For Immediate Release
June 6, 2022 Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC)
West Yellowstone, Montana - Eight (8) years since first petitioning to have wild bison listed as threatened with extinction by the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP), and in response to successive reprimands from the courts, the Fish & Wildlife Service today acknowledged that there is “substantial scientific or commercial information” indicating that listing bison may be warranted under the Endangered Species Act. Agency scientists will now have twelve months to consider whether the IBMP's severe restrictions on the bison’s range and access to winter habitat, along with trapping and culling, constitute undue threats to our national mammal’s continued existence.
BFC originally petitioned the Agency in partnership with Western Watersheds Project in 2014. Subsequently, Friends of Animals joined in successful legal efforts on behalf of the Buffalo.
“We knew all along that the science guiding the only continuously-wild herds of bison is faulty,” said James Holt, Executive Director of Buffalo Field Campaign. “A more robust, exhaustive process must be enacted that truly identifies the threats and impacts to wild bison populations and their ability to persist in an uncertain future. This is exactly why the Campaign is working toward the implementation of our own Threats Analysis for Yellowstone Bison.” A Threats Analysis is the process by which the USFWS identifies and characterizes the real and potential impacts to the survivability and genetic viability for wildlife species such as bison.
Under the oppressive management regime outlined in the FWS Findings, bison are confined to only fifteen percent (15%) of their 7,720 square mile historic range in and around Yellowstone NP. Listing bison as threatened or endangered by continued implementation of the IBMP could mark the end of the annual culls, and could potentially result in Yellowstone’s plains bison being accorded wildlife status throughout their historical range. Giving wild bison free range would create cascading benefits throughout the Yellowstone ecosystem, would help mitigate climate impacts, and would revitalize traditional tribal culture. Buffalo Field Campaign and our partners will continue to hold federal agencies accountable for Buffalo, for our supporters, and for the American People.
*Buffalo Field Campaign is the only group working in the field, the policy arenas and the courts to conserve wild Yellowstone Bison