Saturday, February 12, 2011

Just Leave The Buffalo Alone...!

Why do we insist on killing large numbers of the buffalo?

The government would have us believe that the buffalo can spread some diseases to cattle, despite the fact that there is not one recorded case of such a thing happening!

More than likely it's really because of big cattle growers wanting to keep the bison off of their natural grazing areas, so that the cattle herds will have a larger range to feed on! This has been an ongoing argument ever since cattle have been allowed to graze on public lands! Lots of money to be made off cattle, very little off of buffalo!

However, history has shown us that once the government has decided that the buffalo is going to be slaughtered, the rest is almost automatic! Many times in our past, we have allowed the buffalo to be killed almost to the point of extinction!

BILLINGS, Mont. — Federal officials halted plans Friday to ship bison to slaughter from Yellowstone National Park after saying they first had to review a court challenge filed by wildlife advocates.

Almost 400 of the animals were being held in corrals inside the park for testing to see whether they have been exposed to the disease brucellosis.

Officials had planned to begin this week sending to slaughter those bison that test positive.

But environmental and American Indian groups are seeking a restraining order from a federal judge in Helena to block the shipments. No shipments are expected while the legal challenge is reviewed by the Park Service, Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash said.

Brucellosis can cause wildlife and livestock to prematurely abort their young. About half the park's bison carry the disease, although no bison-to-cattle transmissions have been recorded.

"Our plan at the moment is to continue testing and sorting these animals. We'll see what next week brings," Nash said.

Court filings indicate the government plans to respond to the request for a restraining order by Monday. No hearings have been set. The case is before U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell.

The legal maneuvering comes as the park's iconic bison herds are suffering their worst winter in several years, with deep snows forcing many of the animals out of the park and a much-heralded initiative to expand where they can roam on the verge of failure.

Park workers and state livestock agents have been trying for the last several weeks to halt the animals' exodus from the snow-packed park to lower elevations.

Bison periodically attempt to migrate out of the park in search of food. But many end up in government-operated corrals under a controversial program meant to guard against the spread of the disease brucellosis to livestock.

Christian Mackay, executive officer of the Montana Department of Livestock, said Friday that scheduling shipments of any captured bison is primarily a federal responsibility.

Through Friday, 224 of the 368 captured bison had been tested. Seventy-six tests came back positive and 148 negative, Nash said.

There is no guarantee the animals that tested negative will be released. Holding them until spring in the corrals along the park border could prove impossible if bison keep pouring out of the park.

The corrals hold only about 400 animals.

Those involved in the legal challenge said the chance of livestock being infected by bison is too low to justify the death of so many bison -- the largest wild land animals in North America.

"It doesn't make sense why they have such a lethal approach," said Tom Woodbury with the Western Watersheds Project, one of the plaintiffs in the case. "There are no cattle on public lands [adjacent to the park] this time of year. This seems to be more about population control than disease control."

Meanwhile, a $3.3-million initiative to give a small number of bison more room to roam outside the park was down to a single animal.

It has been just two weeks since 25 of the burly animals were herded onto the Gallatin National Forest, where bison had been prohibited for decades. But some of them repeatedly left the 2,500-acre patch where they were supposed to spend the winter. One was shot after entering private property, and 23 were captured and shipped back to the park or returned there on their own.

Government officials said it was uncertain when or how they would attempt again to carve out a new habitat for the species in Montana. The state's Democratic governor, Brian Schweitzer, suggested another batch of 25 bison could be herded from the park down to the forest land, but there were no immediate plans to do so.

Few cattle remain in the immediate vicinity of the park. Wildlife advocates said those conditions make it possible for government agencies to ease their restrictions on where bison can move.

But a spokesman for the Montana Stockgrowers Assn. said the livestock group is closely tracking the pending legal case and remains wary of any move to expand where bison can roam outside Yellowstone.

Jay Bodner, the association's director of natural resources, said cattle producers whose animals are infected with brucellosis can face economic losses if buyers are not willing to pay as much for their animals.

"Management actions still need to be taken," he said in reference to the government-sponsored capture and slaughter program.

In 2008, a record 1,600 bison were killed leaving the park, including more than 1,400 that were shipped to slaughter.

The people in power seem quick to kill off the bison, as well as the wild horses in places like Nevada based only on the one thing that they are impressed by...big money!

If we continue to assault the creatures that Mother Nature has placed here, sooner or later Mother Nature is going to start kicking butt and taking names! We all know how that will work out!

My suggestion? Why not just leave the wild horses and the buffalo alone? OK?

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit!


Diane-Sage Whiteowl said...

Totally agree! History again is repeating itself and it is "usually" a white man thing. Yes that is what I said and being half white...well I guess I have half the right to say it. :)

HermitJim said...

Hey Diane-Sage...
Red man, white man, or any other's the heart that says to many of us that this type of behavior is no longer civilized or acceptable!

We are going to have to find a way to co-exist with nature, instead of systematically destroying it. To do less is to strip ourselves of our humanity a little at a time!

Thanks for coming by today!

Anonymous said...

To bad this story! Money always comes first I´m afraid, even if there´s no evidence that the disease can spread.

I haven´t heard anything similar about our European Bison (lives in Poland and eastwards), called Visent and it´s slightly smaller than Yours is. It was extinct down in Europe but there were some in zoo´s that they put out and now they have rather many again.

I do hope nothing like this happens to them!

Have a great day now!

Ben in Texas said...

Just sounds like a bunch of land grabbing rich ranchers wanting some more free grazing land to me.. BS,, the Buff was here first!!!! MOVE WHITE BOY!!!

JoJo said...

This is so sad. First we almost make them extict and then we bring them back and now we want to destroy them again. Yes its money talks loadly. It makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

What about the rights of native grasses! They were here long before the murderous buffalo with their grass killing hooves! Move Buffalo!
Plants have rights too!

Bob from Athens said...

I lived and worked in Montana for quite a few years in the Bozeman and Yellowstone vicinity. Let me first say to Ben IT IS NOT a bunch of land grabbing greedy ranchers wanting more land, most of them have owned their land for hundred or more years. Before any of you start preaching about what is going on there, go there and learn the facts. These buffalo are leaving the park in huge numbers and entering private land, tearing down fences and destroying crop land, anyone that has seen what wild hogs can do to a pasture, well multiply that by about 100 for a herd of buffalo. The problem is that people from outside the region do not know any thing except what they read in the paper and most of that is totally biased. Just imagine a 100 acre pature with 250 buffalo on it. The buffalo herd sizes need to be controlled and thinned just like any cattle ranch anywhere. I wonder what any of your attitudes would be if you were the rancher that has been raising catle there for a couple 100 years when 2000 buffalo show up and start eating the grass and tearing things up!!!

Mechanic in Illinois said...

To screw things up it takes two things, the government and politicians. Maybe we should send them to the park and when they wonder out shoot them. At least justice would be served. Thanks for the story and have a great saturday.

HermitJim said...

Hey Christer...
I'm sorry to say that I didn't even know there were any type of bison in Europe! Shows just how dumb I am about the animal kingdom!

Let's hope they stay healthy and continue to be unmolested!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Ben...
It does seem to me that there must be a better answer, other than the slaughter of so many bison. I don't even pretend to know what it might be, though.

Glad you are back home again and I know the carpet sharks are happy to have you back, as well!

You take care, buddy! Thanks for the visit!

Hey JoJo...
Good to see you this morning! Did you get your water pipes fixed up? I certainly hope so!

I'll bet you are looking forward to having the normal water flowing again!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by today!

Hey Anon 9:09...
I have to admit that I haven't thought about the rights of grasses or plants here!
I always thought that the controlled grazing and fertilizing of the grasses and plants would make them thicker and more productive!

Interesting thought, I'll admit!

Thanks for your visit today!

Hey Bob...
Just curious, but isn't there some way of thinning the herd other than such a large scale slaughter?

Having worked in that area, you must have some ideas on how would be the best way to handle such a problem!

I have to admit that the only information I know about the problem is what I read!

Your input would be greatly appreciated, my friend!

Thanks for coming by today!

HermitJim said...

Hey Mechanic...
I doubt if many of our politicians have ever been to Yellowstone!

Do you really want to trust your natural treasures to an area that is full of politicos?

Thanks for coming by today!

WomanWhoRunsWithHorses said...

What Bob from Athens said is true ..."The buffalo herd sizes need to be controlled and thinned just like any cattle ranch anywhere." Cattle herds are tested for Brucellosis too. If they test positive, they're culled. It strengthens the herd. Culling the buffalo for diseased animals strengthens the herd too. There is always some faction that is motivated by pure greed, but the truth is if you confine animals that once roamed free, you have a responsibility to manage them. The same principles apply to hunting deer. If we banned hunting, the deer population would explode beyond sustainability and hundreds and thousands would begin to die of starvation and disease.

HermitJim said...

Hey WWRWH...
I can understand the points you and Bob are making, but my concern is for the slaughter of non-diseased animals.

Seems to be a better way to thin them out without killing them, but maybe I'm just to dumb to know what it is!

Thanks for coming by today!

judysquiltsandthings said...

Here is my two cents worth.

If you are going to restrict the size of the pasture, you have to restrict the size of the herd. You also have to feed that herd in the winter because you restrict its movements.

Why are the 'Federales' not culling the herd in a timely manner (yearly) to restrict the size of the herd to the size of the pasture? Then the nonsense that is going on right now wouldn't be going on, i. e. a large number of bison trying to find something to eat. Calves could be sold to ranchers wanting to get into the exotic meat business. Or, X number could be sent to slaughter-houses to supply the meat market and the profits could be rolled into the budget to buy hay or vaccines. Or if you want to be politically-correct, box the meat up, take to to the reservations, and feed the people that originally hunted the animals.

Just my thinking. Judy

Anonymous said...

Bison, they are not buffalo (buffalo live in Africa and Asia), are a wild animal, they have no respect for fences put up on their land without consent; after all they were there first. Maybe it is the landowners that should be culled?


Catman said...

@Bob From Athens,

It takes two to tango. Are you aware of the roundups (many of them illegal)of wild horses being conducted by the BLM on BEHALF of the cattle industry?

These horses are protected by law, which the BLM ignores.

The BLM runs some of these horses to death using helicopters so that ranchers can put ever increasing cattle herds on public lands.

Cattle do more to destroy the natural ecosystem than horses.

I'm all for people having rights to use their own property for their own needs, but I don't see where public lands that border the park can be said to be private lands just because some cattle rancher purchased grazing rights or a 99 year lease at a fee so ridiculously low that the taxpayers are underwriting the cost of his business.

If a rancher DOES own his own property, and he is impacted by herds of bison roaming outside the boundaries of the park, then he free to seek civil remedy.

As to the culling of the herds? I agree it does need to be done, and they do need to be monitored for Brucella infections. But then the cattle also need to be tested for BSE.

Rae said...

Makes me so mad to hear things like this. What a bunch of lunatics. No wonder the balance of nature has shifted. We are always interfering with animals and their territory. There has to be a better answer.

Anonymous said...

Rae, try not to be so mad. Given that 95 to 99% of all species on earth have gone extinct (due to asteroids, ice ages, natural selection, etc.), Darwin suggested extinction is the "natural" order of things.

Good news/bad news. Bad news is that when the sun turns into a red giant in 5 billion years, everything, including the buffalo will be gone. Good news is, if marxism doesn't destroy our economy, and thus advancing technology, we have 5 billion years to find a new home (and take some buffalo DNA with us).

Anonymous said...

30,000+ wild horses are being held in Federal corrals and pastures now. Paid for on the taxpayer dime to the tune of millioms of dollars a year.
Nobody wants em and the bureaucrats are too afraid of making someone mad so the can is kicked down the road for another year. Maybe they are waiting for them to die of old age?

the fargo kantrowitz'z literary campsite said...

Just wondering, is there any way to adopt these infected buffalo? i would love to have a buffalo on my property. I'll bet a lot of other people would too.