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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 18, 2014 at 6:12 AM

Raising buffalo for meat doesn’t help stewardship of wild herds

Alan Berner / The Seattle Times

At Lone Boot Buffalo Ranch north of Ferndale, where John and Sue Muggy raise buffalo for meat, a mother and her calf are the picture of pastoral calm.

The Seattle Times’ recent article making it seem like the people who are raising buffalo for their meat are being good buffalo stewards is very misleading [“Where the buffalo now roam: Local ranchers help put them on the comeback trail,” Pacific NW Magazine, July 4]. Buffalo farming is a livestock industry and has nothing to do with saving our genetically pure Yellowstone buffalo.

There is plenty of room for the wild, genetically pure Yellowstone buffalo to roam and thrive, yet the war that reduced them to 23 individuals over a hundred years ago continues to this day because the ranching industry’s power and wealth has bought off politicians who do their bidding by creating falsehoods on why the buffalo cannot step foot outside of the park. They could once again spread across the land and make it healthy, but the powers-that-be won’t let that happen as they are obsessed with managing them to an artificially low number to keep the cattle and sheep ranchers happy.

Sending them to slaughter and chasing them back into the park during the spring when they are giving birth or too young to keep up with the herd is cruel, abusive, unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

The gentle giants will never be allowed to flourish as long as the politics that almost pushed them to extinction so long ago continues to put special interest groups’ demands ahead of science.

Gayle Janzne, Seattle

Comments | More in animals | Topics: bison, buffalo, Gayle Janzne

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