Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
From 29 December 1999 Issue

National Park Bison and Wolf Update
by [email protected]

I will never forget the experience I had last winter in Yellowstone National Park, when a wolf raced across the trail a few yards in front of me. As a National Park Ranger, committed to preserving our national treasures and resources, unimpaired (so we like to say), for the enjoyment by future generations, if I could share one experience and make it available for our children's children's would be my experience of standing in the snow with the bison and the elk and the wolves of Yellowstone.

It is just a shame that I had to be there not as a Park Ranger, but as a member of an activist group trying to stop the slaughter of the buffalo of that park. One hundred bison were killed last winter to protect the profits of eight cattle ranchers who hold grazing permits to federal Forest Service land (that really means our land) just outside Yellowstone Park. The government of Montana insists that the bison must be killed to prevent the spread of the disease brucellosis to the cattle.

The current herd is close to two thousand in number. Many people were outraged during the winter of 1997/98 when one thousand buffalo were shot in the fields or captured and taken to slaughterhouses. At that time a thousand was about 1/3 of this last free roaming bison herd in the US.

Do numbers matter? Does it matter to the US public only when this many are slaughtered? Is one-twentieth of the herd any more acceptable? Does it matter that the state of Montana has been conducting this annual slaughter for 15 years now? How many killed bison will the public find acceptable this winter?

Why do cattle slavers have such a hold on the federal government and the American people? Why haven't we been able to push legislation through Congress to reform cattle grazing laws on our public lands?

How many people even know that Montana Governor Marc Racicot, the man responsible for the slaughter, could be the next Secretary of the Interior, the agency in charge of the National Park Service, the agency whose symbol is the bison?

To learn more and to stay updated on the bison situation go to.... Yellowstone bison slaughter page

And please remember the activists in the field who are trying to protect the bison. They could use some coffee, some chocolate soymilk mix, some trail mix, some supportive letters and grocery money. Buffalo Field Campaign

The Wolf, Man's worst enemy, outcast brother of man's best friend

After centuries of extermination, things turned around for the wolf in 1976 when they were declared one of the first of the endangered species. Wolf reintroduction programs in Yellowstone and in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico/Arizona have been successful, in spite of the legal and illegal actions of cattle and sheep slavers who have shot and killed wolves and who have instigated lawsuits to protect the profits they make from the exploitation of animals.

On July 29th, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado, began hearing the arguments in the appeal of the Farm Bureau vs. the wolves of Yellowstone trial. A panel of three judges will determine whether to let stand or reverse the 1997 decision by a lower court which found in favor of the American Farm Bureau and ruled that the wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park would have to be removed. "Removed" translates into "killed" from the bureaucratese. A decision could still be months away in the appeal.

But good news came last month for the Mexican wolves reintroduced in the Southwest. A November federal court decision dismissed an attempt by the New Mexico Cattlegrowers Association to end the Mexican wolf reintroduction program in the Gila Wilderness area of New Mexico and Arizona. Defenders of Wildlife has called returning the Mexican wolf to its former range in the Southwest "the single most important wolf conservation initiative of the decade."

To compensate livestock owners for any livestock lost to wolves, the Defenders of Wildlife has a Wolf Compensation Trust Fund. This fund was initiated so that cattle and sheep ranchers would find the wolf reintroduction program more palatable. If you can't make enough money as an animal slaver without price supports and bailouts from the government, you can always turn to animal protection groups for a handout.

For more news on wolves... The Total Yellowstone Wolf News Page 

Go on to Are We Winning Yet? - FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement)
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