* Update From the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
As I stepped out of my lodge this morning, I was greeted
by the nearly full moon setting in the western sky against
a background of mountains lit up by the dawn sun. It
is a helpful reminder that the world we live in is a
magical and beautiful place that should not be taken
for granted. Sometimes, it is easy to get wrapped up
in all of the wrongs and injustices that people have
heaped up on the planet and its other inhabitants. It
is easy to forget to take time to let in the sacred
when facing the challenges of daily life. However, meeting
this challenge is one of the great lessons of our time
here with the buffalo, and especially our time here
with each other. We are truly blessed to have this opportunity
and we give thanks to all who help make it possible
through your love, prayers, contributions and eternal
dedication to the protection of our buffalo brothers
The buffalo "hunt" continued this week with
the beginning of the next two-week season and the final
days of the first six-week season. Unfortunately, with
hordes of hunters in town and one last shot at filling
their tags, one of the four bulls we had been watching
in the Yellowstone Village housing area was shot after
he wandered onto nearby National Forest lands. It is
the nature of the buffalo to roam and it is also their
right as living beings on earth to have that freedom.
In mourning our lost friend, we remember that he was
living according to an age-old tradition of wandering
wild buffalo. No other buffalo were killed in the West
Yellowstone area this week and there are no signs of
any buffalo other than the three that remain in Yellowstone
Village. Twenty either sex (trophy bull) tags were issued
for this hunt period, along with five cow/calf tags.
Opening day of the buffalo "hunt" in Gardiner
was quite a different story. Four big buffalo bulls
were shot in the Eagle Creek area near Yellowstone's
border. The buffalo were together as a group of six
mature bulls utilizing winter range that had formerly
been protected. One by one, four of the buffalo were
shot until only two remained. Those two remaining bulls,
without their four brethren, are no longer in the Eagle
Creek area, deciding to leave the killing fields for
the time being. One more "either sex" tag
remains for Gardiner along with five "cow/calf"
tags. There are not, nor have their recently been, any
mixed groups of buffalo in the Eagle Creek area.
As it is our duty to be the eyes and ears for the world
about the slaughter of America's only continuously free
roaming, genetically strong, wild buffalo, BFC volunteers
will continue to report on the details of the buffalo
"hunt." However, this hunt is only one, albeit
egregious, aspect of the overall plan to harass, kill
and otherwise control wild buffalo in the United States.
The hunt is just "one more tool in the toolbox"
to prevent buffalo from roaming into Montana and re-establishing
their historic right to the land. Let us not ever forget
that over the last twenty years, nearly 5,000 buffalo
have been killed at the hands of the Montana Department
of Livestock and the National Park Service. Thus far,
in one and a half years of hunting, 54 buffalo have
been killed. It is fair to say that many of these buffalo
would still have been killed at the hands of government
agents if there were no buffalo hunt. The only exception
is the Eagle Creek area that was formerly a so-called
Let us be perfectly clear and straightforward about
the buffalo "hunt. Buffalo Field Campaign stands
in total opposition to this hunt. Wild buffalo are so
far from being a viably hunted species that it is not
even appropriate to discuss hunting as part of a management
scenario at this time. However, and this is the difficult
part to explain, we recognize that many of the individual
hunters have been misled or are otherwise uninformed
about the actual state of wild buffalo and the overall
management scenario. We have taken it upon ourselves,
therefore, to educate hunters about the real situation
and try to cultivate advocates for the buffalo through
civil communication and honest dialogue. This task is
never easy as we witness our friends, the buffalo, being
killed at the very hands of these people whom we are
trying to connect with. This is our challenge and we
do not always succeed yet we will continue to try.
With the Buffalo,
* For the Love of Buffalo ~ Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day is on the horizon, and once again BFC
offers you the opportunity to send an original, hand-crafted
card to the special people in your life. Your parents,
grandparents, best friend, sweetheart, favorite teacher,
the grumpy guy next door who obviously needs extra kindness...our
card is appropriate for all relationships. Added bonus:
It lets the recipient(s) know that you are a person
of compassion and good heart, and it raises funds for
BFC, allowing us to continue the important work of defending
America's last free-roaming, wild bison.
Two cards are available. For a $10 contribution, a 4-1/4"
X 5-1/2" bison card (copy of hand-drawn original);
for a $35 contribution, a larger hand-made photo card
featuring Yellowstone bison. Both contain brief information
on BFC and our work, and bear the sentiment: "A
gift has been made in your honor by _________ for the
love of wild bison. Happy Valentine's Day! 'Nature never
did betray the heart that loved her...' Wordsworth"
Card orders must be received by
Saturday February 3; please order early. We'll
time the mailing to arrive by Valentine's Day.
To order, just click on this link: https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?id=1807,
specify the donation amount for the type of card you
are ordering, scroll down to "Special Valentine's
Card," select the card you want, then move below
to the "Valentine Info Box" and write the
recipient's name and address as well as how you would
like the card signed. To complete, scroll down to fill
in general and credit card info into the secure server.
If you'd rather pay through the mail, send a check along
with the name and address of your Valentine to: BFC,
PO Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758.
* Colorado Ski Package Auction to Benefit BFC!
Support Buffalo Field Campaign by bidding on a February
ski trip to Crested Butte, Colorado. Auction includes
a week of free lodging in a slopeside condominium, 8
free lift tickets courtesy of Crested Butte Mountain
Resort, free ski jackets and hats courtesy of Patagonia,
and gift certificates courtesy of Crested Butte and
Auction runs until January 11. View the auction and
place a bid at:
* BFC Wish List
Your generous monetary and in-kind donations make it
possible for BFC to be in the field with the last wild
buffalo, bearing witness and telling their story. Winter
is here and new volunteers of various shapes and sizes
are always arriving. Please help keep BFC warm, dry
and safe in the field. Some priority items we are currently
in need of include:
* Cross Country Ski poles
* Ski boots (especially size 9 and up)
* Pack Boots (i.e. Sorrel size 9 and up)
To view BFC's complete Wish List visit http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/aboutus/wishlist.html.
Donation items may be sent to Buffalo Field Campaign,
P.O. Box 957, West Yellowstone, Montana, 59758.
Thank you for keeping us in the field, ensuring that
America's last wild buffalo always have someone looking
out for them.
* Last Words
I'm the mad cosmic
Stones plants mountains
Greet me Bee rats
Lions and eagles
Stars twilight dawns
Rivers and jungles all ask me
What's new How you doing?
And while stars waves have something to say
It's through my mouth they'll say it.
~ Viiicente Huidobro