Yellowstone Buffalo Foundation
Bison Herd

What's Happening...

Gallatin Wildlife Association Positions
on Restoration and Management
of Wild Bison in Montana

American Plains Bison book by Dan Bailey

American Plains Bison
Rewilding an Icon

By James A. Bailey

Re-Introducing Bill to Improve Conservation, Management
Proposed Bison Bill for 2015 c Legislature

Bison Unfairly Cast as Brucellosis Villains
Part 3 and Part 4 by Todd Wilkinson

Letter to Interagency Bison Management Planning Partners
A Response to Montana Department of Livestock Proposal to Further Restrict Greater Yellowstone
Bison Habitat (pdf)

Wild Buffalo ManagementóResponsibility of Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks
Proposed Bison Bill for Montana 2013 Legislature (pdf)

Montanans Voice Overwhelming Support for Restoring Bison
Poll Results (pdf)

9th Circuit Upholds Yellowstone Park Bison Slaughter...
Billings Gazette Article

Gallatin Wildlife Association Comments on Bison Entering Montana from Yellowstone
To Joint Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks/Department of Livestock Bison Habitat EA (pdf)

Native Habitat for Americaís Last Wild Buffalo Is Guaranteed by Treaty, Tribes Say
Indian Country Today Media Network Article & Video

Are There Any Wild Bison In Our Future?
by Jim Bailey, PhD, Retired Wildlife Biologist

Update January 2012
From YBF President, Joe Gutkoski

A Public Comment
re: Interagency Bison Management Plan

Hazing Is Cruel And Unnecessary
Editorial by YBF President, Joe Gutkoski

YBF Joins Suit To Seek Emergency Injunction To
Prevent Slaughter of Yellowstone Bison

Buffalo Field Campaign Press Release

Billings Gazette News Article...
Bison Corralled For Slaughter As Activists Ask Court For Halt

Hearing On Lawsuit Over Wild Bison Hazing
September 20, 2010

Buffalo Field Campaign Press Release
Billings Gazette | Helena Independent Record

Press Release - March 23, 2010
YBF Joins Suit to Protect Quarantined Bison & Public Trust
Lawsuit Seeks to Secure Public Access to Bison and Prevent Privatization of Calves

Letter to Regional Forester
Petition to designate Bison as a sensitive species in Region One

Press Release - November 9, 2009
Conservationists File Suit Against Federal Agencies to End Bison Slaughter
Yellowstone Buffalo Foundation
a plaintiff

The Sad and Shameful Situation of the Yellowstone Buffalo

Church Universal & Triumphant Bison Easement Deal

Published Editorials

Yellowstone Buffalo

Brucellosis Research

Regionalizing Brucellosis Can Be A Win/Win Solution

Buffalo In The Greater Yellowstone Area

Article in New West about Fish, Wildlife & Parks Scoping Period on Bison Hunt

Google Searches:
Latest News about Yellowstone Buffalo
Websites regarding Yellowstone Buffalo

Yellowstone Buffalo Foundation
Board Of Directors
Articles of Incorporation

Buffalo Allies
of Bozeman

Montana Wild Buffalo Recovery
and Conservation Act of 2009

American Buffalo


Committed to restoring buffalo (bison) on public land managed by states and the US Government

What You Can Do To Help

We are asking for your help in convincing national, state, county, and municipal agencies and organizations to accept the reestablishment of one of America’s great national symbols. In the 1800’s there were 60 million free ranging buffalo on America’s Great Plains and in its mountains. These massive animals were the main sustenance of the American Plains Indians. Due to massive slaughter by European settlers, by 1890 there were fewer than 1,000 buffalo. By 1902, there were only 23 buffalo left in Yellowstone National Park (YNP). This herd has now grown to more than 4,000 buffalo. .

Why Are These Buffalo Special?

Current management does not allow these growing herds of buffalo (bison) to move outside the Yellowstone National Park (YNP) boundaries. The states of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho border the national park where the traditional seasonal buffalo range is located. There are many 1000’s of buffalo owned by private ranches in the United States but this is the location of the only herds of free ranging wild buffalo that are wildlife and not managed like livestock with fencing, inoculations and selective breeding.

Current Management

The limited habitat available in YNP is currently estimated to sustainably support only 2,000 — 2,200 buffalo according to retired YNP biologist Mary Meagher. In 2005-06 there are approximately 4,900 animals. This is about 3,000 more animals than there is food available. Due to high altitude and heavy snow cover, YNP is not suitable habitat for bison. They follow old migration patterns and leave the national park searching for grass. As they cross this artificial boundary they are hazed back into the national park, corralled and slaughtered or shot.

Due to population increases in the early 1990’s, which caused buffalo to seek new habitat, the State of Montana instated a hunting season which drew national attention and protests. Using various means of management, over 1000 buffalo were killed during this time. The State of Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Department was removed from management of the species and the Department of Livestock was given management responsibilities. In 2005 — 06, another attempt was made to have the public harvest buffalo with a hunting season allowing 50 buffalo to be killed in a regular hunting season. Protesters have documented and recorded the hunting season but have not interfered. This has not been enough to reduce the herd and almost 600 additional animals have been captured and sent to slaughterhouses.

The management of the Yellowstone National Park buffalo herd has been under the control of the Montana Department of Livestock, the National Park Service, the US Department of Homeland Security and APHIS (Animal and Plant Protection Health Inspection Services). It is as if the animal that is one of America’s greatest symbols, is being treated as if they were a terrorist threat. It seems as if some of these agency employees perpetuate a myth of brucellosis in the public eye in order to keep the bureaucracy going, and thus job protection for themselves. Some people think the real issue is cattlemen fearing that fences will be broken and grass will be eaten by the buffalo before their cattle can get to it. ABF supports transferring the management of buffalo back to the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the agency that manages all the other native game and non-game species in Montana.

The current management conflict results from a fear by stock growers that their cattle will be infected by brucellosis which causes cows to abort their first born calf. It costs money to inoculate against brucellosis as well as the fear that the states will lose their “brucellosis free” status for all their cattle shipped out of state. Once this status is lost, all cattle must be tested if sold and if they are shipped across state lines. Although recently Wyoming lost its brucellosis free status, no other state veterinarians have refused to accept their cattle. The situation has been further complicated by evidence that wild elk living outside Yellowstone National Park have transmitted brucellosis to cattle.

Brucellosis is a seasonally contagious disease with the window of transmission from birthing material lasting from approximately March 15 to June 1 each year. Livestock are not allowed onto public lands until July 1 in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Reproductive age female domestic cows are the class of livestock susceptible of contracting the disease. Replacing them with brucellosis-proof cattle such as steers, yearlings, spayed heifers and cows to be slaughtered in the fall are a practical way to continue permitting domestic livestock on buffalo ranges. Temporary and special separation can also be a successful management tool. Wildlife ranges, by tradition are not fenced and ABF will support that policy where possible for bison. To be fenced artificially by management or by actual fences takes the “wild” out of wild buffalo. The fate of our wild free roaming Yellowstone buffalo must be decided now. After that is accomplished, the rest of the nation will feel free to follow.

Besides the fear by stock growers over possibly infectious disease, is the fact that buffalo eat a lot of grass and forage and do not respect fences. It is understandable that ranchers do not want to have to feed bison on their private lands or repair fences damaged by buffalo.

Future For Wild Buffalo

We will begin the recovery of this native animal by allowing Yellowstone National Park buffalo to seasonally move out of the park and onto publicly owned lands that are part of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. There is no scientific reason to continue the zero tolerance policy of capture, test, hazing, quarantine, and slaughter of buffalo walking out of the Yellowstone National Park looking for winter forage to survive. Buffalo are a stolid gregarious animal that essentially do not fear man. They need large spaces to develop groupings, hard leaders and grazing patterns.

ABF takes neither a pro nor anti hunting position. The concern of ABF is with wild bison herds and bison habitat which are inseparable. It is our intention to help foster a national consensus on the importance of maintaining wild, free ranging and genetically viable core herds of the species named bison bison also known as the American Buffalo.

It is the intent of the Yellowstone Buffalo Foundation to help and facilitate the raising of funds for the purchase of certain buffalo grazing lands and migration corridors where buffalo may disburse. This may include lands not immediately adjacent to Yellowstone National Park but on the Great Plains. ABF also supports the purchase of cattle grazing leases on public lands and cattle on private lands adjacent to Yellowstone National Park.


Yellowstone Buffalo Foundation is a tax exempt 501 c3 organization. Please consider a donation to help preserve the last of the genetically pure wild free roaming buffalo (bison bison) remaining in the United States of America...

Donation Categories:

Bull Bison $50 and up
Cow Bison (leader of the herd) $25
Calf Bison $15

Donations may be sent to:

Yellowstone Buffalo Foundation
304 N 18th Ave
Bozeman, MT 59715

American Buffalo Foundation was formed in January 1991 in Bozeman, Montana. The name was changed to Yellowstone Buffalo Foundation in August 2008.

Yellowstone Buffalo Foundation
Bison Herd
304 N 18th Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Tel: 406-587-9181