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Excerpt: "The bison population in Yellowstone National Park will be significantly reduced this winter, as park officials have announced a plan to cull up to 900 animals that attempt to leave or drift away from the park."

Bison wander out of Yellowstone National Park in Montana to give birth or find fresh grazing. (photo: Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times)
Bison wander out of Yellowstone National Park in Montana to give birth or find fresh grazing. (photo: Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times)


Yellowstone Officials Plan Slaughter of 900 Bison

By RT

18 September 14

 

he bison population in Yellowstone National Park will be significantly reduced this winter, as park officials have announced a plan to cull up to 900 animals that attempt to leave or drift away from the park.

The park’s famous bison population currently stands at roughly 4,900, meaning it could be reduced by about one-fifth.

According to Reuters, the cull announced Tuesday by Yellowstone's science and research branch would be the largest in seven years.

However, it would still leave the herd’s numbers significantly higher than what both state and federal wildlife officials have established as the target goal – a population of somewhere between 3,000 and 3,500.

“It will not get us close to the goal of 3,000, but it will stabilize the population and bring it down somewhat,” David Hallac, chief of the park’s science and research branch, told Reuters.

Although Yellowstone’s bison compose the only remaining herd of free-ranging buffalo in the United States, officials want to keep the population from growing too large, out of fear that drifting animals will spread a bacterial disease known as brucellosis to cattle that also graze in Montana’s fields.

The animals were once all over the western parts of the country before hunting drove them to near extinction.

The park’s plan was revealed just one day after animal rights activists filed an emergency legal petition demanding the Obama administration stop the practice of killing bison. Filed by the Buffalo Field Campaign and Friends of Animals, the petition urges the National Park Service and the US Forest Service to conduct a population study that would “correct” the deficiencies in the current bison management plan.

The group also claimed that bison are being killed simply for “crossing an arbitrary line,” and said that “there has never been a single case of wild bison transmitting brucellosis to livestock.”

“Slaughtering wild bison is the livestock industry’s way of eliminating competition and maintaining control of grazing lands surrounding Yellowstone National Park and across the west,” Daniel Brister of the Buffalo Field Campaign said in a statement. “Montana’s livestock industry continues to use brucellosis to frighten and mislead the public into supporting its discrimination against bison.”

About half of Yellowstone’s buffalo could have been exposed to brucellosis, Reuters reported.

The US Interior Department is considering a new plan that would potentially allow new, disease-free bison herds to repopulate much of the land they used to roam through. The plan is based on the idea that the government can move various herds to external sites, where they would be quarantined for years in an attempt to keep the disease from spreading.

If the disease can be successfully stomped out, the healthy buffalo would be taken to other parts of the west, where they could re-establish themselves.

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+3 # tpm713 2014-09-18 17:04
There would probably be millions of bison in north america if not for those savage native americans using them for food and shelther.
 
 
+12 # candida 2014-09-18 23:54
Quoting tpm713:
There would probably be millions of bison in north america if not for those savage native americans using them for food and shelther.

You ARE being facetious, right? You do know the extermination of bison was U.S. state policy for the genocide of indigenous people who occupied the lands white settlers and the Eurocentric state wanted, right?. The only film I've seen accurately depict the savage slaughter of bison by white settler expansionists (some of whom are now known as "ranchers")duri ng the 19th century was "Dead Man" by Jim Jarmusch (with Johnny Depp and Gary Farmer). One of the best (anti-) Westerns ever made!! So, to speak of "culling" the bison revives a nasty history of genocide, ethnocide, and white supremacy, the legacy of which sadly continues.
 
 
-7 # tpm713 2014-09-19 18:02
Well I was being a bit facetious but come on, native Americans treated rival tribes just as savagely as some whites treated native Americans. Every group of people in the world has done some evil. Whites are the only ones who try to make it right though. It is time to move on and look towards the future. Why do you think we still don't have the post racial America Obama promised. Because people can't get over things that happened to other people, not even things that happened to them!
 
 
+3 # OrlandoDFree 2014-09-20 11:47
Quoting tpm713:
Whites are the only ones who try to make it right though


You can't be serious! When MLK led millions of people in a civil rights struggle, white people were the only ones resisting his call. Of course many white people supported him too, but your claim here is an inversion of history.

Incidentally, Scientific American had a story called "Tribal Warfare" which said that most of the wars between native American tribes were caused by the disturbing influence of European civilization. The introduction of horses to native Americans, for example expanded their range and inevitably led to clashes, but that most of these wars were settled quickly and the clashing tribes found ways to get along. They didn't treat each other savagely at all.
 
 
0 # sean1303 2014-09-23 08:32
Actually, although the US government supported the slaughter of Bison to undermine the plains indians, it was mostly paid for by large British cattle interests who had run out of Irish lands and people to exploit and were setting up large corporate ranches in the American west. All those movies and stories where the individual homesteaders and small ranchers were pitted against big ranches that stole their water, land, and cattle? That was based on true happenings involving British cattle corporations.
 
 
+21 # RMDC 2014-09-18 19:20
my bet is that if you look a little deeper the buffalo kill off is at the request of ranchers who would like to see all buffalo exterminated. I'm against any culling of any herd of wild animals. The US government owns millions of acres that are leased to ranchers at a very low rate. I'd rather throw the ranchers off the land and let the buffalo, wild horses and donkeys, and other wild animals take over the land.

Too bad if they wander off on to some rancher's pastures. Make the ranchers move. The US has killed enough wild animals. Where is the World Wildlife Fund on this one. Can you imagine the howl if some African nations announced it was culling its wild animal populations???
 
 
-1 # cwbystache 2014-09-19 06:37
must be a matter, then, of personal taste, i.e., what appeals to you, what level of charisma one animal or another have--

wild horses/donkeys: good

cattle: bad

one time an "environmentali st" told me that ranchers could move to town like everyone else (where those same people already destroyed some ecosystem to accomodate themselves) and get a job at McDonalds.
 
 
+7 # RMDC 2014-09-19 07:15
cattle = good

cattle ranchers = bad

The ranchers are freeloaders like Cliven Bundy and his crew of gun nuts.

Really, I just want to preserve the wild animals in a natural habitat. Yellowstone is only a zoo where the rangers manipulate all the animals every day. I want all kinds of wild animals to flourish -- wolves, big cats, and so on. All of the earth benefits from these animals. the US overmanages its land and animals.
 
 
+1 # cwbystache 2014-09-19 07:29
I'm a cattle rancher, queer, and a Quaker to boot--you may imagine how I'd view seeing something like, "cattle ranchers = bad". Freeloader? The freeloaders are the folk who won't pay what a steak is really worth so some of it could trickle down to me and let me afford to get myself to a dentist.
 
 
+1 # Glen 2014-09-19 11:56
Uh, I'm not certain what your point is, relative to bison. No, ranchers are not bad, but they certainly should help manage bison rather than killing them all off. Or - you could also raise bison for meat.
 
 
+2 # RMDC 2014-09-19 20:08
do you pasture your cattle on government land? Or do you own your own land? The simple fact is that farmers and ranchers are the reason nearly all the wild animals in the US have been killed off. They don't want to share the earth with wolves, buffalo, and other big animals. Where I live, there's now a bounty on coyotes so coyote hunters are prowling the woods. There used to be a bounty of foxes but they pretty much got wiped out.

Humans need to share the earth with other animals.
 
 
+3 # Adoregon 2014-09-19 12:18
RTFO, RMDC.

Leave the buffalo (bison) alone. Let them roam free.

Otherwise, why not cull all the superfluous people who keep wandering out of cities into the countryside.

The response to other life form that are inconvenient to people is to kill. What a lame fucking response.
 
 
+2 # RnR 2014-09-18 23:09
Hey, Obama and the "on vacation for the next 54 days" Congresspeople. ..call me for money will ya?
 
 
+4 # Activista 2014-09-19 00:01
If the herd is overpopulated, hunting should be allowed - trust biologists ...
"Due to their size, bison have few predators. Five notable exceptions are the grey wolf, human, brown bear, coyote, and grizzly bear.[32] The grey wolf generally takes down a bison while in a pack, but there have been cases of a single wolf killing bison.[27] Brown bear also prey on bison calves, often by driving off the pack and consuming the wolves' kill"
seems that more grey wolves would be more balanced solution ..
 
 
+3 # Glen 2014-09-19 06:41
Bison meat is very good. I have eaten it, and would rather do that than simply murder hundreds for no good reason.

There is no need to kill off hundreds simply to cull. There is no need to waste animals and kill randomly. RMDC has a point in wishing to allow animals to proliferate, but it will never happen again. There are far too many people and it is too hard to convince folks that natural processes were very effective at one time.
 
 
+4 # davidh7426 2014-09-19 06:49
I agree with the 'Grey Wolves' proposal, but mankind would never go for it...

They don't do 'balanced solutions'. And they definitely don't like competition, they want to be the Uber-predator on this 3rd rock.
 
 
+3 # Street Level 2014-09-19 11:09
Heaven forbid they ever think of letting the first nation manage the excess.
 
 
+2 # Texas Aggie 2014-09-19 16:19
The boogeyman about brucellosis ignores the fact that spread occurs only at the time of parturition, something that occurs in the spring. As long as the bison are not calving where cattle are grazing, there is no transmission.

But on the other hand, the important thing is whether or not the carrying capacity of Yellowstone has been reached. If it has, then there has to be culling to avoid serious degradation of the pasture. Overgrazing by cattle is what destroyed the tall grass prairie in Texas, and overgrazing by bison would do the same to the range in Yellowstone.
 
 
0 # sean1303 2014-09-23 08:37
Quoting Texas Aggie:
The boogeyman about brucellosis ignores the fact that spread occurs only at the time of parturition, something that occurs in the spring. As long as the bison are not calving where cattle are grazing, there is no transmission.


It also ignores the fact that elk in the ecosystem surrounding Yellowstone Park also carry brucellosis, and cattle are run on public lands grazing leases right in the same areas where the Elk roam.

No one really thinks that brucellosis will be transmitted to cows from the Yellowstone bison herd, but they are responding to the economic terrorism of cattle certifying agencies that threaten to strip Montana's brucellosis-fre e status if Bison are allowed to expand into PUBLICLY OWNED land north of Yellowstone Park.
 

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