Manataka American Indian Council








Buffalo Field Campaign
West Yellowstone, Montana
Working in the field every day to stop the
slaughter of Yellowstone's wild free roaming buffalo


Update from the Field:


Mama buffalo and her newborn calf have had a very difficult week.
Chaos is reigning along Yellowstone National Park's western boundary as the thumping of chopper blades and the shouts of government agents repeatedly harass wild buffalo families and all wildlife near the Madison River. Nearly 200 buffalo - including dozens of newborn calves, yearlings, and pregnant mothers - have been ruthlessly run off of their spring habitat within the Gallatin National Forest. Agents are out harassing buffalo as this Update is being written.


Newborn buffalo calves and many pregnant buffalo cows have been run for miles through pockets of deep snow, barbed wire fences, thick forests laden with dead-fall, fast moving river currents, mucky wetlands, and steep, sandy bluffs. For these babies, it is a terrible and sometimes deadly introduction to the world. The new and developing muscles of these little ones cannot sustain such abuse. Today, mounted Montana Department of Livestock and Yellowstone National Park horsemen have picked up the hazing operation at Yellowstone's border, after it left Gallatin National Forest land, and are currently pushing the exhausted buffalo deep into Yellowstone National Park's interior with the assistance of the Montana Department of Livestock's helicopter.

Two days ago, Buffalo Field Campaign patrols witnessed one baby buffalo unable escape the DOL agents, trying unsuccessfully to negotiate a barbed wire fence. Numerous times the baby buffalo ran into the sharp, unforgiving fence, as its worried mother waited. Frightened, the little one finally scrambled through, only to be continuously pursued by the harsh, aggressive actions of Department of Livestock agents.

Yesterday and today patrols documented buffalo being hazed across the Madison River by horses and the helicopter after being forced to run for miles. The buffalo were exhausted and yesterday three little calves narrowly escaped being carried away by the river. One baby buffalo collapsed after it used it's last bit of energy to climb the steep bank. It took every ounce of restraint for our patrols not to jump in and help it out. Thankfully, the baby was able to finally climb the bank. While these horrific events take a tremendous toll on the buffalo, it is amazing to see the strength and resolve that enables them to escape.

Watch BFC's video footage from this week and please share these images with others so that more people can be made aware of what is happening. Then, please take a moment to contact President Barack Obama - even if you have already done so - and continue to urge him to take immediate action to stop the harassment and slaughter of these gentle giants.

All of these heavy-handed management actions have been taking place south of the Madison River. Next week, the rest of the western boundary lands, including the always cattle-free Horse Butte Peninsula, will be terrorized. May 15 marks the dreaded day where livestock interests demand that all wild bison be forced out of Montana, even though there's not a cow in sight.

Your federal tax dollars are being wasted to harass buffalo and all the wildlife in this fragile ecosystem because the cattle industry doesn't want wild buffalo eating grass they claim is for their cows alone. They use the fraudulent brucellosis argument as means to scare the public into accepting that these horrific actions are necessary. Yet there's not a single cow in sight, and there's never been a documented case of wild bison transmitting the cattle-disease brucellosis back to livestock. And even if there were, neither invasive cattle nor the economic interests of Montana's cattle industry are worth this disastrous management scheme that harms America's last wild bison population, terrorizing the Yellowstone ecosystem and all of her inhabitants. As an example of wasteful government spending, all of the past week's activities have essentially been focused to cater to the interests of one small hobby rancher who won't even have cattle on his ranch until mid- to late-June.

The lives of wild buffalo must not be sacrificed for invasive cattle. Please take action now and help spread the word to save the last wild herds!




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