Efforts Aim to Prevent Bison Slaughter, Promote Bison Restoration
Jamie Rappaport Calrk, Defenders of Wildlife
Once hunted to near extinction in one of the most shameful episodes in American history, only the bison of Yellowstone National Park survived in the American wild. Today this wild herd still numbers only around 3,500.
But each winter, when they descend from the park in search of forage free of Yellowstone’s deep snow, these magnificent animals are hazed back into the park, rounded up in holding pens or shipped to slaughter, all out of exaggerated fears that they could spread disease to cattle.
With winter well under way now, Yellowstone’s bison are once again at risk of hazing, capture or even slaughter as they search for food outside the park. Will you help them survive?
Last month, we achieved an important milestone in our efforts to restore wild bison to more places, when Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer approved moving 68 wild Yellowstone bison now in quarantine to tribal lands of Fort Belknap and Fort Peck Indian Reservations to start new conservation herds.
Defenders staff played an important role in these negotiations and in working with tribes to prepare areas for bison, and caring supporters spoke up time and time again in support of the tribes’ requests to help secure new homes for these bison.
Unfortunately, our work is far from finished.
To date, Defenders of Wildlife is the only national conservation group to help fund bison restoration on the tribal lands of the Assiniboine, Gros Venture and Sioux Tribes. In the months ahead, we aim to increase our efforts to protect this animal we consider to be one of the most important biological and cultural species in North America.
Your contribution now will not only help offset the costs of completing the necessary fencing and other infrastructure needed to make their homes on tribal lands, but it will also support work to expand habitat for bison around Yellowstone National Park, oppose the annual hazing and slaughter of Yellowstone’s wild bison, increase human tolerance, and advocate for other wildlife-saving initiatives.
Patrick, we need just 40 people in South Dakota to make a tax-deductible donation of $20 or more to meet our goal and save bison. Will you help?
Jamie Rappaport Clark
Defenders of Wildlife