Buffalo Field Campaign’s Freedom of Information page is an open access portal to public records we sought, fought for, and have disclosed here about how government decisions are affecting our country’s last wild buffalo in Yellowstone.
Please check back for updates. More records will be added to BFC’s Freedom of Information page so you can stay informed as a critical voice in holding our government accountable.
Buffalo Field Campaign won our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly’s office. The court ordered release of records the park sought to withhold from the public can be found in the zip folder below. You can read the judge’s opinion and order here: U.S. District Court Judge Donald W. Molloy Opinion and Order (July 7, 2020) (13.4 MB). Judgment (July 7, 2020) (41 kb).
Here are excerpts from two noteworthy records Yellowstone National Park did not want disclosed to the American people.
"The Superintendent was informed that the Secretary of the Interior wanted (1) Yellowstone bison managed more actively like cattle on a ranch, and (2) the Bureau of Land Management to conduct an assessment of the number of bison the park could support using the animal unit month (AUM) concept. This approach is traditionally used to manage forage use by grazing livestock."
"The current management approach for Yellowstone bison is not serving the broader common good, but rather specific livestock interests based on perpetuated myths and misperceptions. The lack of tolerance for wild bison on more suitable public lands in the Greater Yellowstone Area is no longer justified based on the comparative risks of brucellosis transmission to cattle, human injury, and property damage; all of which are much higher for wild elk that are tolerated without substantive management."
P.J. White, Rick Wallen, & Chris Geremia, Resolving Intractable Governance Issues to Recover Wild Bison While Maintaining Public and Tribal Trust, (Yellowstone National Park, Mammoth, Wyoming) (unpublished manuscript, March 14, 2018) (2.7MB PDF).
Buffalo Field Campaign v. U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service
Buffalo Field Campaign prevailed in our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to disclose public records from Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Sholly’s office about the Yellowstone bison population.
Contents of zip archive (48.1 MB): BFC’s appeal and complaint; the Administrative Record of the case; Kerrie Evans NPS Declaration; Vaughn Index; three productions of records; court-ordered production of records.
Buffalo Field Campaign v. U.S. Dept. of the Interior
Buffalo Field Campaign prevailed in our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to disclose public records from former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s office about the Yellowstone bison population.
Contents of zip archive (172.1 MB): BFC’s complaint; eleven productions of records.
Buffalo Field Campaign, Friends of Animals, & Western Watersheds Project v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Endangered Species Act litigation to advance our petition to list the Distinct Population Segment of Yellowstone bison as threatened or endangered with extinction.
Contents of zip archive (437.1 MB): Plaintiffs’ complaint; the Administrative Record of the case; U.S. District Court Judge Christopher R. Cooper’s bench opinion.
Buffalo Field Campaign v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Freedom of Information Act litigation involving the federal livestock overseer’s population control study of GonaCon, a chemical sterilant used on bison taken under permit from Yellowstone National Park.
Contents of zip archive (1.85 GB): BFC’s FOIA request and complaint; case management orders; nine productions of records.