Yellowstone bison

Yellowstone Bison Protester Sentenced in Court

The other bison protester arrested after chaining himself to a concrete-filled barrel outside Stephens Creek has been sentenced in federal court.

According to KBZK Bozeman, Mark Wolf, 26, was sentenced to three years of unsupervised probation and ordered to pay $1,000 in fines. He is also banned from Yellowstone National Park.

Wolf and his associate, Joshua Rivera, 29, were arrested in mid-March after chaining themselves to concrete-filled barrels in the middle of the road leading to/from the Stephens Creek Bison Facility.

The pair belong to Wild Buffalo Defense, an advocacy group that seeks to highlight living conditions for Yellowstone bison and protest their treatment. You can see a photo of the pair below, courtesy of WBD’s Facebook page.

Wild Bison Defense protesters March 16, 2018

Rivera plead guilty to misdemeanor charges March 20, 2018. He was charged with trespassing and interfering with an agency function and ordered to pay $1,936 in restitution. Like Wolf, he is banned from Yellowstone for three years and will undergo unsupervised probation during that time.

Rivera and Wolf are among five WBD members who have been arrested this winter for protesting the holding and slaughter of Yellowstone bison. In early March, three protesters were arrested for entering the facility. Two members of the group chained themselves to the Stephens Creek squeeze chute, while a third was witnessed by rangers leaving the facility.

All three plead guilty to misdemeanor charges and were banned from entering Yellowstone.

In addition to these arrests, there have been several incidents at Stephens Creek where bison being held there have escaped through cut fences. The first incident happened in January, with over 50 bison escaping. The second incident happened in February, with over 70 bison escaping, although most returned before crews patched up the fences.

The National Park Service has opened criminal investigations into both incidents.

Bison in Yellowstone National Park are annually hunted and slaughtered under the Interagency Bison Management Plan, which calls for the Yellowstone herd to be reduced to 3,000 and prevented from moving far beyond park boundaries.

This winter, over 1,100 bison were killed, far above the goal of 600 to 900 set by IBMP managers last fall. Officials estimate the Yellowstone bison herd will measure around 4,300 following spring calving, down from 4,800 in summer 2017.

About Sean Reichard

Sean Reichard is the editor of Yellowstone Insider and author of Yellowstone Insider For Families 2017.

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