Changing Montana Policy Provides Sensible Solutions to Killing America’s Last Wild Buffalo

For immediate release:
February 9, 2017

Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign, 406-640-0109

Yellowstone National Park / Gardiner, Montana:
Under continued pressure from Montana livestock interests, Yellowstone National Park is consigning hundreds of America’s last wild buffalo — the National Mammal of the United States — to slaughter.

Since February 8, approximately forty-five wild Yellowstone buffalo have been shipped from the park’s Stephens Creek buffalo trap to slaughter facilities.  With recent captures of at least 600 buffalo, more than 500 wild buffalo remain captive inside Yellowstone National Park's trap. The government intends to slaughter even more.  Upwards of 400 more wild bison have been killed by hunters along Yellowstone National Park’s boundary.

The country’s last wild bison are in the cross hairs of MCA 81-2-120, a state law that puts the Montana Dept. of Livestock in charge of the migratory species.  
“The unfounded threats and discredited fears of brucellosis do not justify Montana Dept. of Livestock management of Montana’s one and only wild buffalo population,” said Buffalo Field Campaign media coordinator Stephany Seay.

Yellowstone National Park is slaughtering wild buffalo under the highly controversial Interagency Bison Management Plan, the Montana Governor approved plan MCA 81-2-120 calls for.
“This senseless slaughter of our National Mammal can come to an end by managing wild buffalo like wild elk in Montana,” said Buffalo Field Campaign co-founder Mike Mease. “Governor Steve Bullock and Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk need to show leadership and end government slaughter. ”

Buffalo Field Campaign's alternative plan to manage wild buffalo like wild elk in Montana can be found here (PDF).
“Montana can restore wild buffalo while saving dollars and making sense: repeal MCA 81-2-120 and manage wild bison like wild elk in Montana,” said Seay.  “It really is that simple.”
The Yellowstone buffalo are America’s last wild, migratory herds and the most important bison population that exists. They are the last to identify as a wildlife species and ecologically extinct throughout their native range. They’ve been added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List for being “threatened with near extinction,” and even Montana designates the species “in greatest conservation need” with conditions “making [bison] vulnerable to global extinction.”