The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey / nshockey.express@gmail.com
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

Campaign seeks to stop buffalo extermination


Goodshield Aguilar (left), Tony Longhair (middle) and Joe Perez relax after Aguilar’s performance in the Buffalo Campaign. ||Kristen Stauss || staussk@imail.losrios.edu
Goodshield Aguilar (left), Tony Longhair (middle) and Joe Perez relax after Aguilar’s performance in the Buffalo Campaign. ||Kristen Stauss || [email protected]

City College students gathered in front of the Student Center Oct. 8 to sup­port the Buffalo Field Cam­paign.

“This is to bring focus and attention to buffalo that once roamed the free land,” says Tony Longhair, student activist. “We can’t afford to kill buffalo.”

According to the Buffalo Campaign Web site, “Volun­teers from around the world de­fend buffalo on their traditional winter habitat and advocate for their protection.” The site states that daily patrols stand ground with the buffalo, and document every move made against them.

The group has been hold­ing demonstrations at City Col­lege for the past five years.

“The purpose behind the cause needs to keep being reiter­ated,” says City College President of Indigenous Peoples Club Joseph Perez. “The problem isn’t real for people. Ask half the people here and they won’t know anything about the buffalo.”

Longhair says the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Ser­vice, and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks have been systematically exterminating the last pure breed buffalo in Yellowstone National Park. Park services blame the buffalo for the spread of brucellosis, a highly contagious disease that is spread through cross breeding with cattle. A cow and a buffalo create a new breed called a beefalo.

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Activist Goodshield Aguilar points out that elk are the only species that can spread brucellosis because buffalo are not af­fected by the disease.

The National Wildlife Federation states on its Web site: “There has never been a documented case of brucellosis trans­mission between free-ranging buffalo and range cattle.”

Aguilar blames the author­ity of the parks, which claim they have the power to man­age the population, for what Aguilar calls “the senseless and uneducated killing of the buffalo.”

This year, park authorities have shot five buffalo and last year an estimated 1,616 were killed, according to the Buffalo Field Campaign Web site.

The new breed of beefalo is also a problem because, ac­cording to Aguilar, it creates an inferior species with flat hooves that compress the land. Breeding for beefalo can also cause first calves to be stillborn, Aguilar said.

Aguilar blames the author­ity of the parks for the killing of the buffalo, pointing out that elk is the only species that can spread brucellosis because buffalo are not affected by the disease.

“Power is the tree giving oxygen or this bug flying around me but authority is brutality, that’s what’s happening to the buffalo,” said Aguilar.

According to Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s spokes­person and Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer they are in support of their state’s “buffalo population management effort.”

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