Friday, November 23, 2012

Yellowstone Slaughter Continues....

Dear Ray,

Your dedication to protecting wild bison is our greatest strength. We thank you for making Buffalo Field Campaign possible.
At the beginning we were hopeful that our presence in the field and our grassroots advocacy would stop the slaughter within a few years. Protecting the buffalo, we have learned, requires a long-term commitment and sustaining hope through incredibly difficult times.

In the past two weeks more than thirty buffalo, nearly all the buffalo that have migrated from Yellowstone, have been shot by hunters. The living members of the family groups that the buffalo were taken from have fled, and all that remains on the landscape are hoof prints and gut piles.  After having spent the summer months being admired and photographed by millions of Yellowstone National Park visitors, the seasonal changes have replaced cameras with rifles, and buffalo are falling by the dozens.
When the struggle gets particularly difficult I like to picture the buffalo, migrating from Yellowstone through deep and drifting snow, trudging single file, slow and steady. Making the journey a step at a time, hauling their massive bodies through the drifts, the buffalo in front bear the brunt of breaking trail.  Those behind have an easier time stepping in the hoof-prints of their herd-mates.  After a while the one in the lead, exhausted, steps aside and another steps up, sharing in the work and keeping the line of buffalo always moving forward.

Being with the buffalo day in and day out, sharing their story with the world, and speaking for them in the legal and policy arenas will bring about their protection.  But it won't happen overnight and it won't happen without your help.
State, federal, and tribal governments are aiming to kill more than 450 buffalo this winter through hunting, slaughter, or both.  The agencies state that they want to "even the sex ratio" and have placed a heavy target on female buffalo, wanting to kill 400 that migrate north of the Park into the Gardiner Basin.  The herds that migrate north include buffalo from both the Northern and Central herds, which also means that the Central herds (which migrate both to the west and to the north) will be doubly impacted by hunting and slaughter.

Yellowstone National Park states that a "skewed sex ratio" has resulted from recent capture and slaughter operations, which have removed more bulls than cows from the population. In other words the managers are saying: We have to slaughter more buffalo to mitigate the impact of slaughtering so many buffalo.  Talk about playing God in Yellowstone.
Buffalo Field Campaign volunteer patrols are up and running along the Yellowstone boundary for the 16th consecutive winter. Our attorneys are working in the courts to allow bison room to roam in the Gardiner Basin, to halt the commercial privatization of Yellowstone bison offspring, and to ensure that the Department of Livestock's helicopter is not allowed to terrorize the Yellowstone ecosystem or America's last wild bison this coming spring.  We are networking with members of Congress to change the laws and policies which result in the senseless intolerance and slaughter of the sacred buffalo.  None of these efforts are cheap and none come easy.  We need your help to continue to move forward in our work to protect the buffalo. Please give today so that we can stay strong in our fight for the buffalo's right to roam.
Thank you for your actions, your ideas, your hard work, and your donations. Together we will press on until America's only continuously wild buffalo are honored and protected and their right to migrate is respected.  Without you there would be no Buffalo Field Campaign.

For the Buffalo,
Dan Brister
Buffalo Field Campaign

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