been sorted out. I have certainly written about it many times this winter; others have made what seems like a lifetime making the case against the slaughter of wild buffalo.