The Buffalo Brigade Protecting Yellowstone’s Noble Beasts
They’re one of the last wild buffalo herds in the U.S. but every year hundreds are shot or slaughtered. A group of camera-toting activists wants to make sure the world sees.
Photo by Stephany Seay/Buffalo Field Campaign
Clarence Gilmer has sharp eyes.
“I think I see some bison,” he says. I look up from my snowshoes but see nothing more than white snow and the dark blue of the Madison River on a cloudy day. Just inside the border of Yellowstone National Park, we’ve been walking along the river for fifteen minutes. Despite the snow that was blowing here earlier today, by mid-morning it has now sufficiently warmed for Gilmer to wear only a fleece vest over a cotton t-shirt.
Eventually, I start to recognize the brown shapes tucked against the far side of the river valley, but Gilmer is again well ahead of me. “I just counted about 27,” he says. After ten years observing bison on the Yellowstone landscape, he has a well-trained eye. Gilmer is a member of the Buffalo Field Campaign activist organization, and has dedicated much of his life to protecting the animals.
The herd of buffalo before us (“bison” and “American buffalo” both refer to the same North American s…
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