Two people were arrested Friday morning at the Stephen’s Creek facility in Yellowstone National Park. This is the second arrest in two weeks and the fourth criminal incident at the facility this year.
The two individuals blocked the access road into the facility by chaining themselves to barrels in front of the facility gate.
Wild Buffalo Defense claimed the arrested as members of their group. Chris Hurley, a member of the activist collective, said they’re hoping these arrests will raise awareness to end Yellowstone National Park's current containment of bison. The group wants the animals to have access to a wider landscape.
“Their operation prevents that from happening, largely as a result of pressure from the state of Montana and the livestock industry and stock growing associations,” said Hurley.
Slaughtering and transporting live bison to Native American tribes are both part of the Interagency Bison Management Plan. Eight tribal, state and federal agencies agreed to a 2018 Winter Plan that calls for a reduction of the park's herd population, due to fear of spreading diseases like brucellosis to other species during the animals’ annual migration from the park to Montana.
But Hurley wondered if elk, which have been proven to transfer brucellosis to livestock, can roam free then why can’t bison?
“There’s never been a proven case of [brucellosis] transmission from wild bison to livestock but elk generate large amounts of revenue for the states and private outfitters,” said Hurley.