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Hay Bales are not Habitat! Comments on Wild Bison "management" plan due Friday January 13

Comment on Montana's Proposed Management Changes for Wild Bison in the Gardiner Basin

Comments Due by January 13, 2012

The state of Montana is accepting public comments on their Draft Joint Environmental Assessment Adaptive Management Adjustments to the Interagency Bison Management Plan. Sound like a bureaucratic mouthful? It is a proposal to intensify livestock-model management of the last continuously wild population of American buffalo, within the Gardiner Basin, north of Yellowstone National Park. Montana's plans are being touted to the public as a step towards more tolerance and habitat for wild buffalo in Montana, however, BFC's initial review of the draft Environmental Assessment reveals that mismanagement techniques - including capture, confinement, dangerous vaccination, artificial feeding, test-and-slaughter, quarantine, scientific research and increased hunting - would be profoundly escalated.
Montana's proposed action would cause further harm to a majority of wild buffalo migrating in the Gardiner Basin. Wild bison would be harassed in winter range necessary for their survival, captured, tagged, crowded and confined into traps for extended periods - including during calving - fed hay in feedlot conditions worse than Wyoming's harmful elk feed grounds, vaccinated with a livestock vaccine that was never developed nor licensed for use in wild buffalo. Montana falsely claims that their proposed objective is to "maintain a wild, free-ranging population of bison." Their words and proposed action are incongruent. The government's language is intended to indoctrinate the public into accepting a gross contradition of reality.

The environmentally preferred alternative is absent from this proposal. While it exists, it has been blatantly ignored by the government since 2000. This sensible alternative is overwhelmingly supported by the public and calls for managing wild buffalo as valued native wildlife, conservation of historic migration corridors, additional habitat acquisitions, and managing livestock where wildlife/livestock conflicts exist. This alternative has been ignored or rejected by Montana and other government agencies involved in the highly controversial Interagency Bison Management Plan since 2000, but it should be brought to the forefront and adopted immediately.

TAKE ACTION! Please *personalize* the talking points in the sample letter below, and send your comments in to the state of Montana by January 13, 2012. Tell Montana to choose the environmentally preferred alternative publically supported in 2000, which has been ignored by the government for twelve years. The buffalo's choice includes securing long-term protection for viable populations of wild buffalo and year-round habitat in their original range, of which the Gardiner Basin is only the beginning.

Alternatively, you can send your comments directly to:

IBMP Adjustments
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
1400 S. 19th Avenue
Bozeman, Montana 59718
 IBMPadjustments@mt.gov

Send your comment letter at:  http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2426/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=9081

homepage: homepage: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2426/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=9081