Protect America's Last Wild Buffalo from Cattle Grazing

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Originally Posted: January 5, 2012

Protect America's Last Wild Buffalo from Cattle Grazing in their Native Habitat

[Ed. Note...Watch Bison Hazing and Bison Slaughter Facility]

FROM Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC)

ACTION

Please take action today by commenting in support of the No Grazing Alternative. Please edit the sample letter provided below, and, in your own words, ask the Gallatin National Forest to permanently close the South Fork and Watkins Creek cattle grazing allotment to provide habitat for viable populations of all indigenous wildlife species and for increasing populations of big game animals including wild buffalo.

Public comments are due by January 20, 2012. Buffalo Field Campaign requested an extension to the very short comment period, but our request was denied by Gallatin National Forest.

Sign an online petition:
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2426/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=9093

And/or better yet, make direct contact:

Cavan Fitzsimmons
Hebgen Lake Ranger District
Gallatin National Forest
PO Box 520
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
phone (406) 823-6963
cfitzsimmons@fs.fed.us

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

The Gallatin National Forest Hebgen Lake Ranger District is proposing to renew a 10 year permit to graze cattle within the wild American buffalo's habitat on the South Fork and Watkins Creek in Hebgen Basin near the western boundary of Yellowstone National Park. Gallatin National Forest's Environmental Assessment can be downloaded here.

The South Fork of the Madison River is prime buffalo habitat and buffalo migrate through the Gallatin National Forest not far from Watkins Creek.

Buffalo migrating west of the South Fork have been shot by private landowners and Montana livestock officials as the habitat is designated Zone 3 ("zero tolerance") by the Interagency Bison Management Plan agencies, including the Gallatin National Forest.

Zone 3 contains thousands of acres of suitable habitat for migratory buffalo on the Gallatin National Forest. We question why any part of the Gallatin National Forest should be Zone 3 for migratory buffalo, and why the agency is proposing to renew cattle grazing for another decade in the wild buffalo's habitat.

By renewing the public cattle grazing permit on the South Fork and Watkins Creek, the Gallatin National Forest is cutting migratory buffalo off from thousands of acres of suitable habitat and subjecting them to shooting by livestock officials based on the presence of cattle. With one hand the Gallatin National Forest says buffalo cannot roam our National Forest because of the presence of cattle, and with the other renews the public lands grazing allotment used to justify buffalo's exclusion from our National Forest based on the presence of cattle.

At Buffalo Field Campaign and Western Watersheds Project's request, a No Grazing Alternative is under consideration, along with two alternatives proposed by the Hebgen Lake Ranger District that would continue cattle grazing on the South Fork and Watkins Creek. District Ranger Cavan Fitzsimmons is the responsible official for the final decision.


Thank you for everything you do for animals!