Update from the Field
Thankfully, this week's Montana Department of Livestock
mismanagement could have been worse. No buffalo were
yesterday's operations, a tragic alternative which will
become more and
more probable as the date marches further past the May
tolerance" deadline. By the end of the day, over
130 buffalo, many of
whom were newborn calves, had been hazed over ten miles
by agents in a
helicopter, on ATV's and horseback. It was a hot, dusty
and chaotic day
as we watched peaceful creatures harassed another time
in what seems to
be an endless string of abuse.
Our patrol arrived on the South Arm of the Madison River
at 5:30 AM,
ready to document the fate of the two groups bedded
down in the serene
valley. Over 40 mature bison and 10 reddish-brown calves
began to graze and play in the clear Montana sunlight.
After only a
brief glimpse of this natural scene, we began to receive
reports of DOL
buildup in the area. Agents began to arrive with horses
and ATV's, and
the grating thump-thump-thump of the helicopter floated
to us on the
wind. Many bison began to stand and group together.
It was beginning.
The details of yesterday's hazing operations are frustratingly
to those of countless other days of harassment. Buffalo
from the south side of the Madison River, from the Horse
peninsula, and from private land back into the Park.
grind of the helicopter filled our ears the entire day.
detonated explosive cracker rounds next to frightened
them running in all directions. Female bison who had
given birth only
days before were running at top speed, their fresh young
their best to keep up, tongues hanging from their mouths,
clattering over gravel and asphalt.
At one point, a mother and calf were separated from
their group and were
being hazed by an agent on horseback down the nine-mile
road. The pair left the road to rest in a meadow and
were pursued by
the rider. The mother turned and faced the rider as
her calf sought
shelter between her legs. Her tail raised, she began
scrape the earth, pounding her hooves in defiance. The
forward to try to assert his authority. In an instant,
all of her mass
and maternal instinct was committed to the charge as
she sped toward the
rider, head bent, horns pointed. The horse reared and
spun, the rider
stood up in his saddle. A few feet from impact, the
mother stopped and
stared, then returned to her baby, having taught the
rider the true
nature of power and of love.
Buffalo left the park within hours of the hazing. As
I write this,
agents continue to haze yesterday's victims back into
the Park. Another
week has brought us closer to the possibility that bison
will be shot in
the field again this spring. We will hold their safety
in our hearts
and keep you informed of the fate of America's last
For the buffalo,
Jonas Ehudin & Ted Fellman
Shifting into Summer Campaign
As the days grow longer and the air finally warms up,
Campaign draws to a close. We send our sincere thanks
to all volunteers
who have joined us in the field this season.
On June 1, we begin our Summer Campaign, which focuses
outreach and education as we table in Yellowstone. A
dedicated core of
campaigners will remain in the cabin this summer, and
for the first time
since BFC began, we are asking that new volunteers please
wait to visit
until Fall Campaign begins in October.
Our open volunteer season runs through fall, winter
(approximately October through May) and these are the
times when field
volunteers are badly needed.
Previous volunteers and supporters should contact our
coordinator at (406) 646-0070 or buffaloatwildrockies.org
if you would
like to visit this summer.
* Summer Buffalo Road Show
Mike Mease will bring the BFC road show to the west coast
Beginning in mid-August and continuing through mid-September,
others will present the current situation faced by the
Our exclusive footage brings the reality of this conflict
right to your
We are currently lining up west coast venues for presentations.
contact us at (406) 646-0070 or
mease"at"wildrockies.org if you can help
set up a location for this compelling video and discussion
In addition to Mike, our 25-foot buffalo balloon will
be on tour. Help
the buffalo balloon roam near you. To see a picture
of the inflatable
buffalo at the Washington, DC Buffalo Stampede, check
Billings Gazette Poll Results
Thanks to everyone who went to the Billings Gazette's
website last week
to vote for ESA protection for the Yellowstone herd.
From the Billings Gazette:
Readers who responded to last week's billingsgazette.com
said bison in Yellowstone National Park should be protected
Endangered Species Act.
In the unscientific online poll, 364 respondents (58
percent) said bison
deserve more protection. Another 261 voters (42 percent)
saying that current bison management policies are appropriate
The truth will set you free. But before it does, it
will make you angry.
- Jerry Joiner