The Department of Interior (DOI) recently announced that they intend to "restore" bison to various portions of the landscape, but there is madness to their method. From a buffalo's perspective--one shared by BFC--restoration happens naturally, simply through walking; freely migrating onto the lands that wild buffalo have been absent from for nearly two hundred years. Wild buffalo attempt to restore themselves year after year, and would succeed with no interference from humans, no plans or funding is necessary. Yet they are repeatedly blocked by politics masquerading as science.
The DOI wants to use America's last wild buffalo -- the Yellowstone herds -- as "seed stock" to safeguard genetics and artificially place bison on specific landscapes in the country. Their main tool would be quarantine, which involves capture and years of confinement and domestication for wild buffalo in order to create docile, brucellosis-free animals that would be placed on landscapes surrounded by fences. The DOI's false platform is that Yellowstone holds "surplus" buffalo, "extra" animals that must be removed from an already dangerously tiny and vulnerable population. This is absolutely false: there are no "surplus" buffalo; this remnant population of fewer than 4,200 animals is ecologically extinct. Yellowstone National Park's own carrying capacity study determined that lands within the Park itself can sustain upwards of 6,200 wild buffalo, and with hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands surrounding the Park, many thousands more could flourish. Reducing the world's most significant bison herds to "seed stock" misses the entire point of restoring a keystone wildlife species and placates livestock interests. Wild buffalo are so much more than their genetics. Their wild integrity is in their behavior, their character, their very spirit, which the DOI plan would kill.
Please contact Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and remind her that true restoration does not include capture, domestication through quarantine, transport via livestock trucks, fencing, becoming mere "genetic seed stock," culling, or any other livestock model management scheme. True restoration is simple: Let buffalo be buffalo to walk the earth, roam, migrate, and return to the lands that are their birthright. Self-willed and wild are the ways of the buffalo. The DOI's plan with all its intensive intervention, that is the way of cattle.
If you have a question, comment or concern, please let us know. Here are a few ways you can contact the U.S. Department of the Interior, Secretary Sally Jewell and our bureaus:
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240
Phone: (202) 208-3100
Web: Feedback form
This is just awful, all the worst programs have deceptive names like restoration, when that's really very far from the truth..
What shall we do?
Knew it was too good to be true.
I wonder if they are taking advice from Ted turner?
Thanks for posting this insane proposal by the DOI. I just sent a note to Secty Jewell, for what good it will do. I ususally see a glass half full but not in this instance.
Thanks Carlene for sending a note to Sect'y Jewell. I hope she is better than that ignorant Salazar and not a 'good ole girl' who is in the rancher's pockets. TAS I don't know what to do as the ranchers and other cattle groups just blatantly disobey judge's orders anyway! Are their horrible plans going to domestic all the wild bison???? Also, what does becoming 'genetic seed stock' mean? WHY are the bison having to suffer for a disease that the cattle brought to OUR country? Blame the cattle not the bison I say! It sucks!