2019 03 21 01 001 Update 1 BFC Stephany Seay photo

Your tax dollars at work. Young buffalo inside Yellowstone National Park’s Stephens Creek buffalo trap. Photo by Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign.

Yellowstone National Park continues to capture wild buffalo inside their Stephens Creek buffalo trap, located in the Gardiner Basin. As of this writing, approximately 160 of the country’s last wild buffalo have been trapped, and of those, approximately 150 have been shipped to slaughter so far, and others are being held to serve as quarantine (domestication) subjects. When we inquired about how long Yellowstone intended to keep their trap open, they stated that they would continue to capture and ship to slaughter through the end of March. Right now, buffalo calving season is just a few weeks away. Please continue to put pressure on Yellowstone by calling and emailing Superintendent Cam Sholly (phone) (307) 344-2002 / (email) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and express your objection to this malicious treatment of the country’s National Mammal, the sacred buffalo. Hunters have been taking every opportunity with this late-starting migration as well. At least 65 buffalo have been killed by hunters, most of them at the infamous Beattie Gulch, a bottleneck migration corridor right at Yellowstone’s north boundary, where buffalo hardly stand a chance of getting away. Most of the hunting should have ended by now, but some hunting seasons have been extended in order to take advantage now that buffalo have finally started to migrate. Here in the Hebgen Basin, west of Yellowstone’s boundary, there are still no buffalo migrating into Montana.

2019 03 21 01 002 Update 3 BFC Kurt Rowe photo

Wanted: Justice for wild buffalo in and around Yellowstone. Photo by Kurt Rowe, Buffalo Field Campaign.

In the last two years the Interagency Bison Management plan (IBMP) has killed almost 1,200 bison in 2018 and 1,300 in 2017. That is about a quarter of the entire Yellowstone herd each year. All agencies involved in the slaughter know full well how unique and genetically important these bison are to the world. Of the two herds in Yellowstone, the Central herd now numbers fewer than 1,000 (down from 3,500 in 2005), which is a direct result of this management plan. What would Montanans do if elk were treated this way? All the focus of “disease management” is on the bison, who have never transmitted brucellosis, yet elk who have been blamed for giving brucellosis back to cows roam free. This disease was brought here and transmitted to our wildlife by cattle. It is time to do what is right for the bison and treat them like we treat all other wildlife in Montana. Millions of acres of habitat have been opened up for elk in what the IBMP call’s the brucellosis Designated Surveillance Area, where cattle must be more thoroughly tested. This land is open to elk, but why not buffalo? It is time Montana wakes up and stops this insane practice towards bison. The world is watching and is fed up with Montana’s use of tax dollars to kill our National Mammal, a sacred, keystone species and an American icon.

With the Buffalo,
~ Stephany & Mike