Hear the Buffalo is a heartfelt plea to preserve the last wild bison roaming Yellowstone National Park, their significance in Native American culture, and the ongoing injustices they experience by attempts to manage populations outside the park in Montana.
The wild buffalo herd of Yellowstone National Park represent the only genetically pure buffalo left in the world. They need to survive and be safe. In 2008, the Governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer, re-instituted a hunt which resulted in the killing of over 1,600 Yellowstone buffalo. Today, the hunts have been discontinued, but Montana state wildlife officials, working with National Park staff and tribal representatives, have been trapping bison that attempt to continue their seasonal migration north of the park boundary near Gardiner, Montana.
The wild bison of Yellowstone are the most significant populations in the world, the last continuously wild bison to exist in their native habitat since prehistoric times. They are the direct descendants to the tens of millions that once thundered across North America. Currently, wild, migratory bison are ecologically extinct throughout their historic range with fewer than 4,200 existing in and around Yellowstone and, temporarily, in Montana. They are free of cattle genes and the only bison to hold their identity as a wildlife species. North America’s largest land mammal, wild bison are a keystone species critical to the health and integrity of grasslands and prairie ecosystems.
This film, Hear The Buffalo, expresses the value of the Yellowstone wild buffalo herd, their critical importance to Native American culture, the abuses they continue to undergo and is a heartfelt plea for their protection.
Directed by Gene Bernofsky for World Wide Film Expedition