Three Citizens Arrested, Arraigned for Attempt to Stop Yellowstone Bison Slaughter and Document

For Immediate Release:
March 7, 2018

Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign 406-646-0070

Yellowstone National Park, Mammoth, WY - Yesterday morning, two men with the collective Wild Buffalo Defense secured themselves to the “Silencer,” the squeeze chute located within Yellowstone National Park’s Stephens Creek buffalo trap. The squeeze chute holds wild buffalo for testing and other invasive procedures, before they are shipped off to slaughter facilities. Information about yesterday’s events can be found in this BFC press release.

The two individuals, Cody Cyson and Thomas Brown, were arrested yesterday afternoon and arraigned this morning.

A third Wild Buffalo Defense member, who has been identified as Hannah Ponder, was subsequently arrested later in the day. Few details are available in regards to this arrest.

Cyson and Brown have been charged with violating a closure and interfering with a government operation. Ponder has been charged with violating a closure, allegedly, in an attempt to document. Both charges are misdemeanors that carry a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail, and/or a $5,000 fine.

During this morning's arraignment hearing, a U.S. attorney requested a detention hearing, resulting in the three arrestees having to remain in jail until Monday. The three citizens charged are reportedly being transferred out of Mammoth, Wyoming to Gallatin County, Montana. The detention hearing is scheduled for Monday at 10:30am, at Yellowstone National Park’s Justice Center in Mammoth, Wyoming.

“The ‘government operation’ the two men were charged for interfering with was shipping wild buffalo to slaughter, an operation that is strongly opposed by the vast majority of Montanans, Americans, and people world-wide who hold the last wild buffalo in high regard,” said Buffalo Field Campaign media coordinator Stephany Seay. “The public closure that Yellowstone put in place is overly broad and designed to limit the ability of the public to document publicly funded government activities carried out by the National Park Service to systematically destroy our national mammal — we are the ones who are violated by the existence of Yellowstone’s extensive and unnecessary public land closure. I have personally taken legal action to challenge this extreme closure, which is only in place because Yellowstone doesn’t want the public to see what they are doing to America’s last wild buffalo.”

Yesterday’s actions by the two men stalled buffalo from being shipped to slaughter.

All buffalo captured at Stephens Creek are destined for direct shipments to slaughter, or confinement, slaughter and domestication through an as yet unapproved quarantine plan. Yellowstone, Montana, and other government officials distort the reality of capture for slaughter or quarantine, claiming it is necessary in order to appease Montana's intolerance for the native grazers. This winter, Yellowstone National Park has captured more than 500 wild buffalo inside their Stephens Creek bison capture facility, though in the past two decades, thousands of the gentle giants — a sacred, keystone species who is our national mammal — have met their end after being captured at Stephens Creek and moved through this facility. All captured buffalo are destined for slaughter or domestication and commercialization in an effort to appease Montana’s cattle interests.

The Yellowstone buffalo herds are the last continuously wild, migratory buffalo remaining in the nation. There is vast public support in Montana, the U.S., and around the globe for these buffalo to live wild and free on their ancestral lands.

The brave actions taken by these citizens at the Stephens Creek capture facility yesterday are applauded by Buffalo Field Campaign.
“While Buffalo Field Campaign as an organization cannot take these actions, we would like to thank these brave people for taking them at the Stephens Creek capture facility yesterday.” said Ken Cole, BFC’s executive director, “We have shared values, and we are in solidarity with anyone who is working to liberate wild buffalo and protect them from indiscriminate slaughter, quarantine, and domestication.”

Mail can be sent to Cyson, Brown, and Ponder at the following address until Monday. Be advised your letters will likely be read by law enforcement.

[Inmate Name]
C/O Gallatin County Detention Center
605 South 16th Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715

Learn more about Wild Buffalo Defense.