Monthly Archives: December 2011




Great news for Yellowstone bison
! Sixty-eight of these magnificent animals – some of the last genetically pure wild bison in America – are being moved to tribal lands… and away from the threat of potential slaughter.

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission voted earlier today to approve a land-mark plan to move these bison from quarantine to the Fort Peck and Fort Belknap Indian Reservations.

Caring Defenders supporters like you have sent thousands of messages, attended local hearings and donated vital funds to support our work to protect these American icons. And our work has paid off.

This is a significant milestone for the restoration of genetically pure bison and a critical step forward for returning these animals, which migrated out of Yellowstone Park, to parts of their historic range across the Great Plains.

The tribes of Fort Peck and Fort Belknap Reservations have repeatedly offered to welcome the bison back. For this we owe these tribes and the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission our sincere gratitude.

Returning these animals to tribal lands will allow at least some of Yellowstone’s bison to escape the government-led slaughter that has occurred in the past decade when bison have migrated out of the Park in winter in search of forage.

More innovative strategies need to be developed as an alternative to slaughter and as a way to restore genetically pure bison to the wild beyond the confines of the park. These are the most genetically important bison in the United States and should not be killed needlessly, especially when there is plenty of suitable habitat available.

Governor Schweitzer the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department have played an instrumental role in exploring new avenues for bison conservation and deserve credit for moving this plan forward.

Defenders of Wildlife is honored to have been able to help the Assiniboine, Sioux and Gros Ventre tribes by contributing funds for their efforts to secure grazing permits and build the required fencing in preparation for the return of bison (Defenders supporters even helped build the fencing!).

Wildlife Supporter, I can’t tell you how much I look forward to Defenders of Wildlife’s continuing work to support more free, wild bison now that the plan has been approved. Please stay tuned for more ways that you can help in the weeks ahead.

Once again, thanks for all of your help. This is a major victory for bison, and you should feel proud of the important role that you’ve played in making it happen.

Adopt a bison in our wildlife adoption center today, and show your support of these magnificent animals.

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