Thanks to everyone who has been participating in the Custer-Gallatin National Forest planning process. It is extremely important that we all chime in at every opportunity for wild buffalo on our National Forest! Your input is needed again. The Custer-Gallatin National Forest is revising its forest plan to guide how the agency makes decisions affecting the forest. This National Forest surrounds much of Yellowstone National Park, and is critical habitat for and used by wild, migratory buffalo. The old forest plan has been in effect for 30 years and makes no mention of buffalo. Under the outdated plan, the Gallatin National Forest permitted the Montana Department of Livestock to set up traps on the forest to capture hundreds of buffalo that were shipped to slaughter. It’s time for decision makers to serve the needs of this iconic native species that has naturally returned to land that is their birthright. Please get involved in the forest plan revision. This is your opportunity to advocate for managing habitat on America’s National Forests for migratory buffalo.
There are a series of public meetings and collaborative sessions scheduled throughout September. Even if you cannot make it in person, there are still opportunities for you to be involved from wherever you roam! Meeting dates and locations, along with more information can be found here:
Buffalo Field Campaign’s evaluation of the Custer Gallatin’s Draft Assessment found there is a need to change the Forest Plan to identify wild buffalo as a Species of Conservation Concern and Focal Species.
- The best available scientific information supports placing wild buffalo on the list of Species of Conservation Concern to be decided by the Regional Forester. Buffalo qualify as a species of conservation concern and the Custer Gallatin should recognize this fact in the agency’s Forest Plan.
- The best available scientific information supports evaluating and identifying wild buffalo as a Focal Species in the Forest Plan.
Buffalo are an ideal focal species for monitoring grassland and watershed health, fire, and diversity of native plant and animal species. The Custer Gallatin should recognize buffalo as a focal species in the Forest Plan.
Additionally, the Custer-Gallatin National Forest is welcoming public input on some Wild & Scenic River designations. Three of these rivers — the Madison, Yellowstone, and Gallatin — run through portions of the buffalo’s current habitat. We encourage you to voice your support for designating these rivers as Wild & Scenic. More information about this is available here:
Need more info? We have it for you.
Buffalo Field Campaign’s Feedback on the Custer Gallatin’s Draft Assessment of Existing Conditions and Need to Change the Forest Plan. (PDF, 1.8MB)