|These bison are midway into the basin, two miles past the Roosevelt Arch, two miles from the park border. They are grazing near the National Park Service's Stephens Creek facility, the trap where bison are captured and shipped to slaughter.|
|After grazing, bison do what is called "loafing," resting on the ground while an incredibly efficient digestive system squeezes every bit of nutrition from the dried grass and new shoots they migrated in search of. |
|Loafing in the Gardiner Basin must be more comfortable then loafing in the cold and snowy Lamar Valley--as the bison in this photo was doing earlier in the winter.|
|The basin's spring-like temperatures and snow-free range must be pleasant. We watched and laughed as this youngster romped among his matriarchal group, seemingly just for the joy of doing so.|
|But bison grazing, loafing, or romping near the trap are at risk. This photo shows two of four mounted NPS staff. All are closing in on a group of bison grazing near the trap.|
|Mary and I watched with anger and sadness while the riders worked as a team to haze the bison toward the trap. After the bison disappeared into a gully, we could hear the whooping and hollering as the riders drove the bison into the trap.|
|The hazed herd will join all these other bison inside the trap. After blood testing and a short stay the captives will be hauled to a slaughter house. The hides and meat will be distributed to Native American tribes.|
controls the shooting, capture, and slaughter of
Yellowstone bison our national mammal.
This court-ordered coalition is composed of eight members:
National Park ServiceUSDA-Forest Service
USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Montana Department of Livestock
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
The Nez Perce Tribe
The Inter Tribal Buffalo Council
The three annual IBMP meetings are open to the public.
If you want to speak for bison,
public comment is allowed at each meeting.
Next meeting: April 8, 2020 in Bozeman, MT.
Rick Lamplugh writes and photographs to protect wildlife and wild lands.
His bestselling In the Temple of Wolves; its sequel, Deep into Yellowstone; and its prequel, The Wilds of Aging are available signed.
His books are also available unsigned or as eBook or audiobook on Amazon.