Stop Annual Slaughter of Yellowstone Bison

Bison Roundup

Target: National Park Service Superintendent Jeff Mow

Goal: Stop the annual cull of bison in Yellowstone National Park.

The National Park Service, charged with protecting and conserving public lands and the animals that live on them, annually sends a percentage of Yellowstone bison to slaughter. Up to a thousand bison are rounded up and sent to slaughterhouses by rangers in what they term a “cull.” The park service claims this shocking measure is a necessary step in the fight against spreading brucellosis, an infectious, bacterial disease, from bison to cattle. However, the park service has separately acknowledged that the chance of brucellosis spreading from bison to cattle is extremely remote.

Successfully redeemed from the endangered species list in recent years, the American bison is a survivor, as well as a beloved icon of Yellowstone National Park and the American west. Though humans killed over 50 million bison in the 1800s, conservation and farming has restored the species enough to remove them from federal protection with their current population hovering at around 150,000 total. Though no longer technically endangered, bison – like other animals that have recently lost federal protections – exist on the outer margins of endangerment. An increase in overzealous hunting or a single difficult disease could easily hurtle bison back onto the endangered species list.

The true reason for the annual bison cull seems to lie with local ranchers, who complain that bison destroy their property and compete with their cattle for grass, and the fact that the National Park Service is politically beholden to them. The fact that the federal wildlife policy is directed by the political interests of the cattle industry, rather than ecological and conservation interests, is shameful. Demand that the National Park Service extricate itself from the influence of Montana ranchers and devote themselves instead to protecting federal lands and the animals that call them home.


Dear Superintendent Mow,

The bison is a beloved symbol of America, one that until recently was still considered endangered. Although the bison population has been restored enough to be removed from federal protections, their numbers are a tiny percentage of what they were before significant human impacts. It’s hard to comprehend that the National Park Service, committed to serving the land and its animals, would send these creatures to slaughter.

We, the undersigned, value bison, and we value our public lands. We support ecology and conservation as central interests of the National Park Service, and we regret that political interests of the cattle industry seem to have taken their place in this instance. We urge you to extricate Yellowstone from the political power of ranchers and end the annual bison cull.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: National Park Service

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  1. Kathy Khoshfahm says:

    Jeff – These Bison belong to the Animal Kingdom who, by the way, are citizens of this Earth too. They have every right to be on this planet and they deserve our respect and protection. We have invaded the Homes and Homeland of nearly every animal on Earth yet we were never invited. Please come up with another plan to deal with this issue. Their will to live is just as strong as ours; slaughter is not the answer…

  2. let the great bison roam free now, end the killings of great wildlife now.

  3. America conplaining about everything if your not killing anything your not happy

  4. Will these ignorant murders only be happy when every animal on the planet has been Tortured and killed??? FACT: finding enjoyment from killing animals without reason is a sign of mental illness. Look it up!

  5. Catherine Jenereaux says:

    I found it both sad and frustrating that around the world wildlife is being slaughtered under the geiss of so many reasons. Trohpy Hunting still prospering, animals killed for medicinal purposes and the list goes on. When a historic park such as Yellowstone is dictated to by ranchers and farmers it sends a message loud and clear and that message is that the wildlife have no voice, no protector. These are Gods Creatures and not ours. Wake up.

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