Buffalo in the Gardiner Basin, in the vicinity of Yellowstone’s trap. BFC photo by Stephany Seay.
Update from the Field: Wild Buffalo Running Out of Safe Places
Yellowstone is gearing up to capture wild buffalo in the Gardiner Basin. Park employees were seen putting out hay in the outer catch pens of Yellowstone’s Stephens Creek buffalo trap, and have opened the gate, in an attempt to lure buffalo into the facility. Three buffalo were seen in there earlier in the week, but, with the gate opened, they soon left. Winter is a difficult time for grazing animals, and when they see free hay, it’s something that is hard for them to resist.
Montana’s state hunt ended today, February 15, but there are still a number of tribes hunting under treaty right. If Yellowstone begins capturing buffalo in earnest while treaty hunting is ongoing, it will interfere with the treaty hunts of multiple tribes. In the past, Yellowstone’s response is that they don’t think hunters are killing enough buffalo. With a goal of killing upwards of 900 buffalo, with about 200 killed so far, Yellowstone is feeling a sense of urgency to capture and kill as many as they can, to ensure that Montana livestock interests are pleased. After all, when it comes to wild buffalo, that is who Yellowstone is working for, rather than the buffalo who they are obligated to protect. Yellowstone always claims that their “hands are tied”, that they are forced to capture and kill the last wild buffalo. They always like to play the victim saying that it’s Montana’s fault (which, in large part, it is), but Yellowstone is absolutely responsible for their operation of the trap, and for never defending the buffalo. They bend over backwards to do the killing wanted by Montana’s livestock industry. It is good to remind them that the document they signed, which became the Interagency Bison Management Plan, for which their trap is a tool, can be terminated by them or any agency, at any time. All they have to do is provide a 30-day notice to terminate this nefarious plan. That’s it! See the Executive Summary of the Final Impact Statement of the Interagency Bison Management Plan (PDF), page iii, the last sentence of paragraph one, where it states clear as a bell: “Finally, the agreement provided that any agency could terminate the agreement by providing a 30-day notice to the other parties that the agency would withdraw from the agreement.”
TAKE ACTION! Call Yellowstone’s Superintendent Dan Wenk and tell him to keep their trap shut! Remind him that Yellowstone’s hands are not tied, they can pull out of the IBMP, stop the slaughter, and refuse to choose to serve Montana livestock interests. # 307-344-2002
Here is your opportunity to officially weigh in on the use of helicopters and motorized vehicles by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to round up wild horses and burros on the Public Lands.
Comments can be made in January and February 2018 for wild horse herds specifically targeted for round-ups in Idaho and Montana.
Please know that Equine Advocates is completely opposed to wild horses and burros being rounded up at all! With that said, getting rid of the helicopters and other vehicles which cause terror, suffering and in many documented cases, the needless injuries and deaths of these animals, would be an important step in helping to eliminate some of the cruelty.
Before you email the BLM, you might want to read the details of the riveting 5-year investigation expedited and released by the Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) in 2017. The information contained in this White Paper is invaluable and provides lots of background information about the corruption and mismanagement of wild horses and burros by the BLM.
“The BLM should not be doing any round-ups at all because their population estimates are not scientifically defensible,” said Debbie Coffey, Vice President of the WHFF and co-author of the White Paper.
There are two sets of dates and times for which to submit your comments regarding herds of horses in Idaho and Montana, respectively. Idaho comes up first comes up on 1/23 so please read the details carefully by clicking (HERE). For those who cannot attend the hearings in person, there is an email address provided at which to make written comments. There is also a phone number for those who have questions about attending the hearings and other inquiries.
“The fishing incident would be a comical encounter if not for the dangerous precedent set to ban reporters who tell the truth.”
Secretary Zinke Bans Reporter for Honest Coverage of His Terrible Fishing Ability
A reporter from Outside Magazine wrote a profile on Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke after they went fly-fishing together. Towards the end of a very worthwhile piece he noticed something worth mentioning:
As Zinke and I casted over the ice-cold water, I noticed something funny about his setup. He kept struggling to strip line out of the bottom of the reel. For a while, I thought he was simply having trouble concentrating on our conversation while casting. No, there was something wrong, and when I asked him to stand for a portrait, I finally saw what the problem was. He had rigged his reel backward, so that the line was coming out of the top of the reel. Every so often when he went to strip line out, he would grasp air where the line should’ve been.
Seems like an inconsequential thing, but in Montana, it’s everything.
After mentioning this at the end of the article the editor of Outside Magazine was banned from the next conference call held by the Department of the Interior where Secretary Zinke was busy attacking the outdoor clothing company, Patagonia, for daring to stand up to him and his illegal action of shrinking National Monuments. Outside Magazine reported:
Ryan Zinke, the secretary of the interior, was not pleased. On a Tuesday conference call with reporters he called Patagonia “a special interest group.” (Outside was not on the call. Despite repeated efforts to join, one of our editors was blocked. The previous day, the magazine had published a critical profile of Zinke by Elliott Woods that illustrated, among other issues, the secretary’s struggles to properly rig a fly rod.)
“Another installment in the Dinky Zinke Chronicles. This was published in 2014 and points to Dinky Zinke being a scum-ball and stealing from the American Tax Payers to go home and visit Mommy YEARS AGO. It appears that not a damn thing has changed and he obviously did not learn any lessons. If Capt Bailey only knew, back then, how bad things would get.
Like the other horse eaters before him, Dinky needs to go. Is ANYONE in the Administration listening out there?!?!?” ~ R.T.
“You gonna fly for FREE, baby!!!”
There have long been rumors about Senator Ryan Zinke’s tendency to both exaggerate his role as a Navy SEAL and to underplay the serious ethical violations that derailed his career, but given the privacy afforded those records, it’s always been difficult to detail the truth about Zinke’s career in the military.
Captain Larry Bailey, who commanded Zinke while he was in his SEAL class, recently wrote a letter detailing some of the problems with Zinke’s military career. What Bailey argues is what many of us who have watched Zinke’s career have also seen: “he is willing to do whatever it takes to reach the next level.”
In short, Bailey argues that Zinke misused Navy funds for personal travel and has inflated the importance of his role in Navy SEAL Team Six. Bailey writes, “He was never a commanding officer and was bypassed for possible consideration for promotion to captain as the result of his travel transgressions.”
No one here has questioned the value of Senator Zinke’s service to his nation in the military, but his tendency to inflate his own role and promote himself at the expense of the truth and even basic decency, has been the defining element of his political career.
Captain Bailey’s letter follows:
It is most unpleasant to write these words, as I have long considered myself a friend of Ryan Zinke. In fact, he was in the first Basic UDT/SEAL (BUD/S) class to graduate under my command in 1985. I remember him well and thought that he would have a stellar career.
He did have such a career until he showed a defect in his moral make-up, and the Left is already well aware of what he did, although perhaps not in so much detail as I go into. They will, however, before the general election, so I have decided to anticipate them by providing this statement.
This information was provided to me by sources personally known to me and to those who were directly involved in the actions involving Ryan.
What did he do? Simple—he used Navy (taxpayer) travel funds to make multiple trips from Norfolk, VA, to his home in MT, ostensibly to scout out training sites for his squadron. The truth was that he went to work on some family property and, apparently, on one occasion, took two or three other Navy SEALs with him.
These trips not only involved airfare, but they also involved per diem and personal use of Navy time. To his credit, Ryan, when confronted with his transgressions, admitted his culpability and paid back the funds he had expended.
Ryan’s moral failings, in my opinion, do not end with his being separated from his SEAL team over the travel scandal. His political career has some questionable acts associated with it, to include his creation (with some heavy-hitting New York and Boston lawyers and PR people) of Special Operations for America (SOFA), a Political Action Committee, back in early 2012. At that time, I sought out Ryan to work with me in establishing an umbrella organization of Special Operations Forces from all the services.
After looking carefully at the situation in which he was involved, I just didn’t feel comfortable getting hooked up with what was clearly going to be a high-donor operation and possibly geared to Ryan’s future political benefit. That has turned out to be the case, as evinced by the fact that, almost immediately after Ryan declared his candidacy for the US House, he resigned as SOFA’s chairman and was given a grant from the very Political Action Committee he established. That, to me, is not “conflict of interest;” it is “coincidence of interest.”
The account of what I have read about SOFA having its headquarters in property owned by the Zinke family that is across the street from the Zinke family home, further validates the “coincidence of interest” hypothesis.
As a retired Navy SEAL officer, I also take exception to the looseness with which Ryan described his Navy career. Depending on which bio one reads, he was “a” or “the” commander in a certain high-capability Navy SEAL Team. He was never a commanding officer and was bypassed for possible consideration for promotion to captain as the result of his travel transgressions.
He also has stated that former Cong. Allen West has endorsed his candidacy. I spoke with Colonel West personally and learned that, while he spoke kind words about Ryan, he did not endorse him. Subsequent to my conversation with him, Colonel West has made clear that that was not the case and will not be the case during the primary.
Having seen a heavily redacted copy of Ryan’s DD-214, which is a summary of his military career, I noted that, unlike his claim to have received two Bronze Stars for combat, he actually received them for meritorious service. Neither had the Combat “V” for Valor, which would have been the case had he earned the awards for combat.
The statement by a retired Navy SEAL Master Chief sums up the essence of Ryan’s character. The man told me personally that Ryan is PNG (persona non grata) at his old SEAL team, primarily for the misleading statements he has made about his rank and importance at that “special” team. That is a sad commentary on a man who had all the potential in the world and has, instead of coming clean about himself and his mistakes, tries to re-write his personal history in order to achieve political office.
I am certain that Ryan would have acquitted himself well if he had led his men in actual combat instead of being a theater manager of the combat units assigned to him.
I am sure that Ryan will do his best to rebut these serious allegations. He can prove me wrong by making his unredacted DD-214 available for public examination. I would like nothing better than to have been shown that I was wrong, but that won’t happen.
Why do I, a transplanted Texan living in NC, want to rupture more than one friendship over Ryan Zinke’s candidacy for the US House of Representatives? Simple—Ryan’s ambitions will not stop here. He has shown by his dissimulation of facts regarding his career that he is willing to do whatever it takes to reach the next level—in his case, the US Senate. I cannot abide that prospect, because THEN he is representing ME and every citizen of this land as a member of one of the world’s most prestigious deliberative bodies.
It is not with a personal grudge, whim or politically charged prejudiced that I write about newly appointed Secretary of the Interior Ryan “Dinky” Zinke but instead it is with an all too clear memory of where this political animal first crawled out from underneath his rock and embarrassed humanity by opening his mouth and exposing the stone cold heart that resides within the shell of his human body.
This man, and I use the term loosely, has been practicing for years to be the public, political egomaniac that he is today. Under investigation for multiple misuses of tax payer dollars, trying to shrink current national monuments and public land, walking back restrictions on sick trophy hunter imports, adorning his office with dead and murdered animals and most importantly to equine advocates, trying to strip the federal protections from our iconic wild horses and burros while promoting the slaughter of said equines for human consumption, the list is endless.
Late last year, when the name Zinke first floated to the surface as a possible appointee for the DoI slot, I immediately saw the greasy slick begin to form on the surface of that Cabinet Kettle and the stench brought back some ugly memories. All that is “Dinky” is not what it appears to be.
Below is just one of many articles that chronicle Zinke’s early political quest to butcher, slaughter and kill American horses; a concept abhorrent to over 80% of American citizens. It is just the first installment of a ‘look-back’ onto the man that is charged with protecting our public lands and all of the creatures that walk upon their cherished soil. It is unfathomable that such a reprehensible character has slithered his way into a position where he can now manipulate and collude with his special interest good ole boys to diminish all that is natural for the sake of money, power and ego.
Back in March of 2009 he gets in his quotes (below) and tells the world what to do with ‘old horses’.
This guy has got to go!
Horse Slaughter Bill Breaks Trail in Montana Senate
HELENA – Horse slaughterhouses might find a new home in Montana if a bill to spur their construction passes one more hurdle in the state Senate.
House Bill 418, which senators endorsed Thursday on a vote of 27-23, aims to rein in possible state court actions that might discourage construction of a horse slaughterhouse in Montana.
It follows the closure of the country’s last slaughter facility in DeKalb, Ill., after the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an Illinois law prohibiting slaughter of horses for human consumption.
After one more successful vote in the Senate, the measure introduced by Rep. Ed Butcher, a Republican horse owner from a central Montana farming community, would move to the governor’s desk.
In Thursday’s Senate debate, the bill’s passage was hitched to Montana’s roots as a Western ranching state, with supporters urging fellow lawmakers to view horses as livestock that can outlive their commercial purpose.
“This is horse country, and it’s good horse country, and there’s a heritage there that we don’t want to lose,” said Sen. Rick Ripley, R-Wolf Creek.
Without a nearby slaughter facility, supporters said, the abandonment of old, sick or injured horses will likely increase as the country slumps further into the hardships of an economic recession.
“When a horse is too old to breed, too old to ride, or too expensive to feed, a horse is disposed of,” said Sen. Ryan Zinke, R-Whitefish, who carried the bill in the Senate.
As it stands now, old horses can be set out to pasture in a handful of equine shelters in the state, or disposed of through euthanasia — options that some Montanan horse owners cannot afford, according to those who wish to see a slaughter facility in the state.
The bill’s opponents, however, bridle at the suggestion that slaughterhouses somehow align with the customs of a state where self-reliance is a core value.
“Yes, we’re in tough economic times, but I was raised like most of you to take personal responsibility for the decisions you make, including the decision to own a horse,” said Sen. David Wanzenried, D-Missoula.
The legal protections the bill would give slaughter companies have also prompted criticism.
“I don’t think there’s a business that we give a blank check to that says no injunction,” said Sen. Rick Laible, R-Darby, one of two Republicans voting against the bill.
The bill would require those challenging a slaughter facility permit to post a bond worth 20 percent of its construction costs. It would also prohibit courts from halting construction of a facility once it’s been approved by the state.
Other states where horses play a vital role in the economy have also recently considered studying the impact of opening slaughter facilities, and legislation is afoot elsewhere that asks Congress to support states’ rights to regulate horse transport and slaughter.
Most of it, though, is directed at a bill pending in Congress that would prohibit transporting across U.S. borders horses that would be killed for meat, effectively removing Canada and Mexico as slaughter destinations.
If a slaughterhouse were to open in Montana, old horses from other states could be brought here for processing, with the meat going to overseas market and other byproducts used in things like glue — a prospect that some argue would sully Montana’s reputation, but not one that frightens those in favor of the measure.
“I don’t care about what Chicago or anybody else says. I care about what Montanans say,” Zinke said in his closing remarks.
Brad Wilson is following a forest trail and scanning the dusky spaces between the fir trees for signs of movement. The black handle of a .44 Magnum juts prominently from his pack. If he stumbles on a startled bear at close range, the retired sheriff’s deputy wants to know the gun is within quick reach, in case something stronger than pepper spray is needed. Wilson isn’t the type who likes to take chances; he’s the type who plans ahead.
Before setting foot on this path, he unfolded a huge U.S. Forest Service map and reviewed the route, Trail 267. He put a finger at the trailhead, which was next to a ranger’s station, then traced its meandering path into the Crazy Mountains, a chain in south-central Montana that’s part of the northern Rockies. Like many of the trails and roads that lead into U.S. Forest Service land, Trail 267 twists in and out of private properties. These sorts of paths have been used as access points for decades, but “No Trespassing” signs are popping up on them with increasing frequency, along with visitors’ logs in which hikers, hunters, and Forest Service workers are instructed to sign their names, tacitly acknowledging that the trail is private and that permission for its use was granted at the private landowners’ discretion.
Wilson hates the signs and the logbooks, interpreting them as underhanded attempts by a handful of ranchers to dictate who gets to enter federal property adjacent to their own. Several of the owners operate commercial hunting businesses or rental cabins; by controlling the points of ingress to public wilderness, Wilson says, they could effectively turn tens of thousands of acres of federal land into extensions of their own ranches. That would allow them to charge thousands of dollars per day for exclusive access, while turning away anyone—hikers, anglers, bikers, hunters, locals like Wilson, or even forest rangers—who didn’t strike a deal.
Wilson, 63, is out on the trail to show me how the paths weave through private plots before reaching a destination he loves, and to show me why he loves it: The pebbled trout streams are crystalline, the elk run rampant, and painterly snowcaps break the big sky. The ranches along the way are pretty great, too, the kind of real estate that inspires—and, if acquired, perhaps even satisfies—the hunger a lot of people feel for scenic refuge. Many of the landholders are newcomers from out of state, though some old-timers remain—families that earned their deeds generations ago, the principal paid by ancestors who shivered through pitiless winters in tar-paper shacks. Wilson has been hiking and hunting the Crazies since he was a little kid, but only in the past year or so, he says, have the private ranchers seemed more like obstacles than neighbors. “They could shut down pretty much the whole interior of the Crazy Mountains, as far as I can see,” he says. Read the rest of this article HERE.
“This article does a very good job of chronicling the current and ever growing list of ‘Dinkie’ Zinke’s indiscretions and questionable behavior but it falls short of describing his checkered and horse hating past. We will bring information forward that provide verification that Dinkie does not only hold disdain in his heart for the American tax payer but also harbors a sick blood-lust for our equine companions be they domestic or wild. He needs to be removed from his position before he forever damages the beauty of our public lands and the wild life that lives therein, he has got to go.” ~ R.T.
Ryan Zinke faces a range of accusations, and some investigations are underway.
In recent weeks, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has taken a lot of heat for his decisions. Conservation groups have lambasted him over the secretiveness of his department’s monuments review. The final review has yet to be made public, though a draft of the report leaked to the press in September. Conservationists have also critiqued his moves to undo years of collaborative planning for sage grouse protection.
Amid all this, several events have come to light that raise questions about Zinke’s ethical practices. The now-revoked Whitefish Energy contract for grid repair in Puerto Rico — though the tiny firm hails from his hometown, Zinke denies any involvement — is only the latest example. Some of his rumored transgressions have quickly dissipated; for example, he reportedly laughed off claims that he threatened Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan before a health care vote. He tweeted a photo of himself and Murkowski sharing beers a few days later. But some of the controversies — including allegations that Zinke has mixed professional and personal business, dodged campaign finance laws and generally demonstrated dubious ethics — have led watchdog groups to call for investigations. Here are the Zinke scandals we’re watching…(CONTNUED)
Click the link to read more about Dinkie Zinke and his exploits:
Both nominees have been well documented on Western Values Project’s website for their lengthy histories of favoring big donors and special interests.
“Secretary Zinke is continuing to fill his cabinet with special interests and Washington insiders. While Interior continues to stack the deck with staff from the oil and gas industry, they seem set on ignoring the outdoor industry that our communities rely on. That explains why sportsmen, hunters and anglers are turning against the Secretary,” said Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project. “Balash and Nelson are merely the latest examples of Zinke’s refusal to keep his promise to preserve public lands and uphold his Montana values. With these nominations, it’s abundantly clear that Secretary Zinke does not value the outdoor heritage and public lands that communities in the West rely on.”
Joseph Balash, nominated to be assistant secretary of the Interior, land and minerals management, has a long history of favoring special interests over people in his home state of Alaska. In 2013, Balash was cited as one of the “key players on Gov. Sean Parnell’s bill to lower oil taxes.” In 2014, Balash used his time as the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to claim nearly 20,000 acres of the National Arctic and Wildlife Refuge to be offered for oil and gas leasing. He then approved lowered royalty rates on several leases operated by oil company Caelus Energy.
Ryan Nelson, nominated to be solicitor of the Interior, has a background in using power to silence critics. During the George W. Bush administration, Nelson used his time as deputy attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division to argue against environmental groups and activists. Nelson has since spent his time in the private sector acting as general counsel to the health care product company Melaleuca, Inc. and its CEO Frank VanderSloot. Both Melaleuca and VanderSloot have used lawsuits and other bullying tactics to attack journalists and other critics.
Secretary Zinke and BLM Plan for Wild Horses and Burros
For years we U.S. Taxpayers, who have decried the excessive removal of protected wild horses and burros from their rightful range, have been deluged with bogus numbers, bad science and just plain bull crap by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and their deep pocketed bed-fellows. Today, we are seeing it reach new heights and becoming even more toxic for the wild horses and burros; it has to stop
It’s bad enough that we have a long time horse slaughter advocate, Ryan Zinke, appointed as Secretary of the Department of Interior, (Remember back in 2009 when Montana Rep. Zinke promoted “Red” Ed Butcher’s bill to legalize horse slaughter plants in Montana? Now he has the reins of the DoI and already is attempting to send wild horses and burros in holding and on the range into mass graves.) But now we have Horse Eaters of the past crawling out from underneath their moldy rocks in an effort to taste the blood of our iconic symbols of the west.
In a recent ‘news’ article, long time Horse Hater and former member of the BLM’s rigged Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board, Callie Hendrickson has reared her horse killer head and assumed the thorny throne of chief disseminator of rumor, innuendo and trumped up numbers.
“The bottom line is we have pushing 100,000 excess horses and we have to do something,” she said.
What the hell? 100,000 excess horses, where did you dig up that number? Have you actually been sitting out on the range with your iPad and taking notes or is that, obviously, a number that was just pulled out of your backside as a matter of convenience?
Nobody, and I mean nobody has an accurate account of how many horses are on the range and the BLM has no interest in counting. Wild Horse advocates who spend time on the range estimate anywhere from between 27,000 to 36,000 wild horss are still on the range and most of the whittled down herds are no longer genetically viable due to the BLM’s unlawful practice of ripping herds apart in direct violation of federal law. So what makes you so special, Callie, and who made you the SME on a subject that you know nothing about.
Oh yeah, and what the crap does “excess horses” mean? What is the definition and where is the data to support such BS? (being rude to bulls, here) This is just the sort of misinformation that the BLM and Zinke are laying on Congress and the Senate in an effort to have the wild horses an burros killed.
Zinke is asking Congress to remove the limits on destroying healthy, unadopted equines or selling them for slaughtering and processing for commercial products; gotta love it and this is all going on in plain view and little is being done to counter it. Where is the outrage?
Hendrickson said public lands will support 27,000 of the animals, but there are 72,000 out there not counting this year’s new foals, as well as another 47,000 in holding facilities, which costs taxpayers $50 million a year for feed and care. Every year, another 15,000 wild horses are being born, she said.
More BS as the numbers change and continue to climb every time you read an article in mainstream news. Where are the documented sources and where is the data? The only number that is close to correct is the number of horses that have been stripped from their rightful range where costs were ZERO, ZIP, NADDA and now are held in herds of broken families waiting for their lives to end. Easy fix; put them back on their rightful range, where you took them from and now allow welfare cattle to graze, and put the cows back on the cattle ranches. Cost = ZERO! Cows on ranches, wild horses on wild horse ranges…simple; make sense?
The horses and burros are coming up to a cross roads as we have never had, at any one point in time, such a concentrated effort to kill all of the horses in holding and murder the remaining horses and burros on the range. That reality is with us, right now.
We must stop this, we need to put this debate behind us and educate our legislators on the fact that the BLM and Zinke are feeding them nothing but Fake News, misinformation and pure unequivocal lies.
The threat is real, the fix is in our hands…please click (HERE) for more information on how to help and make a difference, we can make it happen. We HAVE to make it happen.
“Yellowstone National Park — shamefully complicit in Montana’s livestock industry’s war against wild buffalo…”
photo – Buffalo Field Campaign
More than 1,200 of America’s last wild buffalo have been killed this winter, and it isn’t over yet. Hunting along Yellowstone’s boundaries has taken the lives of more than 400 buffalo. Hunters are still in the field making kills. It’s a terrible time of year to hunt. The buffalo — like other wild grazers — have used up all of their fat stores, and are showing ribs and bony hips, waiting for the re-greening of the Earth so they can again replenish their huge bodies. This is also the time of year when the long, harsh winter takes her toll, too. There will be many buffalo who will not survive into spring, but the government is not accounting for these deaths in their mad rush to reduce this most significant and vulnerable population. Further, hunters are still killing adult female buffalo who will begin having their calves in about six weeks. All too often, BFC patrols make heartbreaking discoveries of finding fully-formed baby buffalo in their mother’s gut piles.
Additionally, Yellowstone National Park — shamefully complicit in Montana’s livestock industry’s war against wild buffalo — has captured close to 800 buffalo, all of whom have been or will be sent to slaughter. The trap is emptying quickly, though Yellowstone continues to attempt to capture. Recently, some buffalo have resisted these attempts, while others have not been so lucky. On Monday in Gardiner, BFC patrols documented as five Yellowstone wranglers on horseback tried to trap fifty-five buffalo; all but one got away, running to the hills for their lives. The unfortunate mama buffalo who was trapped caught the attention of another family group of twenty-two. Coming dangerously close to the trap, they sealed their own fate as the wranglers, hungry to capture, took advantage of the situation. Hundreds of wild buffalo are gone forever. BFC’s Mike Mease and Stephany Seay attended the second media tour of Yellowstone’s trap last Thursday, where we again witnessed Yellowstone park rangers, wranglers, and biologists doing the service of the Montana Department of Livestock as they loaded wild buffalo onto stock trailers headed for the slaughterhouse, then proceeded to move more through the trap. It has become business as usual for these buffalo abusers, just another day in the park. They tell us that they don’t like doing this, that they want slaughter to end, but their actions say something else. Yellowstone National Park is not without significant power, but they have shown they are without courage. They can stand up to Montana and refuse to participate. But they don’t. Their cold routine of capturing, testing, sorting, and shipping the country’s national mammal to a horrific death — as they don the image of this sacred being on their uniforms and rake in millions from the people who come to adore them — has become just another day at work. They attempt to put the task of change on the public, shirking responsibility for their part in these crimes. While it is true that a current Montana law – MCA 81-2-120 — is the driver behind the cumulative mismanagement plans and practices, Yellowstone should not have the luxury of of passing the buck. The world’s most well-known national park has astounding influence that they choose not to use. Instead, they kill America’s last wild buffalo. By the end of March, this should all be over.
Please continue to keep pressure on Montana and Yellowstone. Do not ease up. Be relentless and don’t accept their excuses. Laws, decisions, and management plans can be changed.
* Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk 307-344-2002
* Montana Governor Steve Bullock 406-444-3111