|99 Dec 31
||Montana state wants to stop federal abandonment of the
joint bison plan. Billings
Gazette. Wisely, the federal government says it doesn't want to
continue the pointless slaughter of bison. Montana's state
government wants to carry their divisive stupidity into the 21
Century and are asking the federal district judge to not let the
federal government withdraw.
|99 Dec 18
||Department of Livestock Sets the Stage for Continued
Slaughter of Bison by
Howard Davis, Chairman of the Board, Greater Yellowstone
|99 Dec 18
No Trace of Brucellosis Found in 80
Percent of Yellowstone Buffalo Examined After
Yellowstone Coalition. Not only that,
but the percentage with brucellosis has declined. Meanwhile
over 90% of the bison in Jackson Hole, WY are infected. That
state of Wyoming, nevertheless, takes a relaxed approach to this
problem, totally unlike Montana Governor Racicot and his bison
|99 Dec 16
||Feds pull out of bison talks with Montana.
By Joe Kolman. Gazette Bozeman
Bureau. Once APHIS and the Montana DOL sang from the same
songbook, but DOLs recalcitrance to try anything but slaughter
send the feds to court to try and pull out of the now infamous
"interim bison management plan."
|99 Dec 15
Campaign Report. The
winter snow is starting to gather and the Montana DOL
|99 Dec 14
Bison Field Campaign Protests at
Courthouse against a man who shot a Yellowstone bison on his Park
boundary property. Bozeman
|99 Dec 13
another editorial. This one from the Billings Gazette. State
Must be Cautious with Game Farms.
|99 Dec 12
||Editorial from the Missoulian.
State was not Prepared for CWD Outbreak. I predicted over a
year ago that mad elk disease would break out in Montana. I also
worried at a public hearing about DOL's inattention to the threat
of tuberculosis in game farm elk. When will that shoe drop? Is
Montana DOL good at anything except shooting bison that wander
|99 Dec 9
||Buffalo Soldiers from Mother Jones. "The activists of the Buffalo Field
Campaign are putting themselves on the line to try to stop the
state-sponsored killing of the nation's last herd of wild bison"
by Maryanne Vollers.
|99 Dec 7
Racicot. Gov. Racicot for some reason is getting big national
press, and he is slated for a high job in George Jr's
Administration. Readers of the bison slaughter page must be
puzzled by the national media's inattention to his role in the
senseless bison slaughter. The bison, however, are not the only
victims of his political ambition. Read
about the situation in Libby, Montana (his home town) from the
Billings Gazette. 12-11-99. Former
U.S. Rep. Pat Williams says Montana is lying about the mine:
State has known for years. Missoulian.
|99 Nov 23
Montana's bison slaughter governor slated for a high post in the
George W. Bush Administration? The campaign contributions are in,
and many think champ fund-raiser George W. Bush is as good as
elected President. Montana's governor Racicot, whose oily visage
lurks behind the bison slaughter, is being billed as an honest,
open governor who could become in charge of the environmental
policies on your public lands. Montana enviros who know him say,
"Yuk." Here is
the story in the latest issue of Grist.
|99 Nov 5
||It's confirmed. Mad-elk disease enters Montana while
Montana DOL looks the other way. Billings Gazette. Montana Wildife Federation calls
chronic wasting disease the greatest threat to Montana wildlife
in 100 years.
|99 Oct 30
||State pushes its anti-bison program By Joe Kolman
Gazette Bozeman Bureau. It
looks like it's going to be another unpleasant winter around West
Yellowstone and Gardiner. The Montana DOL, apparently emboldened
by Gov. Racicot's recent defense of their Yellowstone bison
killing program, is going on the offensive as is the Buffalo
Field Campaign (see article below) on the other side of the
|99 Oct 29
Field Campaign Begins its Winter Season Defense of Yellowstone
Bison with a demonstration at the office of Montana DOL. Their new release.
|99 Sept 29
||Chronic Wasting Disease attacks the deer and elk of the
West. High Country News.
Chronic wasting disease is a spongiform encephalopathy similar to
bovine spongiform encephalopathy ("mad cow" disease). The
difference, if there is one, is that this disease attacks deer
and elk. Many are pointing their fingers at elk ranches as the
focal point of infection. Its spread is doubly alarming because
the monomania of the Montana Department of Livestock about
brucellosis seems to blind it to this threat to wildlife, and
maybe cows and people. Spongiform encephalopathy is a fancy way
of saying it eats out the brain until the brain looks like a
|99 Jun 29
||"Mad elk" disease infects Montana game farm
elk. Billings Gazette.
When we debated the Montana state vet at ISU last winter, I
raised the question why the Montana Department of Livestock
doesn't seem to care about any disease except brucellosis. I
asked, what about the game farms? What about chronic wasting
disease? He assured us everything was fine. As this story shows,
things are not fine. It's time the Montana DOL begins to care
about other animal diseases, and concern about human diseases
from livestock (besides brucellosis, which no gets any more
except careless vets), might be nice too. Did anyone notice the
recent story about how some Montana livestock near Billings came
down with anthrax? Yes, that's anthrax!
|99 Jun 7
meets with George W, reportedly about job. Montana's bison-killer
governor is in Texas today meeting with Governor George W. Bush,
reportedly about a cabinet post or Vice Presidential job should
Bush become President in 2001.
|99 May 23
Another contentious bison winter ends
as DOL hazes bison back into Yellowstone Park.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
Another winter of strife and some bison slaughter appears to be
over. The good news is that only 90 bison were slaughtered by the
Montana DOL, not a significant number. The bad news is that this
pointless policy will continue next year, and the governors of
Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming want even more taxpayer money
|99 May 7
||Ninth Circuit Court Refuses to Halt Bison
Sadly the status quo reigns and so the civil unrest and the bison
slaughter seem destined to continue indefinitely.
|99 May 7
||Montana State Vet says they won't change bison
Gazette. Gertenson says DOL will continue to capture and kill
bison outside Park.
|99 May 5
Racicot, Feds meet on
Bison. Bozeman Daily
Chronicle. Racicot holds to rigid anti-bison
|99 May 3
Federation offers to pay for cattle brucellosis vaccinations.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Nastier Montana DOL captures 60 bison for winter's biggest
slaughter. News release
Buffalo Field Campaign. Additional news: The Montana legislature
tabled the proposal to return Montana bison management to the
Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. So it remains with this
single-minded, arrogant Department of Livestock. Ninth Circuit Court asked to halt
|99 Apr 9
Service issues a warning to the Montana Department of Livestock
for hazing buffalo in closed eagle habitat. News release from Buffalo Field
|99 Mar 31
DOL finally has their Horse Butte Bison Facility Running, and
they have Captured as many Additional Bison as were Captured and
Killed so far all Winter. Yellowstone Bison Slaughter
Expands. Montana Ignores Federal Call for Moderation, Captures 29
Buffalo in New Trap at Horse Butte . News release from the
Greater Yellowstone Coalition.
Montana's bison-killing governor for
Secretary of Interior? Todd Wilkinson doesn't like the idea. Opinion Bozeman Daily
Chronicle. The year 2000 elections are just around the corner. It
could have big impacts for wildlife.
|99 Mar 26
Department of Livestock Baits 10 Bison with Hay and Sends 8 to
|99 Mar 20
||DOL builds their bison capture pen and arrests 4 more
Gazette. DOL's last minute attempt to salvage the winter and do
some real bison killing continues.
|99 Mar 18
Montana orders Arrest of Buffalo Field Campaign folks. Defenders
of Wildlife Condemn their actions. Given that winter is almost over and the few bison
outside the park will soon return, it's pretty hard to view DOL's
actions as anything other than revenge. Wonder if the Montana
legislature showed the wisdom to take bison management away from
the DOL? (see the story below).
|99 Mar 18
Legislature to consider bill today to take bison management from
Montana Dept. of Livestock and give it to Montana Fish and
Details fro Greater Yellowstone Coalition.
|99 Mar 11
||Feds Ask Montana DOL to "lighten up" on Bison. DOL says
"no." Billings Gazette.
Montana DOL maintains its hard-line attitude, hardly unchanged
after three winters. Meanwhile the number of bison killings has
fallen dramatically, mostly due to the actions of Buffalo Nations
(note: they recently changed their name to Buffalo Field
|99 Mar 10
EIS COMMENTS: Buffalo
supporters oppose preferred government option by Joe Kolman
Billings Gazette. Remember that Yellowstone bison
environmental impact statement you commented on several months
ago? Results of the public comments are out. 67,000 people
commented and 47,000 supported the "Citizens Plan," drawn up by a
number of conservation organizations. The majority of the rest of
the comments favored other bison-friendly plans. There was almost
no support for the government's "preferred alternative." There
was a little support for the anti-bison plans.
|99 Mar 8
killed this winter disease free says Greater Yellowstone
Coalition. How can DOL
justify this on top of their other flimsy excuses? Not only
do they kill infected females on a range that has no cattle in
the winter or the spring, they kill bulls, and even uninfected
|99 Mar 2
||Proposed wasting disease rules draw fire from wildlife
Gazette. Is the State of Montana inconsistent on how it
treats brucellosis as compared to something that is really
starting to worry many folks -- chronic wasting disease in deer
and elk? More
on "mad elk" disease from High Country
|99 Feb 27
||Indians gather at Yellowstone to protest buffalo
Sacred ceremony conducted.
|99 Feb 23
Native Americans near their goal of
Yellowstone. Gardiner to be reached
Saturday. Bozeman Daily
Chronicle by Scott McMillion.
|99 Feb 20
||Lakota Indian spiritual walk to save Yellowstone bison
crosses into Yellowstone County, Montana (Billings).
Billings Gazette. " 'This is a
nonviolent spiritual walk to remind people that the
indiscriminate killing of these sacred animals continues despite
public outcry,' said Rosalie Little Thunder, a walk organizer and
an elder of the Lakota nation."
|99 Feb 9
BUFFALO WALK IS MORE THAN A SPIRITUAL
TREK: OLD TRADITIONS AND
NEW TECHNOLOGY BLEND AS HUNDREDS GATHER FOR A WALK DECRYING
YELLOWSTONE BUFFALO KILLS. Chicago Tribune by Tracy Dell'Angela.
The 507 mile "Sacred Buffalo March" to Yellowstone is
|99 Feb 9
||A Senseless Slaughter in Montana.
Opinion by Robb Brady of the Post
Register (Idaho Falls, Idaho). I agree the slaughter makes no
sense if preventing brucellosis spread is the goal or of
convincing APHIS, or the states, that Montana cattle are safe. My
hypothesis, which I shared with the Montana and Idaho State vets,
in a recent debate, is that is due to professional tunnel vision
and also a method of expressing hostility to Yellowstone National
Park, the federal government, and people in other states by
Montana's livestock establishment.
|99 Feb 9
||Blockaders Enter Third Week In Tripods on Forest Service Road
610 to Stop Construction of Buffalo Trap. News release from Buffalo Nations.
|99 Feb 8
||Buffaloed by Fear. Editorial in the Denver Post.
|99 Feb 5
Nez Perce Tribe may consider Protest
of Buffalo Kill.
Spokane.net. This is the second native American tribe to begin
protest against the Montana Department of Livestock's policy on
|99 Feb 5
Bison Hazed and
Slaughtered. Bozeman Daily
Chronicle. Two more bison bulls were slaughtered by DOL.
Brucellosis could theoretically be spread from bison to cattle if
the cattle are exposed to infected bison afterbirth. There are no
cattle in the area in the winter, bison do not give birth in the
winter, and (perhaps news to those experts in the Montana
Department of Livestock) bulls do not give birth, not even in
Montana. Eighteen of the 21 bison slaughtered this winter have
|99 Feb 4
Bison Protesters Arrested.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle by Scott
|99 Feb 3
Sitters Continue to Blockade Road. News release from Buffalo Nations.
|99 Feb 2
U.S. Forest Service Grants Permit for
a semi-permanent Horse Butte bison capture
"facility." Bozeman Daily
Chronicle by Scott McMillion. Now the stage is set from the
confrontation with Buffalo Nations which is blockading where
Montana DOL wants to put their bison capture pens. Does this
whole affair remind anyone of anything else that goes on
endlessly even though the public says "end it now?"
|99 Jan 31
||Indians plan march to Yellowstone to boost awareness of
bison killing: 'The killing has to stop,' organizer
|99 Jan 27
||DOL's Cow Chip-Science: Defenders Decries Montana's
Yellowstone Bison Slaughter; Conservationists Provide Scientific
Analysis. News Release.
Defenders of Wildlife.
|99 Jan 26
Nations Blockades Construction of Horse Butte Bison slaughter
facility. News release by
Buffalo Nations. Protesters
set up camp near where another pen is be built by Joe Kolman.
Billings Gazette. Jan. 27.
|99 Jan 25
||West Yellowstone Garbage Board Refuses bison
|99 Jan 24
Lawyer arranging Free Legal Defense
for Buffalo Nations.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle. It seems like more and more folks
want to help BN.
|99 Jan 24
Tribes not comfortable with Montana's
Yellowstone Bison policy. Opinion in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
|99 Jan 24
Buffalo Nations embodies long-term
civil disobedience. Bozeman Daily Chronicle by Scott Mcmillion. Will civil
disobedience eventually save the bison so they can cross out of
Yellowstone Park? I asked the writers of the bison
management EIS (during the public comment period) if they had
calculated the cost of annual civil disobedience as one of the
costs of their bison plan? We all know the answer.
|99 Jan 21
||Montana DOL Refuses to Alter its hostility to
Billings Gazette. As criticism rises from all quarters,
Department of Livestock digs in.
|99 Jan 18
There’s no defense for
slaughter of park bison.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Opinion by author Todd Wilkinson.
Wilkinson is author of the controversial
Science under Siege. He really gives it to Racicot the the
Montana DOL in the opinion piece above. He concludes, "If you,
too, believe that Montana Gov. Racicot’s bison policy is
based on Stone Age logic, send him a rock."
|99 Jan 17
||Buffalo Nations Asks for Volunteers. Buffalo Nations news release.
|99 Jan 16
Construction starts on new bison
trap. Bozeman Daily
Chronicle. Construction of the controversial bison trap at
Horse Butte has begun. Now the Montana DOL will be able to trap
more bison so it can "save them" (or other doublespeak), at least
the minority of bison it doesn't decide to kill.
|99 Jan 15
Rift among Indians on distribution on
bison meat. Is
distribution of the meat from these "diseased" animals to Native
Americans something they want?
|99 Jan 14
More bison defenders arrested; 5 more
bison bulls sent to slaughter. Bozeman Daily-Chronicle. The bison tested
positive, but few experts consider bulls capable of spreading
infection. Jan. 13, 1999 - Buffalo
Nations' news release on the blockade and
|99 Jan 12
conservation groups decry the start of the winter
slaughter. Buffalo Supporters Reflect on the
Death of Eight Buffalo. This is from Buffalo
|99 Jan 10
some good news!
DOL considers kinder, gentler bison policy. Bozeman Daily
Chronicle. The DOL is willing to consider not killing bison
bulls or bison calves or cows who have already given birth. Given
minute probability of transmitting this disease, especially when
no cattle are in the area, is this finally a hint of cost/benefit
rationality? DOL has said the past that this definition of "low
risk" bison many not appease the state veterinarians in other
states, but some folks believe the "alarm" of other states at
infected bison in Montana may have been inspired by Montana
either directly or indirectly. DOL is under new leadership, and
hopefully they are working at a solution that will end the years
|99 Jan 8
||Idaho man opens DOL gate and releases bison. He is
Gazette on-line. The bison controversy reaches a new level
with civil disobedience. January 9, 1999 -
Mike Mease, co-founder of Buffalo Nations, arrested.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle. One other protestor was also
arrested. January 8, 1999 - No
Cattle, No Justification: Montana Begins Slaughtering Yellowstone
Buffalo to "Protect" Cattle that are Not There. News release
from Greater Yellowstone Coalition.
|99 Jan 8
Its finally started, DOL starts to
capture bison for slaughter. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Just as I predicted, the
bison hazing has ended in January, the DOL claimed it was
useless, which it is, and they have begun to kill bison. I
also predicted civil disobedience, which has begun (see story
above). Significantly they are going to "donate" the bison meat
to "Indian tribes or charitable organizations." Why are
bison so "diseased" that they can't be tolerated in the area when
the cows don't arrive until June, but the meat can be eaten by
humans (or don't safety concerns for "Indians" and the poor
|98 Dec 16
||Forest Service is taking additional comments on the
Horse Butte bison capture facility. Billings Gazette
|98 Dec 31
Alert: Comments on Horse
Butte Buffalo Trap are due on January 13, 1999. You can email
your objections now (click on "action alert"). Update on 1-6-99.
The FS has changed the email address for comments.
|98 Dec 23
Congressional committees tie up CUT
purchase money. Bozeman
Daily Chronicle. It's little more than political blackmail. Both
the NPS proposal and the radical bison proposal hatched by their
Department of Livestock were massively rejected by the American
people during the comment period on the proposed bison
|98 Dec 21
on the Solstice. Field report from Buffalo Nations.
The "dis-information from the DOL the
report speaks of, is this. Whenever DOL hazes some bison back
into the park, it issues a news release saying something like
this -- "Today the Montana Department of Livestock saved 85
bison." The response is this . . . saved them from what? The
answer is, "the Department of Livestock," which is the only
threat to them. DOL plans to start trapping them this winter,
testing them, and then hauling the diseased ones off to the
|98 Dec 14
Montana's Governor Mocks Public
Opinion with his Stand on Bison. Opinion by Todd Wilkinson in the Bozeman Daily
|98 Dec 10
Bison hazing operations
continue. Bozeman Daily
Chronicle. Hazing has never worked for long.
|98 Dec 7
||More than 100
bison are outside Yellowstone Park. Buffalo Nations calls for
|98 Dec 2
Forest Service ignores the public and
local landowners. Gives Montana Department of Livestock permit
for Bison trap at Horse Butte. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. "Both [Governor] Racicot and
Forest Service Regional Forester Dale Bosworth said the goal of
the trap is to reduce the number of bison that must be killed."
How can that be when every pregnant female trapped will be killed
whether she tests negative for brucellosis. or not?
|98 Nov 30
Buffalo Nations update.
|98 Nov 22
||First bison/DOL conflict of the winter season
erupts. Billings Gazette.
Dr. Arnold Gertonson, the Montana state vet, provided a lot of
disinformation in this news release. These "diseased bison" he
talks about suffer no ill effects from the disease and are
perfectly healthy. Second, the bison did not drift out of the
Park due to lack forage in the Park, although later in the winter
they may do so because the forage is too deep under the snow. I
have been checking carefully since DOL and others started this
talk of how Yellowstone is overgrazed. For the last two
seasons in October, the grasses in the Lamar Valley have at least
90% of their seed heads intact despite all of the ungulates that
graze there. Furthermore, the formerly heavily browsed willows
are coming back. Any wolf watcher will tell you this. The area at
the confluence of Soda Butte Creek and the Lamar River is a good
example of a thriving willow community. Report from the field from Buffalo
Nations. dated 11-20
|98 Nov 17
Horse Butte area Residents Hate DOL's
proposed bison trap. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. But of course, Montana's DOL has
never paid much attention to the wishes of private property
owners or the public.
|98 Nov 17
||Rough winter will bring bison confrontations.
Billings Gazette on-line. I'm afraid
it will. Montana's DOL hasn't learned a thing and is more
arrogant than ever.
|98 Nov 16
Preparations being made for Bison
Migration. Bozeman Daily
|98 Nov 6
of the Bison this winter. Judge
Lowell upholds the "interim" bison plan. Billings Gazette.
Although the comment period just ended on the rotten new bison
plan, the interim plan is worse. Note: The photo in this article
is very misleading because it (1) old, (2) deals with an issue
different from the DOL bison slaughter, (3) combines the old
hunting issue in Montana with a recent news report from
|98 Oct 14
||First Buffalo Nations Report for the Winter.
I do this as a service to Buffalo
Nations, a hardly group of brave young people who protect the
bison and face down the Department of Livestock Gunners for the
last two winters. I don't necessary agree with everything they
say, but you be the judge.
|98 Sept 25
BUFFALO ROAM NO MORE? Indian Country Today. A great article by wildlife ecologist
|98 Sept 6
||Where the Buffalo Die. Denver Post editorializes against the proposed
|98 Aug 29
||Wildlife Federation attacks elk-killing plan: Whitefish
[Montana] legislator vows to create private shooting
preserve. Billings Gazette
On-line. "Game farms" are a growing problem in the West. Without
arguing the ethics of them, nevertheless, they pose a disease
threat to native wildlife and humans. While this article on
indirectly mentions it, the hypocrisy of the Montana Department
of Livestock is once again shown -- no interest in likely disease
threats; much interest in killing Yellowstone bison despite any
disease transmission in 75 years.
|98 Jul 21
an example of some excellent
written public testimony on the bison controversy by a political
|98 Jul 1
||Draft environmental impact statement for the new
bison management plan. This is a link to the government web site on the plan.
This the first time the public has been formally asked to comment
on bison management in eight years -- eight bloody years where
the politicians have ignored American citizens. The shots were
called by western senators, Governor Racicot, and state
veterinarians who seem to think the eliminating the
never-transmitted brucellosis from wild bison is worth any cost
in your money and our national natural heritage. Conservation
groups are appalled at the draft plan, and they are developing
their own proposal. Please stay "tuned." I will furnish further
information. This is your chance to permanently stop Governor
Racicot and his bison killers, but it's their modified proposal
that is the preferred alternative; and they have the
|98 Jun 21
||Pearl Jam member goes to bat for bison.
Billings Gazette on-line. Jeff Ament
of Pearl Jam, a Montana native, takes up the cause of the
Yellowstone bison. Meanwhile, some Republicans are pushing
Montana's bison-killer, cyanide-mining-supporter governor, Marc
Racicot for President!
|98 Apr 22
|| Bison make an
unexpected spring exodus from Yellowstone Park. Over 250 bison
are threatened by DOL. Note: added on May 16, 1998. The
situation was finally defused when, rather than killing the
bison, the DOL drove them back into the park. I wondered
why the bison left the Park as the snow began to melt. I
traveled to the area. My tentative conclusion is the bison
came out to eat the early green grass growing along US 191. They
also probably were seeking the salt from the highway (see
|98 Apr 20
Threat to the Bison. Just
when you thought the bison were safe for the winter, a last
minute threat to them has come due to their movement out of the
Park and the Department of Livestock.
|98 Apr 13
Dismissed Against Bison Slaughter Protester.
|98 Mar 13
Register. Ads will
seek more support for Yellowstone bison solution. The
InterTibal Bison Cooperative and the National Wildlife Federation
are launching an advertising campaign in hopes of increasing
public interest in the problem of on Yellowstone National Park's
|98 Mar 10
Racicot, Babbitt discuss bison
management. Signs of a
thaw on the bison slaughter?
|98 Feb 28
||Mild winter leads to lull in controversial bison
killing. Post Register.
The result of the mild El Niño winter has been that only
eleven bison have been killed. The threat posed by further
political battling and court suits have been averted for a time
by the mild winter. I was in Yellowstone just a few days ago. The
elk and bison are in fine condition compared to a year ago.
Thanks also go to Buffalo Nations for hazing bison away from the
Montana Department of Livestock. I think BN deserves a
|98 Feb 4
Buffalo Nations Protesters receive
light sentences. Bozeman
Daily Chronicle. 2-4-98. I would predict that unless the
politicans of Montana begin to respect the Yellowstone Country
more than they do, civil disobedience will become a more or less
permanent feature around Yellowstone as Americans, rightly or
wrongly, come to try and defend their famous national park and
the public lands around its borders.
|98 Jan 30
Department of Livestock Kills Six more Bison. News Release from Buffalo Nations.
DOL has only killed eleven bison this winter due to efforts of
Buffalo Nations and a milder winter, but DOL seems to be behaving
as obnoxiously as possible when they do it. This is quite an
Story in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
|98 Jan 23
bison of winter lured to slaughter. News Release from Buffalo Nations.
Note that last year this time about 500 bison had been
|98 Jan 18
||Buffalo Nations and DOL Butt Heads. Things are heating up, folks. Meanwhile, the
snow is piling up fast.
|98 Jan 13
||Latest Buffalo Nations Update. There is still not a single bison that has been killed
this winter. However, the snow is finally beginning to pile
up. In this latest BN update, they tell what they have been going
near West Yellowstone to prevent Montana's Department of
Livestock from starting the shooting.
|98 Jan 5
Saves the First 16 bison.
Last year at this time the slaughter was fully underway. The
lighter snows of this year have kept bison inside Yellowstone
Park, and Buffalo Nations has harassed the first 16 bison away
from death at the hands of Montana's Department of Livestock.
This is BN's late December update.
|97 Dec 30
thinks Judge's feeding order is a bad idea
|97 Dec 22
||Buffalo Nations' latest Report.
|97 Dec 18
||Good News? Montana Federal Judge Limits Bison
Kill. Article in Post
Register. U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell rules he will
not let more than 100 Yellowstone Park bison be killed this
winter without a court hearing. Although last year Lovell refused
to halt or order a modification of the plan while 1100 bison were
slaughtered, I understand he was very upset by what
happened. In the latest case he dressed down both federal
officials and Racicot's bison-killing officials. He will require
weekly reports from now on from both federal and state
is even more to his decision -- good things and bad things to a
number of contrasting points of view. Judge says
Yellowstone Park must prepare to feed bison, closing roads.
Article in the Post Register, Dec. 19.
People who don't want bison
outside Yellowstone will like the judge's order which requires
preparation for artificial feeding of bison in the Park. People
who are mostly concerned about dead bison rather than natural
management of the Park will like his decision. Those who are
really worried about brucellosis won't like the decision (are
their really any such people). This is because artificial feeding
will concentrate the bison and facilitate the organism's spread.
Those who want to stop snowmobiles will like the decision because
the judge is ordering contingency plans for closing roads. Those
who worry about the spread of noxious weeds (invasive alien
plants) will not like the artificial feeding because the feed
will bring weeds.
|97 Dec 10
||Montana officials disagree with change in bison
plan. Story in Post
Register. Despite pleas, Montana officials oppose any changes
from the plan last year that killed 1100. It will be up to the
weather, the Park Service, and citizens to keep the bison away
from Governor Racicot's bison killers. I wonder if Montana will
leave piles of bison guts on public and private property this
winter like they did last?
|97 Dec 6
||Yellowstone Park rangers to try and haze bison away from
Governor Racicot's bison killers.
Story in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle
|97 Dec 4
||Buffalo Nations' latest update. Is the slaughter about to begin?
|97 Nov 30
|97 Nov 24
||Buffalo Nations Bison Update. 60,000 signatures against the slaughter are delivered to
Governor Racicot. The National
Wildlife Federation, the largest and most conservative of the
national conservation organizations, has collected over 60,000
signatures from summer visitors to Yellowstone National Park.
Those signing, oppose the killing of bison that wander outside
the boundaries of the Park seeking winter forage. The signatures
have been turned over to Montana Governor Marc
|97 Nov 12
going on right now?
|97 Nov 7
Buffalo Nations to help drive bison
from private property this winter. Link to an article in the Bozeman Daily
|97 Oct 15
release of the winter season from Buffalo
|97 Oct 11
||Fed offers to help end bison
slaughter. It looks like
letters to the Clinton Administration might have begun to help.
The federal agency APHIS, one of the major culprits behind the
slaughter has been directed to take steps to avoid another bison
massacre this winter. Whether Montana will go along is another
|97 Sept 30
Yellowstone Coalition gives its view on the proposed new bison
management plan.Yellowstone's Country's premier conservation group
criticizes the proposed new bison plan, which has been delayed
from public release for several months. In my view, the coming
winter looks like another bleak one for wild bison, and the
future looks bleak for Wyoming ranchers, elk hunters, and
wildlife enthusiasts with this single-minded federal agency,
APHIS, having seized the reigns of wildlife management in the
|97 Aug 28
National Parks and Conservation Association announces the "Bison
Belong" campaign. I have learned that on July 25, NPCA announced
the "Bison Belong" campaign. They are seeking support from
Montana business offering each business a chance to become a
"bison friendly business" if they agree to five
- 1: Wild bison are a
symbol of the American West that must be protected.
- 2: A healthy and wild
Yellowstone bison herd contributes to the quality of visiting the
Park and the vitality of the Montana business
- 3: The business opposes
the killing to wild bison.
- 4: The Montana and the
national government must agree on suitable winter habitat for
bison in Montana, so the wild bison in Yellowstone can roam
safely into Montana during the winter.
- 5: The governor of Montana
[Marc Racicot] and federal officials must find a solution to the
dispute before the winter of 1997-89 begins.
a month they have enrolled nearly 200 businesses in towns and
cities adjacent to the Park. Here is the list. I know most
visitors want to patronize businesses that want to keep and
protect the Yellowstone County, but how to tell? This is the
first time I have seen a list like this. As a rule of thumb, if
the business supports wild bison, they probably support other
efforts to prevent Western "wise use" officials and APHIS turning
Yellowstone into a de facto ranch. Download this list and take it
with you. I am on my way soon to Red Lodge, Montana. Now I know
where to stay!
In other news, the federal agency,
ADC (Animal Damage Control) has changed its name to "Wildlife
Services." I wonder how many animals will receive their services
|97 Aug 23
bison innards gets 190 days.
|97 Aug 22
service to Buffalo Nations I have made their latest update into a web
page. I do not necessarily endorse all their proposals or
tactics. I mean, after all, if they were a serious group wouldn't
they be handing out money to congressional politicians instead of
trying to educate visitors to Yellowstone? ;-)
|97 Aug 12
blunders into Wyoming and much more." I haven't had time to an
update on the bison for a while, but there is a lot of news, none
of it good.
- Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund
sues to stop the "interim" bison plan.
The plan that resulted in the deliberate killing of over 1100
bison last winter is still in effect and will probably govern
bison "management" for the winter of 1997-8. As a result the
Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (SCLDF, pronounced "skull duff")
is suing in federal court to try and get the plan set aside for
- The new bison plan is
- The final plan for bison
management was supposed to be available to the public for comment
on July 31. This is the plan discussed in my articles of June 22,
June 26, and July 20 (all above). However, due to infighting
among state and federal agencies and within state and federal
agencies, the plan has been delayed. According to the new
schedule, work on the draft plan is to be completed by Sept. 30.
Next is will be printed and released to the public on Oct. 24.
Then, the public will have 120 days to comment. The final version
will be issued June 15, 1998, and formal adoption of a new
management plan is to occur Aug. 15, 1998. Remember that the
"preferred" option has already been chosen (see my June 22
article). This delay also means that the likelihood of another
bison slaughter this winter is growing because the old "interim"
plan will be in effect unless the lawsuit by SCLDF is
- APHIS blunders into
As I indicated in several of the articles above, the federal
agency APHIS is expanding both the geographic boundaries and the
degree of the conflict. I say APHIS has "blundered" into Wyoming,
but that might not be true. I have learned that one of high
officials in APHIS is a real zealot on the matter. He actually
believes brucellosis can eliminated from its animal vectors in
the GYE. The Wyoming situation is complicated. Here it is in more detail.
|97 Jul 20
prominent wildlife scientists do say the bison plan undermines
the essence of a national park as a functioning natural
ecosystem. On the 15 th of July they wrote to President Clinton
asking him to overturn the plan the Park Service has agreed to
with APHIS (the federal Animal, Plant Health, Inspection
Service), the U.S. Forest Service and the state of Montana.
The scientists are Mark S. Boyce and Evelyn
H. Merrill at University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point; Robert A.
Garrott of Montana State University, Cathy Whitlock University of
Oregon; Andy Dobson of Princeton University; Nancy Stanton, chair
of the University of Wyoming's department of zoology and
physiology; Linda Wallace of the University of Oklahoma; and
Samuel J. McNaughton of Syracuse University. All have done
research on and in Yellowstone National Park. With the
exception of Professor Boyce, they were apparently not invited to
testify at the congressional hearings on wildlife management in
Yellowstone held early last spring. See my March 4 update.
The scientists said, among other things, to the President, that
they support the Park's policy of natural regulation which began
29 years ago. The natural regulation policy began in the late
1960s after years of controversy about Park rangers shooting elk
and bison and proposals for hunts inside Yellowstone Park. The
eight scientists wrote:
populations of bison and elk have fluctuated according to natural
variation in forage production, winter severity, disease and
predation. . . . In 1995 with the reintroduction of wolves into
Yellowstone, all of the ecological components are in place to
permit Yellowstone to function unimpeded by human influence. .
Fluctuations in bison abundance may be
fundamental to the natural functioning of the Yellowstone
ecosystem because of the effects that bison have on vegetation
when they are abundant, and because their carcasses provide
important protein for grizzly bears and other scavengers
following severe winters. . . .
Scientists recognize the value of this
[natural] park management policy because parks are ecological
baselines by which we can evaluate the consequences of human
management on landscapes outside the parks.
I believe I said earlier that
wolves would help be a big step forward in natural regulation
inside the Park. I'm pleased that those much more knowledgeable
than I came to the same conclusion. They do disagree with my
earlier comments, however, and apparently see the new plan as
more of a threat to natural regulation than I
|97 Jun 26
are saying that the proposed new agreement marks the end of
Yellowstone's "natural regulation" policy of wildlife. . . not
really, I think. The number of bison will not be allowed to grow
over about 2500. Humans will then limit the further growth. On
the other hand, the reintroduction of wolves is a big step
forward in natural regulation of populations. Now we have wolves,
bears, cougar, bobcats, coyotes, and fox, plus birds of prey,
influencing the size of animal populations inside Yellowstone
National park. The biggest disappointment in the preferred
alternative to me is the continued hysteria over brucellosis. If
western politicians had half as much concern over human disease
and the poor vaccination rate of children in Idaho, Montana, and
Wyoming, folks in these states would be much better
|97 Jun 22
"preferred alternative" has been selected by the various
governments for the new bison management plan. This will be open
to public (your) comment when it is officially released. This new
plan is intended to replace the "interim" plan that resulted in
so much slaughter this last winter. There is some good and bad in
the preferred alternative. Details. Here is the official news release. I received it today
|97 Jun 17
that this year's "recruitment" of new bison would be small are
now confirmed. Fewer than 150 bison calves have been counted,
guaranteeing that the Yellowstone bison herds will go into the
winter of 1997-8 with a population barely larger than the present
reduced population of about 1700. About 3400 bison were present
before last winter's slaughter and winter die-off. About 1100
were deliberately killed and about 600 died of starvation, not
because of deteriorated range; but because a mid-winter thaw,
followed by a storm and a freeze covering the grass with a foot
of solid ice with snow on top of that.
The government is still operating under the so-called "interim
plan". If this plan is not changed a renewed slaughter may occur
next winter. The only saving grace would be a mild winter. Mild
weather may be in order because El Nino has appeared again
in the Pacific Ocean. El Ninos usually bring precipitation-sparse
winters to the Yellowstone Area.
An environmental impact statement is scheduled to be released
this summer on options for bison management. If one of these is
formally adopted by next fall, it would replace the interim plan.
I will keep folks posted about the EIS and how they can respond
to it. As a matter of fact, see the next story (added on June
|97 Jun 4
intertribal bison cooperative meets in Bozeman and likens the
slaughter of the bison to the 19th century slaughter of Native
|97 May 25
Service study concludes Yellowstone's northern range is not
|97 May 10
||Bison are safely
herded back into the Park. Yellowstone National Park officials have herded 107 bison,
which tested negative for brucellosis, back into the Park. The
deployment of cattle west of the Park has been delayed due to bad
weather. Other news: controversial Montana state vet packs his
|97 Apr 30
Governor Racicot order out his gunners to kill the bison on May
1.? Stand by! There are bison outside of the Park at Horse Butte
and along U.S. 20 (leading into West Yellowstone from Idaho) and
U.S. 191 (going north from West Yellowstone). Presently a
blizzard is underway.
|97 Apr 25
Update. Most bison move
away from Park boundaries, but all eyes are on the first of May.
Additional: The federal agency Animal Damage Control (ADC) has
changed its name to "Wildlife Services." I wonder how many
wildlife they will "service" before 1997 is over?
|97 Apr 22
keeps it up. Another alert
from the Bison Advocacy Project.
|97 Apr 9
||Will a new bison
slaughter gear up in May? Another alert from the Bison Advocacy Project.
|97 Apr 7
Overgrazed? Opinion piece
by George Wuerthner.
|97 Mar 27
||Alert from the
Bison Advocacy Project. I
was not familiar with this group (new I suppose). The alert was
emailed to me. I am posting it to provide information on their
view. I have also added some comments of my own.
|97 Mar 24
innards dumped on Gov. Racicot and Secretary
|97 Mar 20
||Only a thousand
bison still alive in latest count.
|97 Mar 18
Americans eat Yellowstone buffalo burgers; Yellowstone Park
Rangers Protest the bison slaughter.
|97 Mar 8
Celebrates Yellowstone's Birthday by killing 1000th bison of the
|97 Mar 4
|97 Feb 27
|97 Feb 18
||CNN story on the bison.
|97 Feb 11
Update. New federal
flexibility on brucellosis, but the Park Service is forced by
lack of success in hazing to begin capturing bison
|97 Feb 5
Update. Feds act to save
the bison; Montana continues the kill.
|97 Jan 30
isn't Management" from the Idaho Falls Post Register
|97 Jan 30
Jan. 30. Yellowstone opts
out of its part in the slaughter.
|97 Jan 27
release by Yellowstone
National Park on the "bison operations."
|97 Jan 25
filed for an emergency
injunction to halt bison slaughter.
|97 Jan 16
bison slaughter alert! This was the first article on what was
to become an endless and pointless controversy. RM