Hundreds of wild buffalo will no longer be harassed or otherwise harmed on the Horse Butte Peninsula.
Published December 26, 2015
HELENA, MONTANA—Just before Christmas, Montana Governor Steve Bullock issued his final decision on year-round habitat for wild bison in Montana, and Buffalo Field Campaign is very pleased to announce that after more than eighteen years of fighting for wild buffalo to freely roam the Horse Butte Peninsula.
Buffalo Field Campaign is claiming a significant victory. Gaining buffalo year-round access to Horse Butte is part of what the organization has been pressing for since the beginning of its campaign.
The decision will allow bison to roam off of Yellowstone National Park and into the peninsula.
In a news release released earlier this week, Buffalo Field Campaign writes:
“We are celebrating this achievement as the victory that it is; indeed, it may be the biggest victory we have had! It took nearly two decades of hard work in the field, in the courts, and in the policy arena to accomplish this, and it demonstrates how perseverance pays off, and how we must never give up…
Another boon granted the buffalo is that bull bison — but only bulls — will be given year-round habitat in the Gardiner Basin.”
While excited about its victory, Buffalo Field Campaign maintains it still many difficult battles yet to win, including warding off threats from the livestock industry and government agencies that serve buffalo.
Governor Bullock’s decision likely won’t end the periodic slaughters of some bison that roam outside Yellowstone in search of food at lower elevations. But it for the first time allows hundreds of the animals to linger year-round on an estimated 400 square miles north and west of the park.
Yellowstone has one of the largest wild bison herds remaining in the world. The herds are unique in that they are purebred bison with no cattle DNA. Despite the prestige and protection of this bison population, an ongoing battle between the Yellowstone herds and bordering Montana ranchers has been going on for decades.