URGE THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE TO RESCIND
BUFFALO SLAUGHTER CONTRACTS & PULL OUT OF IBMP
Yellowstone National Park has entered into agreements with the InterTribal Buffalo Council (ITBC) and the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) to consign captured wild, migratory buffalo to them for slaughter. This incredibly disturbing change of events is something that Buffalo Field Campaign never thought possible. Tribes have always been strong voices against the slaughter and maltreatment their relatives, the buffalo, and we have always stood strong with them to help rekindle, in whatever small way we can, this sacred relationship.
"The federal agencies and Montana ... are completely ignorant and confused on how to save and manage our sacred Ee-Nee-Wah (Buffalo). I am talking about the Yellowstone buffalo herd. Even Indian Tribes blindly follow the state and federal policies, when they can come up with sacred policy that would completely protect Ee-Nee-Wah. I belive the Tribes don't have enough courage and believe in themselves to stand up for our sacred beliefs in Ee-Nee-Wah." ~ Jimmy St. Goddard, Blackfeet Nation Holy Paint Gatherer
These buffalo slaughter contracts between Yellowstone, ITBC and the CSKT expose another shady, back-room deal by the world's first national park; the supposed caretakers of America's last wild, migratory buffalo. Through BFC's investigation, which is still ongoing, we discovered that Yellowstone officials have been actively soliciting tribes, encouraging them to enter into such incongruent and onious agreements, and being joyful upon signing. Yellowstone National Park has become a more active and willing participant in the harassment and slaughter of America's last wild bison, and this latest arrangement was craftily devised by Yellowstone in order to shift the blame away from themselves.
This winter, Yellowstone intends to capture wild buffalo from the Gardiner Basin and hand them over to tribal officials who will ship their relatives directly to slaughter facilities. While the ITBC and the CSKT must realize the shameful part they have agreed to play in the war against wild buffalo, Yellowstone National Park is basically blackmailing tribes into believing that if tribes don't kill the buffalo, the Park Service will do it anyway. It is the same with the so-called hunts. It is a form of extortion, cultural manipulation, an idea being force fed to First Nations Buffalo Cultures that the only way Montana or the federal government will ever allow tribes and buffalo to be reunited is through domestication or death.
Yellowstone National Park is a lead agency in the controversial Interagency Bison Management Plan, as are the ITBC and CSKT. The IBMP has a livestock-industry driven goal of reducing America's last wild buffalo population down to a mere 3,000 animals. Yellowstone wrongly deems that when the buffalo population is beyond 3,000, the remainder are classified as "surplus." The current population estimate of America's last wild buffalo is 4,600, so by the Park's definition, 1,600 wild buffalo -- ecologically extinct native wildlife -- are "surplus" and slated for slaughter.
But, there are no "surplus" buffalo! The herds that live in and round Yellowstone and southwestern Montana are America's last continuously wild, migrating buffalo. Instead of continuously pushing for and supporting ways to kill wild buffalo, why isn't Yellowstone National Park instead taking a lead role in rejecting livestock models of management and restoring living bison through ecologically sound methods such as migration corridors?The American buffalo is an ecologically extinct animal, absent from fulfilling their natural, migratory role as the shapers of this continent. Only politics would define wild buffalo as "surplus." These buffalo are indeed endangered, even though they have not been recognized as such by the U.S. government. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has red listed the American buffalo as "threatened with near extinction." There are no surplus buffalo!
TAKE ACTION! This is a very difficult issue to comprehend, but action must be taken for the buffalo. Please contact National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and urge him to stop Yellowstone from transferring captured wild buffalo to tribes for slaughter, and of course, to stop Yellowstone from capturing and slaughtering wild buffalo at all. Remind Director Jarvis that the National Park Service has a mission, the "purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired."
If you live outside of the U.S. or have trouble sending a letter from our web site, you can send a letter to:
Jonathan Jarvis, Director
National Park Service
1849 C Street, NW Room 3112
Washington, DC 20240
(202) 208-3818 phone
(202) 208-7889 fax