©Wolfgang Kaehler

Where the Buffalo Roam


By Michelle Alten

There is a problem with where the buffalo roam and it is this: these migratory mammals don’t understand that they are supposed to stay in Yellowstone Park. During our Yellowstone trip, I spoke with activists talking to visitors about the government sanctioned hunting and hazing of buffalo near the park’s boarders. Here is the problem: nearby ranchers are concerned that bison may spread brucellosis to their livestock, but the Buffalo Field Campaign contends that there are no documented cases of such transmission. (Although there have been cases where elk passed brucellosis on to cattle.) In order to prevent contact between buffalo and cattle, the government allows buffalo to be hazed, captured, and killed. According to the field campaign, hunters killed more than 3,750 buffalo since 2000 when they approached or crossed the park boarders. The dilemma continues as to how to protect a species that wants to roam.

0004731600047608 00147999

To learn more about the Buffalo Field Campaign visit: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/

This article discusses the situation last winter: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/04/yellowstone-buffalo-slaughter

The Natural Resources Defense Council summarized the problem in 2008. http://www.nrdc.org/land/files/buffalo.pdf


Comments are closed.