1999 Wolff Den Design - Lady Wolf - Ralph Maughans Wildlife Reports

 

 

The Greater Yellowstone wildlife disease page
 

9/16/06. For new news on wildlife disease in wolf country, go to my blog.. It replaces this page.

An unnecessary American wildlife tragedy began in 1996. This web page began then as the "Yellowstone bison slaughter page," but I recently renamed it to include elk in Wyoming, which are terribly mismanaged by Wyoming Game and Fish Dept. under pressure from politicians who are unable to make a choice when all the options will cause them some political pain. The political connections between wildlife disease, livestock disease, disease of pets, and human disease are becoming more and more obvious to me.

As a bit of history, In the winter of 1996-7 Yellowstone Park's bison herd came under a brutal assault from both bad weather and the Montana Department of Livestock. The winter itself killed about 800 bison, and the Montana DOL shot another 1100 hundred bison that had sought refuge outside Yellowstone National Park. There was plenty of forage available for the bison north of Yellowstone Park in a snow free area, but they were shot instead under the widely disputed claim they would transmit brucellosis to cattle.

Ever since, public protest and civil disobedience has kept Montana Department of Livestock's bison killers at bay. The bison population has grown to a record 4900 inside the Park. But the Montana Department of Livestock is unrepentant, and they even have a new bison plan with the federal government that promises 15 more years of harassment, killing, imprisonment of bison inside Yellowstone Park, and a waste of your American taxpayer money. Worse, they have now coerced the Forest Service and Park Service to become part of livestock bureaucracy's attempt to dominate the wildlife of the Greater Yellowstone. All those interested in wildlife, both watchers and hunters, have great reason to fear the selective use of brucellosis as tool to gain control of Yellowstone Park and Greater Yellowstone wildlife management.

This winter, for the first time, a fair chase bison is being conducted for those bison that leave the Park. Take is limited to just 50 bison. There has been much media controversy over this tiny hunt, but unfortunately after the hunt is over, Montana DOL, and now even Yellowstone Park, who has been corrupted on the issue, can swoop in, as the media go home, and "go to work" on bison that cross the undefined (to animals) Park boundary.

Bison are the only Yellowstone animal not allowed to wander to and from the Park. The argument used to justify  this policy is that some of the bison are infected with brucellosis and that could infect cattle, but there are no cattle west of Yellowstone Park. Moreover, many of the Greater Yellowstone country elk are infected too, and these elk wander everywhere at will. Worse still, the elk and bison of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, far to the south, are overwhelmingly infected due to the well established, but dangerous and outmoded practice of feeding elk at feedlots in the winter -- an ideal way to spread all kinds of wildlife diseases. If brucellosis is to be eliminated or reduced, elimination must start in Wyoming, not Montana or Yellowstone Park. They are the periphery of the problem. Now brucellosis has been spread by feedlot elk to Idaho cattle, and Idaho is about to lose its brucellosis free status, accompanied by deafening media silence, a sure sign of heavy politics.

Meanwhile, the Wyoming elk winter feedgrounds, south of Yellowstone Park, are the true source of the continuing brucellosis infection of both elk and bison in the Greater Yellowstone. That this simple, obvious fact is rarely articulated by those in power shows that there is a hidden agenda at work in this controversy.

These Wyoming winter feedgrounds are a menace to all of the Yellowstone country's wildlife. Should chronic wasting disease (a.k.a. "mad elk") show up, which is very likely, it would go through this artificial concentration of wintering wildlife like a knife through hot butter. Then it would begin to spread to Montana and Idaho.

This page is now beginning coverage of the spread of chronic wasting disease, a prionic disease of deer and elk closely related to other prionic disease such as mad cow disease, C-J (Creutzfeldt-Jakob) disease in humans, scrapie in sheep, Kuru among cannibals, etc. It will also cover other wildlife diseases in the Greater Yellowstone as they may arise.

The continued irrationality of bison/elk and disease management in the Greater Yellowstone is truly an example of state, local, and the federal government operating in a remarkably perverse manner -- wildlife are harmed, enjoyment of watching and hunting of elk, deer, and bison is harmed, money is wasted, and diseases are not confined, but allowed to spread. The politics of wildlife disease is just as intense as the politics of abortion, tax cuts, and national security. A major difference is that little light is cast on this political arena. We find variations of the same ploys that used in issues that get much more national and international attention.


Bison unwittingly leaving Yellowstone's north boundary this winter, heading to their pointless slaughter. Courtesy Mark Miller.

 

In sum, Montana is far too strict with brucellosis in bison, and Wyoming is blind, indifferent, and state policy poses a threat to wildlife and livestock near and far. They have even now infected Idaho!

 
Aug. 4, 2006 Mad cow watch goes blind. Editorial by USA Today. As with chronic wasting disease, with mad cow disease, it's "what me worry! or check!" "Don't you dare check either! USDA has stifled free enterprise and human safety to please their agri-business pals.
Humans To Pay The Price for USDA’s Announcement that Cattle Supply is Safe. PR Leap.
Aug. 3, 2006 I-90 Billboard Spotlights Park Service Role in Bison Slaughter. Patagonia, Inc and Buffalo Field Campaign Join Forces for America's Last Wild Herd. Buffalo Field Campaign. I missed this story while I was in central Idaho (it dates July 17).
Aug. 1, 2006 In the New West, Do They Want Buffalo to Roam? Plans for Tourism-Friendly Reserve Concern Montana Ranchers. By Blaine Harden Washington Post Staff Writer. Eastern Montana and parts of the the Dakotas have fewer people now per square mile than in 1890 when the census bureau stated that the Frontier had disappeared.
July 5, 2006 Business is basis for bison solution [editorial]. Missoulian.
June 13, 2006 Montana Governor's bison ideas irk ranchers [Stockgrowers Association]. By Mike Stark and Jim Gransberry. Billings Gazette Staff. Montana's governor is very cleaver. He has indirectly endorsed allowed bison to live outside of Yellowstone Park (but, "no father than than they already do"). Governor Schweitzer takes their little game of "dreaded brucellosis" and turns it against the bison haters. He wants to compensate the ranchers to remove the small number of cattle that graze near Yellowstone Park and have an expanded bison hunt, which will make bison more popular with those Montanans who are not otherwise supportive of bison outside Yellowstone. The money for the buyout would come from the money they waste each winter hazing bison.
No wonder the Montana Stockgrowers Association hates his idea. Like most interest groups do, MSA pretends to represent all stockgrowers, but in fact its radical conservatism makes it so it only enrolls a small portion of them. The governor depletes their political base further. This leaves the MSA petitioning the Dept. of Agriculture's APHIS to get tougher on the disease, just what the cattle growers in neighboring Wyoming don't want.
Always remember, the brucellosis issue on the livestock side is not really about the disease but about who wields political power.
May 30, 2006

In Wyoming, Charges and Countercharges Fly Over Elk. By Todd Wilkinson. New West. This is a good insight about the kind of aggressive fools that sit on the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, and why the disease-spreading wintertime feeding of elk continues.

May 23, 2006 Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks eyes expanded Yellowstone bison hunt. By Becky Bohrer. Billings Gazette. This would be fine if Montana would also allow bison to live outside the Park and the concurrent killing of bison by Montana DOL and the Park Service was stopped, but, unfortunately these will probably continue. Note: the actual hunt of bison is of those that leave the Park. It is not inside YNP, but the Park Service's roundup for slaughter is inside YNP.
May 22, 2006 Governor Schweitzer eyes more changes in bison management. AP. This is good news, but the Montana governor needs to beware. He is a national figure among Democrats, and the Bush Administration will regard him as an enemy and could pressure APHIS and the National Park Service to be unhelpful.
May 16, 2006

Montana DOL, other agencies, engages in massive violation of private property rights and harassment of wildlife. Buffalo Field Campaign says "property owners fed up"with agencies. It's scary to see the government oppressing the local people for this purposeless endeavor. Will they be satisfied after they have run over a child or caused a traffic accident? It's obvious wildlife and and property rights mean nothing to them. Elections are coming and 71% of the population says this country on the wrong course in the latest poll. Things would change in Montana if the incumbents thought they might lose. June 6 is the Montana primary election. There may be candidates in Gallatin County, MT who would be willing to tell the Gallatin County sheriff to pull out of this.

May 11, 2006 Buffalo Field Campaign. Report from the field.
May 11, 2006 Wyoming Game and Fish refuses to close even the three Gros Ventre River elk feedgrounds. AP. The agency is sure under the thumb of the livestock interests, and the result is going to be a decimation of the Greater Yellowstone's elk and deer herds from chronic wasting disease. These three feedgrounds are the easiest of the 22 Wyoming state elk feedgrounds to close.
-Lots of effort is made to confuse Wyoming hunters as to who their adversary is in Wyoming. Fortunately Robert Hoskins of Crowheart, WY has figured things out. Read his LTE in today's Casper Star Tribune.
May 8, 2006 Deer, elk tongues spread prion disease Hunters asked to retrieve heads to prevent spread of disease By Sandra Blackesless. The New York Times. This is a very important discovery, and it underscores the danger of concentrating elk and deer at winter feeding sites.
Was the tongue removed from the slaughtered Wyoming elk given to the public (see below). How about hunters who have elk sausage made? I have heard there is growing evidence that mad elk disease (chronic wasting disease) can cross the cervid/human species barrier despite the disclaimer at the bottom of this article.
May 8, 2006 Wyoming Game and Fish calls elk trap [and slaughter] success. By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star-Tribune. By what criteria do they judge "success?" For one thing, they didn't kill enough elk to have statistically valid sample, nor do they have a control group. This isn't science, it's just a response to political pressure.
And what about that meat given to the public? Could there be anything besides brucellosis in it--say chronic wasting disease? I'll bet they didn't test for that.
This news release is obviously a response to APHIS (see article below) and to the outraged public who doesn't want to see them killing elk because of brucellosis.
May 8, 2006

Feds [APHIS] aim for more wildlife control By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star-Tribune correspondent. The Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service says Wyoming's is not doing enough to eliminate brucellosis from its elk herds.
The politics of this is very complex. Wyoming clearly doesn't want to close those elk feedgrounds, and nothing more than a slight reduction in brucellosis is possible with the feedgrounds in place, so APHIS is putting on more pressure. The reason the feedgrounds are not closed, however, is the the livestock industry runs things in Wyoming and they would rather put up with the brucellosis (and other wildlife diseases spread at the feedgrounds) than have to provide real winter range.
It should not noted, however, that brucellosis is really not much of menace to livestock, proven by Wyoming and Idaho's weak response to losing their "brucellosis-free status." Meanwhile in Montana, the livestock industry uses the potential loss of brucellosis free status sound like the end of the Earth because there the shoe is on the other foot, and waving the brucellosis flag works to their advantage of maintaining control over matters.
APHIS is hardly the good guys, however. They would like to be able to dictate control and slaughter of all kinds of wildlife throughout the Greater Yellowstone, including the Park. They place no value on our wild heritage.

May 4, 2006

Buffalo Field Campaign describes a Montana DOL that is ugly and out of control. The BFC would like folks to boycott beef, indicating that's what is killing bison. After covering this for ten years and trying various hypothesis to explain their behavior, maybe it's just that the DOL is a bunch of mean bastards who get to express their hostility under the cover of official sanction. I'm pleased that more and more locals are getting fed up with their tactics.

Apr 27, 2006 Tests: 44 percent of slaughtered Yellowstone bison had brucellosis. By Becky Bohrer. AP. This is just flat out wrong. 44% tested positive for exposure to the disease. Sophisticated and expensive testing is needed to detect an activily infected animal. The true prevalence rate is probably a couple per cent. Bohrer has covered this issue long enough that she should not make a mistake like this. Brucellosis isn't the real issue anyway. It just something Montana DOL drags out and waves around every so often trying to scare people and so maintain their agency its control over bison. Here is the Buffalo Field Campaign's take on recent events. Report from the Field.
May 5. A Montana vet refutes reporter Bohrer's article. LTE. Billings Gazette.
As I said above, Bohrer has been reporting on this issue so long, she has no excuse to take statements like "44 per cent of slaughtered Yellowstone had brucellosis" at face value.
Apr 22, 2006 CWC: Chronic Wasting Disease By Richard Anderson. Jackson Hole Planet.
Apr 20, 2006

Buffalo Field Campaign. Update from the field. BFC notes how lightly Idaho as well as Wyoming's governor take brucellosis, compared to Montana. With the Internet, people get a chance to notice these contradictions! Maybe someone could whisper in the ears of the Montana media that Montana and its fear of bison doesn't go beyond the state's boundary.

Apr 19, 2006 Brucellosis rate much higher in elk on National Elk Refuge near Jackson, WY. Associated Press. The infection rate in Jackson Hole bison is up too. I'll say for the hundred time. The brucellosis problem originates in Wyoming, south of Yellowstone Park. It is perpetuated there, compounded there, and can only be solved there, not by killing bison a hundred miles to the north in Montana.
The brucellosis problem is entirely the result of unnatural concentration of elk due to wintertime feeding.
Apr. 20, 2006. Despite this, Gov. Freudenthal says "keep feeding em." AP
Apr. 18, 2006 Yellowstone Park releases the bison it captured last winter, but didn't kill. Billings Gazette. They sent a lot more to slaughter than they retained in Stephens Creek enclosure which was just opened and bison released.
What a waste this winter was! Those bison that were send to slaughter only fattened the pockets of Montana Dept. of Livestock and hurt the budget of Yellowstone Park. If they were allowed outside the Park many would have survived and Montana could have had a much larger bison hunt too.
Apr. 14, 2006 Soil-bound Prions That Cause Chronic Wasting Disease Remain Infectious. Science Daily. The news about "mad elk/mad deer" disease just gets worse and worse!
Apr. 14, 2006

Montana Gov. Schweitzer explains bison ideas to ranchers. Hunting, paying to rid cattle around park could work, he says. By The Associated Press. Although he has to repeat the cant about brucellosis, I think the governor is moving the matter toward what will be the resolution of this divisive generation old issue. Of course, the federal government, including Yellowstone Park, currently has no reason to help out this upstart Democrat as long as Bush is in office. So there is some national level politics keeping a solution at bay.

Apr. 13, 2006

300 bison being held in YNP boundary corral to be released now that grass has started to grow on the northern range near Gardiner. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.

Apr 8, 2006 Buffalo Field Campaign. Report from the field as Spring begins to arrive.
Apr 1, 2006 Colorado stops culling herds of deer, elk Animals won't be killed to contain spread of CWD. By Todd Hartman, Rocky Mountain News. In retrospect there is little reason to think random killed of deer and elk would stop this horrible contagious disease. I think the only hope is wolves might be able to detect an infected animal early on and take it out.
Mar 29. 2006 WY to give away 4 tons of meat from elk testing positive for brucellosis in recent Pindale elk feedlot lot cull." Billings Gazette. AP
Mar 23, 2006 Some prominent Jackson Hole Ranchers question brucellosis fight. By Whitney Royster. Casper Star-Tribune environmental reporter. Although I'm unsure of their motives, folks are starting to ask one of the right questions. Brucellosis seems to emerge and disappear as a menace to livestock according to political convenience rather than its incidence or its location. It is regarded a a great menace in Yellowstone bison although they have never transmitted it. It was regarded as a problem in Wyoming and the state actually lost its brucellosis free status, but now that real change in elk and livestock management is being proposed, the seriousness of its presence in Wyoming elk and bison is questioned. When Idaho recently lost its brucellosis free status, it was like "is this a story anyone thinks is worth covering?"
Mar 23, 2006 300 bison to be held for weeks. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Staff. After overseeing the death of almost 1000 bison this winter maybe the Park Service is getting a bit worried. A very large exit of bison is still possible as grass starts to green outside Yellowstone Park.
Mar 19, 2006 Montana governor Schweitzer suggests removing all cattle near Yellowstone Park to eliminate conflict with bison. AP. Billings Gazette. This is great news! It would save the taxpayers money, and could end the senseless decades old conflict.
Mar 13, 2006 The Killing Fields by Hal Herring, photos by Bill Campbell. Missoula Independent. A thoughtful, long article about the recent bison hunt, the much larger on-going, but increasingly hidden, DOI/Montana bison slaughter, etc.
Mar 13, 2006 Elk-cattle incident reveals division. By Cat Urbigkit. Casper Star-Tribune correspondent. Attention to this story was forwarded to me with the comment," There's a lot of dynamite in this innocuous little story. Just more proof that [Wyoming] G&F knows that brucellosis isn't the issue with feedgrounds, as do the landowners know."
And, of course, it isn't the real issue in Montana either. Idaho's mild reaction to losing its brucellosis free status underscores the whole thing.
Mar 8, 2006 Yellowstone Buffalo Betrayed By Cruelty and Indifference. Massive Slaughter Makes Bison Logo for Dept. of Interior Misleading Advertising. Buffalo Field Campaign.
Mar 5. 2006 Where did the the elk go? Missing Idaho elk prompt quest for answers. By Rusty Tews. Twin Falls Times-News correspondent. Although I regularly condemn Wyoming for feeding elk, the truth is this disease promoting practice has seeped into Idaho -- that's why Idaho lost is "brucellosis free" status. Feedlot elk gave it to Idaho cattle.
This article implies that the elk might not have shown up this winter on the South Fork of the Boise River winter feedground because something wolves did. Let us hope so!
Mar 4, 2006 Park bison numbers drop sharply. By Becky Boher. Associated Press. Ah that passive voice . . . "bison numbers drop ." It's not they were senselessly killed or anything.
Feb. 24, 2006 Buffalo Field Campaign. Report from the Field. It seems like Yellowstone Park is adjusting well to its new role as one of the bad guys in the bison controversy.
Feb. 18, 2006 Chronic Wasting Disease has pretty much settled into the Thermopolis, WY area. By Jeff Gearino.  Casper Star Tribune. The next stop for the disease then would seem to be the elk feedlots of the Greater Yellowstone. Damn fools!
Feb. 17, 2006 Chronic Wasting disease kills 25 percent of elk kept in research facilities. By The Associated Press
Feb. 16, 2006 935 Yellowstone bison rounded up this year. 753 have been shipped to slaughter; population was estimated at 4,900. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.
Feb. 15, 2006 Montana will test cattle found with bison. By Becky Bohrer. Associated Press. This was a bison bull. It's impossible for an infected bison bull to transmit brucellosis unless it mates. Winter is not the mating season with bison. Are we to suppose the lone bull bison mated with any cattle? However, if you look around in the area you will find brucellosis-infected elk standing in pastures with the few cattle present. Brucellosis has been passed onto cattle from elk in both Wyoming and Idaho. So if these people are being anything other than just plain stupid (if brucellosis shows up), it's fraud.
A number of years back a friend with a ranch in the Red Rock Valley of Montana had a bison bull show up among his cattle. They were steers. Montana Dept. of Livestock tried to bullshit him about maybe his cattle already had brucellosis.
Letter on this in Bozeman Chronicle. Feb. 20. Bored to death [hearing about brucellosis]
Feb. 14, 2006 What's Montana's governor up to on bison? By Courtney Lowery. New West. This is interesting, especially because of the great discussion that emerged out of short article.
Feb. 13, 2006 Yellowstone Buffalo Slaughter Nears 800. Park Officials Ignore Mandate and Public Opinion. News release Buffalo Field Campaign. Now that Montana appears to be showing some reason on the bison, the Bush Administration seems to have turned Yellowstone Park into the bad guy, and they are even involving the Dept. of Homeland Security, a pretty ominous development for people concerned about our civil liberties. I thought they were supposed to catch terrorists, not our wildlife.
Feb. 12, 2006 Upset with the bison slaughter, Nez Perce assert treaty rights. By the Associated Press. The Nez Perce tribe has done a lot to oppose backward state plans for wildlife. They brought Idaho's reintroduced wolf population up to the largest in the Northern Rockies, and are opposing the Idaho plan to greatly reduce the population of wolves along the Bitterroot Divide on the Idaho/Montana border Now they are opposing Montana's pointless, decade-long mass slaughter of Yellowstone bison.
Feb, 9, 2006 Governor opts to release bison. By Becky Bohrer. Associated Press. "Nine bison captured after leaving Yellowstone National Park and wandering too far into Montana were released Wednesday, on the advice of Gov. Brian Schweitzer, officials said." Certainly a surprising end to the matter.
Feb. 7, 2006 1. Montana bison hunt nears end; officials call it success. By Becky Bohrer. Associated Press
2. Successful bison hunt may be the thing that changes Montana's opinion about bison. Editorial by the Missoulian.
That's what I hoped. . . . . . get it out of the brutal hands of the Department of Livestock and respected as a game animal.
Feb. 6, 2006 Moving In for the Kill with Montana's Buffalo Hunters. Is it a good way to manage the native herd, or is the solution to give the animals more space? By Nicholas Riccardi, LA Times Staff Writer. The correct answer to the questions the LA Times poses above is neither. Instead, give the bison more space and have larger hunt, both. Some animal rights activists were wringing their hands about the new bison hunt this winter, where less than 40 bison were shot. Meanwhile Montana's Dept. of Livestock and the Park Service corralled over 600 bison and sent them quietly to slaughter. It is the massive quiet slaughter that should be ended. It is OK if they are killed quietly out of sight like a bunch of cows, but not OK if they are hunted in the open in a fair chase? The bison should be given permanent habitat outside the Park and allowed to range there wild, and they should be hunted, perhaps 200 to 500 permits a year. The bison will quickly learn about the hunt and they will be a formidable quarry as they are in Utah's Henry's Mountains which is in fact the only free ranging bison herd in the United States. Yellowstone's bison are not a free range herd because they are not allowed to leave Park boundaries.
Feb. 1, 2006 1. The group that can stop the Montana bison slaughter is the Church Universal and Triumphant. Opinion in the Bozeman Chronicle. The Church, locally called CUT, runs the only cattle to the north of the Park.
2. Wyoming gets its first "test and slaughter" of elk finally underway. By Rebecca Huntington. Jackson Hole News and Guide. They will send over 40 "diseased" elk to Eastern Idaho for slaughter. Casper Star Tribune.
Jan. 31, 2006 1. Montana OKs Nez Perce tribe bison hunt next to Yellowstone Park. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer.
2. Park suspends bison capturing after 700 captured. By Becky Bohrer. Associated Press
Jan. 29, 2006 Hunted and hazed. A bad year for bison gets worse. By John S. Adams. Missoula Independent.
Jan. 29, 2006 1. Brucellosis testing, Wyoming elk slaughter to start Monday. Associated Press, meanwhile Hunters shouldn't panic over CWD study, Wyoming says." By Jeff Gearino. Casper Star Tribune Southwest Wyoming bureau.
Jan. 28, 2006 Must we fear mad deer? Study suggests maybe so. Prions are found in the flesh of diseased deer?infectious bits of brain wasting protein. By Sandra Blakeslee, New York Times (in SF Chronicle).
Jan. 27, 2006 1. Good News. Montana still free of chronic wasting disease. By Perry Backus. Missoulian. The wildlife feeders never made headway in Montana and the results are clear to see -- disease free wildlife.
2. Environmentalists oppose Wyoming's trap, test, and kill brucellosis elk program. Associated Press.  All this will do is kill a lot of elk and nothing to reduce brucellosis or deter chronic wasting disease. Where are Sportsman for Feeding and Whining when help is needed? (The group Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife).
Jan. 24, 2006 Montana's governor starting to look for a better long term solution to bison problem. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. 650 captured and climbing—Governor Schweitzer's folks are looking at giving the bison more room to roam next winter. However, adverse weather conditions could yet put almost all of the Park's bison population outside the Park, subjecting the Park's bison to near extermination.
Jan. 24, 2006 Where Are Hunters When You Need Them? Wyoming Press Joins Chorus Against Elk Feedlots. By Bill Schneider. New West.
Jan. 19, 2006 1. National Elk Refuge begins feeding. By The Associated Press.
2. Wyo should phase-out feedgrounds. Opinion by Meredith Taylor, Casper Star Tribune.

For the first winter wolves are seriously using the National Elk Refuge instead of the state feedgrounds.
Jan. 18, 2006

Logistics of bison slaughter complex. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. I guess killing what now looks like might end up as thousands of bison is complex, especially if you don't want the public to see it or get any chance to protest it. Is that why the Department of Home Security is involved!!?
More than 500 park bison captured. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. McMillion offers some interesting perspective about the importance of where these captured bison migrated from. Luckily, so far, they are from the Park's central herd.
The official justification for all this recent killing is a plan the Park Service was coerced into signing several years ago that informally limits the Yellowstone bison herd to 3000 animals. It was about 4900 animals before the onset of winter. Thus, there are two official justifications for killing bison that leave the Park -- overpopulation, and when that isn't plausible, brucellosis. Of course, no other Park animals are "culled" as they leave the Park  boundaries, and we should all know by now that brucellosis is just a scare story due to the mild reaction when Idaho lost its brucellosis free status and Wyoming's lackadaisical approach to their highly infected elk.

Jan. 17, 2006
Agents round up 200 more bison for slaughter. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette. 400 more are in the pens, most awaiting slaughter. Meanwhile the bison hunt has resumed too. This article is just full of irony, such as "Park officials said all of recently captured bison will be sent to slaughter because officials worry that holding them until spring may habituate the animals to captivity." Also, "The bison meat, heads and hides are donated to social service groups and American Indian tribes." I would be skeptical of this. They said the same thing a decade ago in last big slaughter. It turned out the bison were being sold for bison burger to fatten to pockets of the Montana DOL. I also then posed the question, "Isn't donation to Indians an insult given that most Native Americans honor the bison?
Jan. 16, 2006 1. Idaho officially lost its brucellosis-free status on Friday the 13th. Casper Star Tribune. Just a small article in a Wyoming newspaper, hardly the weeping and wailing and gnashing to teeth we had been led to believe would result.
2. Yellowstone Buffalo. Bullet Dodged in Bison Roundup? By Courtney Lowery. New West. Funny how the drowning bison weren't picked up by the traditional media. Actually it isn't surprising, more-
Jan. 12, 2006 Park Service rounds up 200 Yellowstone bison to send to slaughter, far eclipsing the controversial bison hunt. By Scott McMillion. The bison hunt was cancelled early! As I predicted, the real killing, the killing that matters, began once the media had gone home. Less than 50 bison were killed in the hunt, but the Park Service, quietly rounded the bison up for slaughter and they didn't even make the usual phony pretense about brucellosis before the bison penned and many bound for slaughter. Buffalo Field Campaign's on-the-ground description would not call it "quietly." Photos of drowning bison but, hey it's to save Montana cattle!! In reality not even that is true.
Jan. 8, 2005 IDAHO PRESS NOT INTERESTED. Idaho Loses its Brucellosis Free Status. By Bill Schneider. New West. Long-time sportsman, publisher, and author, Bill Schneider has picked up on the strange silence over Idaho losing its "brucellosis free status." Other than a few blogs, this supposedly catastrophic event has "eluded" the media. The only recent story in the traditional media was in the Capital Press, a for subscription only on-line paper for ag folk.
Jan. 5. 2005 Wyoming's CWD Plan Falls Short. By Bill Schneider, New West. This is a brilliant summary of the difference between Wyoming and Montana in the treatment of elk disease, especially terrifying chronic wasting disease.
Jan. 5, 2005. Wisconsin. If feeding hurts elk, how can it help deer? By Pat Dirkin. Green Bay Press-Gazette. Winter feeding source of ungulate disease, controversy in Wisconsin too. We tend to forget that it isn't just Wyoming that sets a bad example by disease spreading winter feeding of wildlife. Winter feeding of Wisconsin's enormous deer population spreads chronic wasting disease, infects elk, and causes elk/vehicle collisions.
2005 Dec. 28 Idaho has lost its "brucellosis free" status! KIFI Channel 8. It's amazing that so much ink is spilt, or electrons used, claiming that Montana or Idaho might lose their  "brucellosis free" status when justifying the confinement of bison to Yellowstone Park, and how little is said and how little is really changed with wildlife management when the "terrifying" loss of status actually happens or is at hand. In fact you have to seriously search to learn that Idaho is about to lose its brucellosis free status for the same reason Wyoming did 2 years ago -- infected elk, not infected bison, and perpetuation of the disease in elk by feeding them at winter feedlots. This sloppy habit of feeding elk is not common in Idaho, but the Wyoming elk and the Wyoming way of doing things has spilled over into Eastern Idaho. Idaho cattle herds near the Wyoming border have become enough infected that that Idaho's cattle industry will now pay the price, and it's amazing how silent the media are -- once again pointing to the inherent phoniness of the Yellowstone brucellosis in bison controversy.
It should also be noted that Swan Valley, Idaho is not very near Yellowstone Park, but very close to infected Wyoming.

Dec. 31, 2005. It's astonishing how there is no follow-up to this. Goes to show how little brucellosis really matters. Brucellosis on matters when politicians want to use it to "carry water" for their other agendas.
1-3-2006. Idaho to be downgraded. by Cat Urbigkit.
Sublette Examiner. Finally a another story, although in a minor Wyoming newspaper.
1-9-2006. Apparently the KIFI story was a bit premature. The loss appears to be "in process" (papers, documents being prepared, etc.), although this shouldn't alter any conclusions I have made.
 
2005 Dec. 15 Buffalo Field Campaign's update on recent events and "national call-in day."
2005 Dec. 15 Bison herd in the cross hairs at Yellowstone. Too many? Contested hunt aims to thin the ever-growing population at the national park. By Lisa J. Church. Special to the Salt Lake Tribune. The hunt of 50 bison will hardly "thin" the Yellowstone herd of 4900 to which about 500 are added each year. The news focus should be as it always has been --  the failure to allow bison to leave the Park -- a wasted opportunity -- not the piddling hunt. It could be a win/win situation. If the bison could roam legally outside Yellowstone Park, the only losers would be Montana's livestock bureaucrats. Instead for years Montana government has taken a potential win/win situation and made it lose/lose for everyone but the livestock bureaucrats. Unfortunately Montana's new governor hasn't yet shown much leadership on this issue, although I like him much better than his predecessors for other reasons. I keep hoping.
2005 Dec. 13 Officials find land for new bison quarantine facility. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. Ironically, this will be built on a place where one of the very few cattle pastures north of Yellowstone lies (cattle being ostensible reason for confining the bison strictly to Yellowstone Park). It is also not clear what they will do with the bison except kill half of them (those to be quarantined will have already tested "negative" for brucellosis before quarantine). Perhaps when they are through, the now tame bison will be used to start new wild bison herds in Montana or elsewhere. More likely they will sold as livestock. All travelers to Gardiner will be able to see their tax dollars at work as they drive through Corwin Springs.
Note: they will capture 200 bison to quarantine. In doing to they will also capture a lot of bison that test "positive." No doubt these bison will be killed and the meat sold to the unsuspecting public to fatten the coffers of Montana Department of Wildlife. The controversial current bison hunt is only for 50 bison. Big deal! The outrage is what it has always been, not letting the Yellowstone bison live outside the Park.
2005 Dec. 10 Wasting disease expands in central Wyoming deer. By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star-Tribune. As an indication how bad "mad elk" and "mad deer disease can get, "Fawns have a 10 percent infection rate, Yearlings have a 26 percent infection rate, Two-year-olds have an 80 percent infection rate." This disease is contagious, 100% fatal and has not yet reached the Wyoming elk feedground areas.
2005 Dec. 7 Cooperation breaks out during bison hunt.  By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer
2005 Dec. 1 Bad news! More chronic wasting disease shows up near Themopolis, Wyoming. By Brodie Fahquhar. Casper Star Tribune.
2005 Nov. 28 Don't feed the lawyers. Opinion of the Casper Star Tribune. The Tribune wants "the parties" to sit down and work out an agreement" instead of going to court. However, this assumes the parties have something to agree on. The suit is against federal land management agencies, but they are but the indirect target. Most of the real problem is Wyoming Game and Fish and the Wyoming government, who like the smoker who keeps on smoking despite indications of lung cancer, can't stop themselves from feeding the elk in the winter and breeding disease. Wyoming Game and Fish should be the defendant, but what's the legal angle?
2005 Nov. 24 Continuation of elk feeding in Wyoming faces fight. Conservation groups target Forest Service feed grounds, threaten suit. By Rebecca Huntington. Jackson Hole News and Guide. Conservation groups seem to be only folks willing to step up and try to do something realistic about the state's disease-ridden elk feedgrounds.
"Quite honestly, when it gets into this kind of arena, it's not science that typically answers those questions, it's the social-political realities," said the deputy supervisor of the B-T National Forest. He is so right, and with great luck and perseverance the appalling social-political realities of Wyoming can be overcome before they destroy the Yellowstone elk herds and the diseases head into Idaho and Montana.
2005 Nov. 23 First Ever Study To Investigate Impact Of Chronic Wasting Disease On Humans. Science Daily. It has been assumed, with plenty of caveats, that mad elk, mad deer disease cannot be transmitted to hunters who kill and eat the venison. Now a study will systematically look at CJ disease rates in people who have eaten a lot of venison.
2005 Nov. 23 Hunt will be good for state's bison. Opinion of the Kalispell Daily InterLake. Hunters will likely turn out to be friends of freeing bison from their Yellowstone Park confinement. The bad guys are Montana Dept. of Livestock.
2005 Nov. 17 Bison release on north central Montana prairie is start of bid to bring bison back to the Great Plains. Billings Gazette. By Clair Johnson.
2005 Nov. 16 1. Belgrade, Montana, hunter bags the first bison. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer
2. Hunters have success as bison season returns. By Brett French. Billings Gazette.
BFC said the second bison shot, this one near West Yellowstone, had the hunter led to it by the Montana Dept. of Livestock personnel. If true, that would be a serious breach of the rules for the new hunt, which is supposed to be unaided, particularly unaided by the Dept. of Livestock.
2005 Nov. 15 First Montana bison hunt in 15 years starts today. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. This is getting a ridiculous amount of attention. A similar sized bison hunt takes place just outside Grand Teton National Park every Fall with little attention.
2005 Nov. 14 1. Bison hunts return to Montana after 15-year absence. By Brett French. Billings Gazette. The hunt, which will be limited to just 50 bison if they wander outside the Park, begins Tuesday.
2. Bison at record numbers in Park. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Staff. Given the huge enthusiasm for the new fair chase hunt among Montanans, I am hoping this will result in a successful demand that bison be allowed permanent residence of the existing cattle free range outside Yellowstone Park so as to increase their numbers and the hunt. The 12-year policy of allowing Montana Department of Livestock to cart off bison outside the Park to the slaughterhouse every winter (sometimes in the hundreds) may become evident waste to almost everyone.
2005. Nov. 13 Diseases of wildlife are threats to humans and vice versa. Conservation Medicine tracks this form of biological pollution. Newsweek. Interview with Mary Pearl.
2005 Nov. 12 Bison range founded by private group in Northeast Montana. By Sonja Lee. Great Falls Tribune Staff Writer. The idea is to restore this part of Montana which has become seriously depopulated of people back to presettlement conditions.
2005 Nov. 7 1. GYC Conservationist says mad elk disease could reach Wyoming elk feedgrounds next year. By Brodie Farquhar. Casper Star Tribune.
2. Here is another version from the Jackson Hole Star-Tribune. Nov. 8. "Disease spread raises worry."
2005 Nov. 6 Bison study finds one Park road significantly impacts Yellowstone bison movements. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle. I changed the headline the lead from the obvious to a non-trivial finding -- the road of concern is that from the Firehole River north to Madison Jct. and Mammoth Hot Springs.
2005 Nov. 3 1. Chronic Wasting Disease resumes its relentless march toward Western Wyoming. Casper Star Tribune. By Brodie Fahrquhar. Nevertheless, Wyoming Game and Fish continues down their disastrous course even with CWD now on the doorstep of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Please note this fact when you comment on the Jackson Hole Elk and Bison Plan (see below Nov. 2)
2. Wyoming Feedgrounds Double as CWD Time Bomb. By Bill Schneider. New West: The Voice of the Rocky Mountains. If we had a decent US Congress, they would subpoena the Wyoming Game and Fish Commissioners and interrogate them as to why they are threatening the elk and deer of the West with the continuation of their winter elk feedgrounds.
3. Wyoming confirms CWD in deer killed by hunter west of Thermopolis. By Associated Press. Nov. 14.
4. No easy answers for elk. Our view [Casper Star Tribune]. On the elk feedgrounds. Nov. 14
2005 Nov. 2 Comment on the Jackson Hole Elk and Bison Plan. Time is getting short. The link takes you to the Greater Yellowstone Coalition where you can send it a prepared letter or modify it and email it in.  Please remember that elk and bison management and the brucellosis controversy is going to have a big effect on wolves too.
2005 Oct. 28 The Elk Problem. By Bill Schneider. The New West Network. I like this piece, probably because he has same message I have been giving for years -- the brucellosis problem is not Yellowstone bison migrating a little way outside the Park into Montana. The problem is elk, and most specifically Wyoming elk, south of Yellowstone Park. But Wyoming has to be brought kicking and screaming into some kind of rational policy to stop feeding the elk and concentrating and perpetuating the disease. Right now the Federal government at the National Elk Refuge and Wyoming Game and Fish are having a big argument. Finally I should that add ultimately the brucellosis is not an elk problem either. Were their no cattle, it would matter little, but that's not going to happen unless oil rigs crowd all of them out.
2005 Oct. 27 Study Shows Deer In Chronic Wasting Disease Zone Stick To Home. Science Daily. This is good news in that it suggests CWD may spread more slowly across than land than predicted. Of course, the behavior of deer in Wisconsin is not like deer migration in Wyoming where deer may travel many miles between winter range and summer range.
2005 Oct. 24 Despite $13M land deal, Yellowstone's bison find no room to roam. USA Today. The Associated Press. This church has been nothing but trouble for Yellowstone since they moved in on its doorstep in the late 70s to escape the nuclear holocaust their prophet said was coming. First they wanted to build a slaughterhouse in prime grizzly habitat, then they wanted to tap a hot spring outside the Park, which could have drained Mammoth Hot Springs dry, then they sold the Forest Service land at an outrageous price and retained the grazing leases so that wintering wildlife had a hard time getting any benefit, especially the bison.
2005 Oct. 23 1.Two more cases of chronic wasting disease found in Utah deer. AP. Casper Star Tribune.
2. Concern over chronic wasting disease continues to grow in Canada. Calgary Country.
2005 Oct. 22 Guest opinion: Myths concerning roaming park bison disputed. By Mike Mease in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Mease is co-founder of the Buffalo Field Campaign
2005 Oct 14 Schweitzer to hunt bison with a soldier. Associated Press. This is going to be a major political event. Schweitzer is a very popular government. He's even being promoted as a presidential candidate. Moreover, he's a Democrat, and the bison are at an all time high population. Hunting with a soldier is strong political symbolism. Any groups that oppose the hunt are not going to get political support, even from usual sources. It's irritating Montana won't let bison wander outside YNP except to kill them, but the hunt may make bison so valuable that Montana will eventually relent. If this makes free roaming bison more valuable to folks and cuts into the political power of Montana DOL, I think the hunt is a positive development.
2005 Oct 7 Bison may be re-established on the Wind River Reservation. By Brodie Farquar. Casper  Star-Tribune correspondent. The reservation, which is south and east of Dubois, WY, is as large as Yellowstone Park.
2005 Oct 4 Biology professor may have chronic wasting puzzle licked. Colorado Springs Gazette. After wondering how this unusual form of infectious prion disease spreads, it turns out it may be through saliva. This would be good news in that it would mean the ground would not be permanently infected with prions, as had been feared.
2005 Oct 2 Possible canine link ignored in brucellosis battle. By Gil Brady. Jackson Hole Planet. Scientists should explore all credible hypotheses, including one that canids spread the disease. However, the density of brucellosis infection the Greater Yellowstone closely corresponds to elk and bison that visit winter feedlots, not the density of canids. Nevertheless, it would be interesting to know if wolves, coyotes and dogs can spread brucellosis abortis, especially dogs, because they are almost always present among cattle.
Another hypothesis needing a test is if scavenging canids' quick destruction of infected carcasses causes a net reduction in the transmission of the disease to elk and cattle.
2005 Sept. 30 First instance of chronic wasting disease detected in a moose (in Colorado). Newsday. By John Sarch. AP
2005 Sept 16 Anthrax appears in Eastern Montana and kills 37 cattle. By Becky Bohrer. Billings Gazette. While Montana DOL, the Farm Bureau, and livestock associations have been in the news for years all concerned that Yellowstone bison (but not elk) will transmit brucellosis to the cattle that don't exist next to Yellowstone Park, guess what turned out while they weren't looking?
2005 Sept 15 Bison numbers swell at Yellowstone. By Becky Bohrer. AP writer. A record number of 4900 has been reached officially. The comments by Cummins, the Montana Farm Bureau Federation spokesmen, do not indicate he has been on the ground in Yellowstone. My experience this summer in a number of places with many bison is that range is in good condition, especially given the drought (which has abated this spring and summer). The population target of 3000 bison is not carrying capacity. It is a politically derived target, which should be anathema to national parks. Yellowstone does not have a target number of deer, elk, bears, wolves, pronghorn, bighorn, or anything else. Why bison? Politics. The fact that the Farm Bureau doesn't like the upcoming bison hunt, disappointing though it may be to conservationists because Montana didn't give any non-Park habitat, shows it is on the right track. Cummins' organization in the past, folks should remember, was one of the leading forces against the highly successful and beneficial reintroduction of wolves. Brucellosis, is a diversion. The problem is in Wyoming mostly, and its perpetuation and only solution is in Wyoming.
2005 Sept 9 New bison hunt gets go-ahead in Montana. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. This hunt is a big improvement of what was being proposed under former governor Judy Martz. The new hunt will take place over a much larger area. It will be a fair chase hunt. In the past hunts of the 1980s, Montana DOL would find a bison and take a hunter to it to kill it. This time the hunters will have to find a bison. Hunted bison do learn to be wary. It's not like shooting a house. The number of bison slated to be taken is small (50), and the Park's population is at a record 5000! Hopefully, Montana folks who have not been appalled by DOL's pointless slaughter will come to appreciate the bison, bison will be allowed to roam outside the Park all year long like they do in Wyoming and bigger hunts can be held in the future.

A note of caution, however, we should not underestimate the ability of Montana Department of Livestock to creep around the edges and mess things up. Anti-hunting groups would be politically smart not interfere with the hunt.

2005 Sept. 7 Teton County, Wyoming officials comments on elk feeding delayed. By Whitney Royster. Casper Star-Tribune. Clark Allan's comments in the article are particular inane where he says the brucellosis problem won't be solved until the national parks eradicate the disease there. The national parks are not the source of the continuing infection. The National Elk Refuge and the state feedgrounds are the continuing source of infection. The truth is that brucellosis will decline and maybe die out if the feedgrounds are closed. Alan is trying to manipulation the blame game.
2005 Sept. 6 Wyoming gears up for their first winter of test and slaughter of brucellosis positive elk. By Jeff Gearino, Casper Star Tribune. They don't want to close the feedgrounds which spread the disease because they don't want elk numbers to decline, but testing and slaughtering them in an area where about 25% of the elk test seropositive will not cause a decline?
Note that testing seropositive for brucellosis is not the same as being infected with it or infectious. As few as 10% of the 25% may be infectious. So kill a hundred elk and you eliminate maybe 2 or 3 elk that are infected. Then what about those who test seronegative, but are actually infected -- "false negatives?" Just takes one "false negative" and the slaughter is largely for naught.
2005 Sept. 3 National Elk Refuge feeding debate ignites. Proponents, opponents disagree over validity of disease risks. By Rebecca Huntington. The elk feeders are living in a fool's paradise. Mad elk disease is moving right toward the area and it will kill the elk if it gets on these feed lots. The Elk Refuge and the state winter elk feedlots are like New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina.
2005 Aug 27 Biosecurity regs, funding hamper vaccine research. By Nadia White. Bozeman Chronicle (originally pub. 8-21)
2005 Aug 24 Group rejects elk feedground closure plan offered by Wyoming conservation groups. By Jeff Gearino. Jackson Hole Star Tribune. Its obvious that Wyoming lacks the political will to do anything that will really reduce the incidence of brucellosis in elk, bison, or fend off the spread of chronic wasting disease in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
2005 Aug. 17 Scientists seek brucellosis fix through a better vaccine. By Jeffrey Jacquet. Casper Star Tribune. They are trying harder to develop a better vaccine for wildlife. The current vaccines are, in my opinion, next to useless. There was one whopper of a misstatement or misquote in the story . . . "Tom Linfield, who is part of the Greater Yellowstone Interagency Brucellosis Committee, said a vaccine is important because the current methods of containment will likely not go far enough.
'There is more livestock in the greater Yellowstone area than there are people in all of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana combined,' " he said.
In fact there are many times more people in these 3 states than there are livestock in the Greater Yellowstone.
2005 Aug 9 USDA wants faster elk-feeding phase-out in Wyoming. By Whitney Royster. Casper Star-Tribune environmental reporter. Good news! The faster the better, not just to reduce brucellosis, but to meet the threat of chronic wasting disease which is moving from eastern Wyoming to the west.
2005 Aug 1 BFC meets with Montana Governor. Update from the field, Buffalo Field Campaign
2005 July 9 Montana OKs bison hunting outside park. By Becky Boher. AP. The devil is in the details, but this seems to be an improvement over the bison hunt proposed for, but cancelled last winter.
2005 July 6 Research teams hope to find new brucellosis vaccine. Associated Press. Finally, a worthwhile action dealing with the endemic brucellosis infection. However, after reading the article I get the impression that developing a new vaccine to replace those currently used with almost no benefit, has not been, nor is even now, a major effort.
2005 July 2 Gallatin National Forest Destroyed Files Sought by Bison Advocates. Note this was dated June 23. I was in the field at the time. More on this from the Missoula Independent. Shredding light in Gallatin N.F. by John S. Adams.
2005 June 18 Guest opinion to Billings Gazette: Legislation offers logical plan for wild bison. Local neighbors to West Yellowstone ask you to support the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act.
2005 June 16 Buffalo Field Campaign. Report from the field. Please lend your support to the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act.
2005 June 8 Final Study on How Groomed Roads Influence Bison Movement Available to the Public. Yellowstone Park news release.
2005 June 2 Buffalo Field Campaign. Report from the field. Summary of the winter and spring.
2005 May 19 1. Opinion. May 18. Dome Mountain not the place for bison facility. Bozeman Chronicle.

2. May 15. Bison quarantine facility proposed on Montana state wildlife land. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle.

2005 May 17 Wyoming Elk Feedground partial phase-out proposal takes shape. By Whitney Royster. Casper Star-Tribune environmental reporter. Wyoming is where the real brucellosis problem is.
2005 May 4

Forest Service removes records; bison group 'shocked'. Associated Press. What is the Forest Service trying to hide? I suppose it is the fact that the taxpayers paid $13-million to acquire this private land under the guise that is was to be to support bison (and other wildlife, which it does).

2005 April 28 Buffalo Field Campaign says "boycott the livestock industry this week." DOL harasses bison far into Yellowstone Park, and more.
2005 April 25 Special Message from the Buffalo Field Campaign
2005 April 24 Where buffalo roam: Activists make a stand for Yellowstone bison. AP. Billings Gazette. Feature on the Buffalo Field Campaign.
2005, April 16 Wild Buffalo Suffer Week of Capture, Quarantine & Slaughter. Buffalo Field Campaign news release.
2005, April 16 More bison sent to slaughter.
2005 April 12 Buffalo Field Campaign news release.19 Wild Buffalo Cows and Calves Slaughtered by Livestock Agents.
2005 April 6 Buffalo Field Campaign news release. Montana DOL captures 24 bison  and pointlessly hazes 259 back into Yellowstone Park. Update 4-7, 13 of the 24 bison were released and essentially all of the hazed bison quickly moved back out of Yellowstone Park to Horse Butte on the National Forest.
2005 March 31 Buffalo Field Campaign. Report from the Field. Montana Dept. of Livestock unusually vicious this week.
2005 March 24 Buffalo Field Campaign. News from the field.
2005 March 23 Three bull bison sent to slaughter after trying for two weeks to bait them out of YNP. BFC news release. Although 3 bison make no ecological difference, this is just reaffirmation the lying, sleazy, and sneaky nature of the Montana DOL. They bait the bison out of Yellowstone Park, then they assert that they bison they lured are a disease threat to cattle, although there are no cattle around, and they ship the bison off to slaughter. At least they could leave the carcasses in the Park so the biomass doesn't leave the area.
2005 March 17 Buffalo Field Campaign. Update from the field. Buffalo neutering bill needs your comments quick. Livestock agents up to their usual idiocy.
2005 March 17 Second bison capture facility planned. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. The 500 acre enclosure would be at Dailey Lake, taking up space on state elk winter range. Critics say the whole process might just be an expensive step in the privatization of bison.
2005 March 16 Wyoming Game and Fish commissioners vote to test and slaughter elk rather than close elk feedgrounds in effort to reduce brucellosis. By Jeff Gearino. Casper Star Tribune. In Wyoming, where, unlike Montana, there really is a brucellosis problem because of the mixing of highly infected elk, bison, and cattle, the response is going to be to test and slaughter elk (on an experimental) basis as they come to one of the 23 elk feedgrounds next winter. Conservationists want the elk feedgrounds closed instead because that's where the disease is spread. Montana never fell into the bad habit of feeding elk in the winter.
It's not really an all or nothing deal, the 3 Wyoming elk feedgrounds in the Gros Ventre river would be easiest to close. With the mild winters many elk are already avoiding them, and they have a lower infection rate.
In Montana, the Dept. of Livestock has continued to keep the bison away from the non-existent cows west of YNP.
2005 March 10 Buffalo Field Campaign. Update from the field.
2005 Feb. 28 New celebratory release of buffalo nickel is ironic, and Orwellian, in the face of Montana's and federal treatment of wild bison. Buffalo Field Campaign.
2005 Feb. 24 Buffalo Field Campaign Report. Stupid, but awful bison bill advances in Montana legislature.
2005 Feb. 22 Livestock interests kill Montana bill to put Fish, Wildlife and Parks in charge of bison hunt rather than Dept. of Livestock. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle.
2005 Feb. 17 Buffalo Field Campaign update. Lots of bad political news. Silly bison bill advances. Incompetent federal ag agency may gain management control of all  Yellowstone wildlife.
2005 Feb. 10 Buffalo Field Campaign. News from the field. BFC testifies against silly bison bill.
2005 Feb. 8 Three bison bills introduced to Montana legislature. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Chronicle. One bill, Senate Bill 353, would neuter bison that left Yellowstone Park and then donate them to Indian tribes who want rebuild their bison herds. Seems like that must be a reporting mistake, but the reporter (McMillion) took care to indicate that's what the bill proposed. Maybe the state legislator needs to learn about the "birds and the bees."
2005 Jan. 30
Gov. Freudenthal lukewarm on elk feedground suggestion by Gov. Brian Schweitzer. AP. And so it goes. There will never be any progress on brucellosis, barring an effective vaccine, as long as Wyoming is wedded to its diseased elk feedlots instead of free roaming winter range. Moreover, Wyoming is a menace to Idaho's big game as well as Montana's. Jan. 31. Here is a related LTE from a Crowheart, WY resident.
2005 Jan. 28 Wyoming quietly offers well-run bison hunt. By Mark Henckel. Outdoors Writer Billings Gazette. This is what Montana could be doing rather than hazing bison back into the Park. In addition, essentially all of the Wyoming bison test positive for brucellosis, unlike the YNP Bison where only 30 -50% do and more exact test shows only a couple per cent are truly infectious. Once again is it good when the media take time to show the disparity between the brucellosis-lax feedlot state of Wyoming, and far too strict Montana Department of Livestock.
2005 Jan. 27 Buffalo Field Campaign meets with the new governor of Montana. BFC field report.
2005 Jan. 26 Montana's new governor Schweitzer gets bison advice. By Jennifer McKee. Billings Gazette State Bureau
2005 Jan. 20 Wildlife officials to test quarantine of 100 Yellowstone bison calves. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.
2005 Jan. 19 Schweitzer's bison proposal faces obstacles. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette Staff. Famed Yellowstone wildlife researcher at MSU, Robert Garrott, is skeptical of the plan.
2005 Jan. 19 Wyoming reaction to Montana's new bison plan proposal at best lukewarm. By Whitney Royster. Casper Star Tribune.
2005 Jan. 19 Montana's new governor has a new bison plan. By Scott McMillion. Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Gov. Schweitzer wants to step away from the past, but eliminating all the bison in Yellowstone and starting over will provoke tremendous opposition, and will be useless unless the infected elk are dealt with, and the continuing source of elk infection is the elk feedgrounds in Wyoming. There is really little any Montana official can do to eliminate brucellosis without the complete cooperation of Wyoming, and also depopulation the entire Yellowstone ecosystem of elk as well as bison. Some serious thought about cost versus benefits is needed.
2005 Jan. 13 Decision to cancel Montana bison hunt was visionary. Opinion in the Bozeman Chronicle.
2005 Jan. 11 Bison hunt killed: Montana FWP commission votes 4-1 to cancel season. By Jennifer McKee. Billings Gazette State Bureau.
2005 Jan. 10 The hunt has been cancelled, but the more important Montana DOL, now aided by the Bush-compromised Park Service and Forest Service, campaign against free roaming bison continues. BFC News Release on hunt cancellation.
2005 Jan. 7 Drawing of Montana bison tags put on hold. By Walt Williams. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer. The new Montana governor appointed 3 new members to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
2005 Jan. 6 Bison hunt opponents seek licenses. By Mike Stark. Billings Gazette.
2005 Jan. 5 Montana's new governor wants to cancel the bison hunt. Billings Gazette. By Bob Anez. It looks like favorable change is in the wind. Gov. Schweitzer seems to favor a bison hunt if it is a real hunt and bison get to wander outside the park like elk, deer, bears, and antelope do. He doesn't favor the token hunt of 10 bison in the small Eagle Creek drainage -- the only place outside YNP, Montana DOL lets bison roam freely.

 

 

-Return to Ralph Maughan's Wildlife Reports-  

?1999 Wolff Den Design - Lady Wolf - Ralph Maughans Wildlife Reports
Site and Photos owned by Copyright © 1995-2006 Ralph Maughan.
Site Design and Graphics by 1997-2000 Wolff Den Design. All Rights Reserved.
No part of this site or any material within this site may be
used without the expressed written permission from the author.