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The Buffalo People


On the way to extinction: Our only herd of wild bison

Pictorial history of wild bison in Yellowstone and comments on propsals for their management

Entire herds of the last wild bison in this nation, sometimes numbering in excess of 1,000, are being wiped out annually by the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP). The animals that are being targeted for destruction are those attempting to leave the park during migration to obtain forage at lower elevations in the winter. Those that get near the park boundary are subject to slaughter by government agents. This year (2015) over 700 have been killed. The "lethal removal," as it is called, is carried out by rangers of Yellowstone National Park and agents of the Montana Department of Livestock. In effect, our wild bison are being treated like cattle.

Three government agencies invited public comment on proposed actions that have the high potential of driving further toward extinction this last wild bison herd.


Read three comments by James Horsley in response to requests in 2012 for public comment on:

1. the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' proposed adjustments to the Interagency Bison Management Plan to expand the bison-tolerant area in the Gardiner Basin;

2. the Environmental Analysis (EA) by the Hebgen Lake ranger district of the Gallatin National Forest concerning a proposal to continue livestock grazing on the Watkins and South fork allotments near West Yellowstone, Montana;

3. the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)'s environmental assessment for a proposed study to evaluate whether GonaCon, an immunocontraceptive (birth control) vaccine, would be effective as a non-lethal method of decreasing the prevalence of brucellosis in the Yellowstone National Park bison population.



Errol Rice, executive v.p., Montana Stock Growers Association, on MSGA's positon on brucellosis.

Professor Ralph Maughan on the Montana turf war between cattle and bison.

A Buffalo Field Campaign volunteer perspective: Goodshield Aguilar

A Buffalo Field Campaign volunteer's experience: Andrea Abrams.

National Park Service employees haze buffalo into the Stephens Creek capture facility.

Yellowstone ships to slaughter 758 of the last 4000 wild bison, January 2006.

YNP admits use of Stephens Creek Capture Facility increases brucellosis transmission risk, 2010.

Feeding the Problem:
Disease on the elk feeding grounds. Montana PBS.


90-Day finding on a petition filed 1999 to list Yellowstone bison herd as endangered

Over 1,000 bison were shot or herded into trailers and shipped to a slaughter house by the Montana Department of Livestock in 1997. Why? Because members of the herd attempted to cross the border of Yellowstone National Park to escape severe winter conditions. James Horsley submitted a petition in 1999 to have herd members listed as endangered so as to protect them from extinction, as they represent a distinct population segment. Eight years later, 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a finding, concluding that the bison were indeed a unique species, but denying them protection.


Original handwritten petition
to list wild bison herd

Copy of the handwritten petition to the Fish and Wildlife Service to list the wild bison in Yellowstone National Park as endangered and in need of protection from extinction as a wild animal.


Yellowstone's bison are being driven toward extinction:
the turf war between wild
bison and cash cows

This editorial examines the validity of the brucellosis brouhaha concerning wild bison and cattle. It recommends cattle-free zones be established immediately outside the park where wild bison migrate, graze and calve.


Full text of 2015 petiton to list Yellowstone wild bison as endangered

New and expanded information has been incorporated into a second petition by James Horsley to the US Fish and Wildlife Service to list the last wild herd of bison as endangered and deserving of protection from extinction.

"Public hunting of wild bison and wolf predation is a much better way to achieve a balance of nature, instead of what is going on now, the mass government slaughter of bison as they migrate out of Yellowstone National Park," Horsley said. See full text of petition.


Petition seeks to protect from extinction rare mountain bison found only in Yellowstone

This news release is for publication by the news media and is for immediate release.


Montana opens door to wild bison reintroduction--or is it really closing the door?

Comment by James Horsley to Arnie Dood, native species biologist, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, on plans to reintroduce wild bison to public lands in the state.