Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Buffalo Field Campaign West Yellowstone Montana- Stop the Slaughter

Buffalo Field Campaign West Yellowstone Montana- Stop the Slaughter
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National Mammal designation offers no protections for the imperiled wild buffalo of Yellowstone, America's last continuously wild herds. Urge Montana Governor Steve Bullock to champion America's national mammal!   

In 1995, the Montana Legislature created a statute MCA 81-2-120 transferring the Department of Fish, Wildlife, & Parks' authority to manage wild buffalo to the Department of Livestock. Livestock interests are strongly anti-wild buffalo and view them as direct competitors with invasive, domestic cattle.  Under Department of Livestock policies set down by MCA 81-2-120, the federal and state governments use your federal tax dollars to kill hundreds of America's last wild buffalo every year -- and in some years over a thousand -- to cater to livestock industry intolerance of this native, keystone species. Additionally, the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) is the cattle industry approved plan called for in MCA 81-2-120. The IBMP would not exist were it not for MCA 81-2-120.

In other words, all of the intensive management actions made against wild buffalo--including hazing, capture, and slaughter--take place because of MCA 81-2-120. As implemented by the Department of Livestock, MCA 81-2-120 severely limits the abundance and distribution of wild buffalo to less than 0.3% of Montana's habitat. Wild bison remain ecologically extinct in Montana and throughout the their historic range. Placing the Montana Department of Livestock in charge of wild, migratory bison is a direct and severe conflict of interest. 

Montana and Yellowstone National Park are developing a new bison management plan which mirrors the controversial IBMP, having little to no benefit to wild, migratory buffalo. A new alternative is needed, one that values wild bison and manages them the same way wild elk are managed in Montana.