“I think it’s one of the most profound environmental issues we’re dealing with today.” Justine Sanchez is the vice-president of the Board of Directors of the Buffalo Field Campaign which monitors the Yellowstone border and tracks the park’s bison management activities. BFC reports that 410 wild bison have been trapped and removed for slaughter in recent weeks as part of the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service’s animal management plan.
Sanchez says the Yellowstone herd is unique and should be protected as it is genetically pure – not mixed with cattle genes. Yellowstone and its partners in the Interagency Bison Management Plan have agreed to the removal of 800 to 900 bison this year. Last year, about 600 bison were removed from Yellowstone’s herd.
In addition to the capture and slaughter of hundreds of bison, the BFC are concerned about the annual hazing of buffalo who venture out of the park seeking lower-elevation grass and good calving grounds. Helicopters, riders on horseback and ATVs have all been used to “haze” the buffalo back inside Yellowstone. This happens in springtime when calves have just been born and the “hazing” is criticized by many as cruel and unnecessary causing stress and injury to the animals.
The Buffalo Field Campaign is hosting a Wild N’ Free fundraiser event on March 27th at the Space Gallery in Denver featuring an art auction, food and music.