Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Annual Yellowstone bison 'cull' furthers genocide

Slippery Ann Creek

In 2010, habitat preservation and rewilding advocate George Wuerthner backed the Tony Dean Cheyenne River Valley Conservation Act, part of Senator Tim Johnson's proposal to add 48,000 acres as wilderness in the Indian Creek, Red Shirt and Chalk Hills areas of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland on the borders of Badlands National Park.
It is particularly disturbing that the tribes are participating in this annual carnage. In a sense, they are doing to bison what the American manifest destiny did to them — using bullets as a fence, they are confining bison to a wildlife “reservation.” Rather than continuously remove bison from Yellowstone by hunting, this rare genetic stock should be transplanted to other suitable habitats like the Missouri Breaks National Monument/Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, the Green River/ Red Desert of Wyoming, North Park of Colorado, the INL/Craters of the Moon/Snake River Plain in Idaho, among other suitable sites. [column, George Wuerthner, Billings (Montana) Gazette]
Outside Yellowstone National Park the Hayden Valley memorializes Ferdinand V. Hayden who advocated for “extermination” of tribal people and Mount Doane is named for Lieutenant Gustavus Doane who led a massacre of the Piikani, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. One reason Republicans don't like Common Core history standards is that the curriculum long-ignored by textbooks includes genocide and near-extermination of American Indians by European colonialism.

In 2011 an odd goddess and an interested party counted a hundred wapiti in a CM Russell National Wildlife Refuge meadow while another hundred browsed and bugled concealed by the cottonwood and willow stands on the riverbanks. The waxing gibbous moon extended our viewing time well beyond twilight and long after the line of humans in cars and trucks on the road below us had dispersed. Then, coyotes harmonized in a chorus that continued until dawn. Spring flooding sustained stands of grass that still hid elk calves and cows while they lazed about. The name has been bastardized from Cyprian to Siparyann to Slippery Ann Creek. It has become a safe refuge where elk gather as they leave summer grazing in the upper Missouri River Basin and migrate downstream to escape the winter. Managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the area is at the extreme west beginning of the Fort Peck Reservoir in eastern Montana.

Restoring and rewilding American ecosystems are parts of the Green New Deal.

The Anthropocene is now and time to rewild some of the American West eventually becoming part of a Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge connecting the CM Russell in Montana along the Missouri River through North Dakota to Oacoma, South Dakota combined with corridors from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon in the north and south to the Pecos River through eastern Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, western Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Clear the second growth conifers and restore aspen habitat, prescribe burns, begin extensive Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids, empower tribes, lease private land for wildlife corridors, turn feral horses from Bureau of Land Management pastures onto other public land to control exotic grasses and buy out the welfare ranchers Tony Dean warned us about.



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