Deadline to Comment is midnight, Monday, June 15
Yellowstone Begins 2014 Wild Bison Slaughter
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONTANA — Montana and Yellowstone National Park are developing a new plan to replace the Interagency Bison Management Plan, a document which has facilitated the senseless deaths of nearly 6,000 of America’s wild buffalo since its inception in 2000.
The new plan, which is in its scoping (beginning) phase, puts forth a number of preliminary alternatives for managing wild buffalo in Montana. These alternatives offer nothing new and maintain the status quo of hazing, capture, slaughter, quarantine, birth control, and hunting with little to no benefits for wild, migratory buffalo.
Buffalo Field Campaign is proposing that the agencies evaluate a new alternative that respects wild bison, an alternative to manage wild bison like wild elk in Montana, using the best available science that takes all changed circumstances into consideration.
Please CLICK HERE to download a summary of BFC’s Manage Wild Buffalo Like Wild Elk alternative.
TAKE ACTION! Public comments are being accepted through June 15, 2015. Please urge Montana and Yellowstone to evaluate a new alternative to manage wild buffalo like wild elk in Montana, using the best available science that takes all changed circumstances into consideration.
HOW TO COMMENT: Emails are not being accepted. Comments must be made through Yellowstone National Park’s web form found HERE. In addition to your comments, Yellowstone is asking you to answer a few questions that will help them further evaluate alternatives that are beneficial to and respectful of wild, migratory bison. We have provided suggested responses to these questions below.
SCOPING COMMENTS: Comments need to be in your own words, but we have listed some main points below for you to build on. You may also state that you would like to incorporate the official comments of Buffalo Field Campaign as your own. Some important points that need to be addressed are:
Evaluate managing wild bison like wild elk in Montana, using the best available science that takes all changed circumstances into consideration.
This alternative would put an end to government slaughter of buffalo. Yellowstone National Park and the Montana Dept. of Livestock have taken nearly 4,000 wild buffalo in capture for slaughter operations since 2000. According to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, of 82,832 applicants, 426 state hunters have drawn buffalo tags since 2004. Quarantine and other unnecessary government research experiments have eliminated hundreds more wild buffalo from the last continuously wild population.
This alternative proposes continuing the Designated Surveillance Area (DSA) management of cattle in place of an Interagency Bison Management Plan. According to the Montana Dept. of Livestock, ranchers statewide have saved $5.5 to $11.5 million annually since the DSA went into effect in 2010. Producers in the DSA are compensated for testing, vaccination, and handling of cattle.
This alternative to manage wild buffalo like wild elk will also save millions of taxpayer dollars because it limits government action. The alternative ends government capture of buffalo for slaughter, quarantine, hazing deadlines, population control experiments, and vaccination. While the agencies do not account for how much taxpayer money is spent, the best estimates indicate the Interagency Bison Management Plan has cost taxpayers $35 to $45 million dollars since its inception in 2000.
RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ASKED WHEN YOU COMMENT:
What other alternatives, alternative elements, or management tools should be considered?
Evaluate an alternative to manage wild buffalo like wild elk in Montana.
Managing cattle as the effective disease risk management plan in Montana.
Managing wild buffalo like wild elk on public lands.
- What issues should be considered when evaluating future management of Yellowstone-area bison?
The elements (or issues) of A Manage Wild Buffalo like Wild Elk in Montana alternative include:
- continuing the Designated Surveillance Area management of cattle in place of an Interagency Bison Management Plan;
- no capturing for slaughter;
- no capturing for quarantine;
- no capturing for culling or terminal pastures;
- no population control experiments, e.g. sterilization, birth-control, etc.;
- no privatization or domestication;
- no vaccination;
- no hazing deadlines;
- no helicopter hazing;
- no government hazing of wild buffalo unless there is an imminent threat to cattle present on private land;
- no government trespassing on private land where buffalo are welcome;
- cooperating with MDOT and NPS in creating wildlife safe passages in wildlife corridors;
- cooperating with landowners in reducing fencing; and
- cooperating with landowners wanting to retire cattle and sheep grazing allotments.
- What do you like and dislike about the preliminary alternatives?
My preference is to evaluate an alternative to manage wild buffalo like wild elk in Montana. Nearly all of the preliminary alternatives are not worth evaluating as they are environmentally destructive, costly, and have nothing to do with wildlife management:
- No Action Alternative – Continue 2000 IBMP Adaptive Management
- Limit Bison Migration into Montana
- Suppress Brucellosis Transmission
- Tolerance in Montana Linked to Overall Bison Abundance
- Balance Bison Conservation and Brucellosis Transmission Risk
These management tools are environmentally destructive, costly, and have nothing to do with wildlife management:
- Population control
- Shipping to slaughter
- Terminal pastures
- Hazing and haze back deadlines of May 1 (north) and May 15 (west)
- Limited hazing
- Adjust land use for cattle
- Tolerance thresholds north and west of the Park
More information on the new bison management plan can be found HERE. Thank you and please contact us if you have any questions.