portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

First Buffalo of the Season killed in Yellowstone -- CALL FOR THE BUFFALO!!

Buffalo Field Campaign News From the Field November 21, 2002
Please Take Action -Today's murder of a bull bison on Gallatin National Forest land is in direct opposition to a report made to Senator Baucus on November 15
by Becky Heath, Forest Supervisor
*Update from the Field

Dear buffalo family

My name is Jonas and I have returned to the campaign this season to
work in the media realm. When I first came to this cabin on Hebgen
Lake in December of 1999, I was inspired by the people and the energy
I encountered here. I was inspired by the buffalo and the slow
patience of the herds. I have been involved in various ways since
then, and this will be my first full season here. I am grateful for
all of your interest and support - I am strengthened by the knowledge
that there are so many people out there whose hearts feel the pain of
the injustice being done to these sacred beings. I will do my best
to keep you all informed as to the current situation, and
unfortunately I must warn you that this season looks to be quite hard
on the buffalo, and on us all.

This morning, shortly before 9:00 am, a beautiful large bull bison,
who had been grazing peacefully for weeks on Horse Butte, was gunned
down by an agent of the Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL). The
agent was not acting alone, as nine other government officials were
actively engaged in this atrocity. Our field patrols witnessed the
killing from afar, as their movement was limited during the
operation. An MDOL agent told us earlier in the day that this was to
be a simple hazing operation, which in itself is too much stress to
place on a wild animal trying to survive the winter. The sharp crack
of the rifle betrayed that lie, and we were left to film the scene
and shed tears for our fallen family member.

This was the first buffalo shot dead in the field this season, but he
was not the first to be killed. Three other bulls were captured and
slaughtered in early October. This has been a hard day for us all,
please keep the buffalo in your thoughts and in your hearts. And
please get in touch with Becky Heath, Gallatin National Forest
Supervisor - today's actions are especially reprehensible in light of
her statement below. Thank you all.

For the buffalo,
Jonas Ehudin
Media Coordinator


Please Take Action -

Today's murder of a bull bison on Gallatin
National Forest land is in
direct opposition to a report made to Senator
Baucus on November 15
by Becky Heath, Forest Supervisor. She wrote:

The Gallatin National Forest, along with four
other govt. agencies,
is currently managing for bison according to the
Interagency Bison
Management Plan. The primary goals of the plan
are to preserve a
population of free-roaming bison and to
significantly reduce the risk
of bison transmitting brucellosis to cattle.
Bison are allowed to
roam free on the Gallatin National Forest, where
brucellosis is not
an issue. There is currently not an active
cattle allotment in the
Horse Butte area (near West Yellowstone), nor
will there be until a
National Environmental Policy Act
process/document is done for that
allotment. There are cattle grazing on private
land east of Horse
Butte and other areas both west and north of
Yellowstone Park.
Cattle grazing on private land will continue to
be an issue as long
as the bison carry brucellosis.

Clearly, the DOL does not share Supervisor
Heath's belief that bison
are allowed to freely roam in the Gallatin
National Forest. Please
take a moment to contact her and ask her why she
is allowing a
Montana state agency to shoot buffalo on lands
she has indicated are
designated for their use. Let her know that
since there are no
active cattle allotments on Horse Butte, there is
no reason for
buffalo to be turned violently away from those
lands. Remind her
that she conveyed that logic in her own

Becky Heath can be reached at:
Supervisor's Office
POB 130
Bozeman, MT 59771
Phone: 406-587-6702
Fax: 406-587-6758
email:  bjheath@fs.fed.us