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Total Yellowstone
Buffalo Killed
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9,172
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* Update from the Field
* BFC is Roaming to Washington, DC
* Nez Perce Buffalo Hunt Ends
* March 18:  Drumming a Sacred Circle for Life!
* Last Words

* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Nearly every day this week, Yellowstone National Park wranglers have been using our tax dollars to conduct intensive buffalo hazing operations along the park's northern boundary near Gardiner.  Hundreds of wild buffalo are being refused access to national forest land, conservation easement land, and a few miles of Yellowstone borderland.   These lands within one of North America's largest wildlife migration corridors, should all be available to wild buffalo as they are to every other species.  Yet in order to protect the economic interests of Montana's livestock industry, the Park refuses the buffalo's access and shoos them away like pests; their natural migration is staunched, and their well-being placed in serious jeopardy. 

The stressful, relentless harassment not only prevents the buffalo from accessing critical food, it also causes them to burn energy reserves they cannot afford to spend.  Buffalo are a migratory species; they know when and where they need to go and have followed these instincts for thousands of centuries. Wild buffalo are being punished for being good grazers.  Cattle are pampered and protected for destroying the land, while the country's last native population of buffalo is harassed and slaughtered for being ecologically beneficial. 
 
The northern boundary region is an amazingly rich landscape, teeming with a wide variety of wildlife including elk, big horn sheep, pronghorn antelope, mule and white tail deer, coyotes, wolves, brown and black bears, golden and bald eagles, mountain lions and so much more.  It's so astounding here nestled between these breathtaking mountains and the lush valley with the Yellowstone river meandering through it all.  This area is home to so much life and we feel very lucky to be in its midst.  Unfortunately, the hazing operations displace all wildlife. This week, we documented  pronghorn antelope, coyotes, and even a jackrabbit being displaced by a haze.  The pronghorn, part of the Park's only surviving population--numbering fewer than 275 individual animals--are repeatedly disturbed every time there is a buffalo hazing operation.  With mortality rates on the rise, sentiments from Park employees reveal strong concerns about the future of this island population.

Clearly, the Park Service's priorities are woefully out of whack.  Yet, thanks to your persistence and the courageous initiatives of congressional champions, the Park's actions - and the actions of all agencies participating in the Interagency Bison Management Plan - are under serious scrutiny.  As we reported last week, the General Accounting Office is investigating all aspects of the buffalo management scheme.  We are hopeful that Yellowstone officials, aware that they already have much to answer for, are refraining from sending buffalo to slaughter this year because they are being watched so closely by Congress.  Thank you for keep the pressure on.  Don't stop.  It is going to pay off. 

Buffalo, no matter how many times pushed back, always press on in the right direction.
Roam Free!
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* BFC is Roaming to Washington, DC!
At the request of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, Buffalo Field Campaign has been asked to testify before Congress on the status of Yellowstone's wild bison herd on our National Forest lands and in Yellowstone National Park, America's first national park.  Josh Osher and Darrell Geist, both articulate long-time BFC coordinators, will travel to Washington, DC and meet with members of Congress and their staffs during the week of March 19th.

The hearing is scheduled for 10 AM, Tuesday, March 20. If your House representative is on the Parks Subcomittee (see link below) it is crucial that you contact them!

http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/cgi-bin/newcommittee.cgi?site=ctc&lang=&commcode=hresources_parks

BFC will stay in DC, taking the opportunity to visit with as many members of the House and Senate as possible. It is a critical time to contact your Congressional Representatives in support of lasting protection for America's last wild buffalo. 

Thank you for taking action for the last wild buffalo!

For more information contact Josh at bfc-advocate"at"wildrockies.org
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* Nez Perce Buffalo Hunt Ends
On Tuesday, the Nez Perce buffalo hunt ended.  This week, eleven buffalo bulls were taken in the tribe's hunt, conducted by right under the 1855 Stephens Treaty.  To our knowledge, the Nez Perce shot 22 buffalo.  BFC is fortunate to have a good and growing relationship with the tribe and individual tribal members.  Nearly all of the Nez Perce hunters we met expressed frustration with the politics of the current bison management plan and agree that wild buffalo need room to roam and that protecting the cattle industry does not justify the mistreatment of wild buffalo.  During their hunt, the Nez Perce witnessed first-hand the relentless hazing, some of which interfered with their hunt. 

With the Yellowstone bison population estimated at fewer than 3,500, with the yearly government kill being so unpredictable,  we feel that, Though we feel very sad for every buffalo that is killed, especially while they suffer at the hands of the government and cattle industry, we respect the Nez Perce for bringing themselves back into the lives of their relatives the buffalo.  Though it may be hard for many of us to see the positive in the tribal hunt, we have faith that in the long run the wild buffalo will benefit.  The Nez Perce are reconnecting with a nearly lost way of life, rebuilding their relationship with the buffalo and strengthening their people in the process.  The tribe has inserted themselves in a meaningful way and the government can no longer ignore them.  With other tribes expected to hunt under treaty rights, things will be different from here on out.
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* March 18 ~ Drumming a Sacred Circle for Life!
Good! Good! Good! Good Migrations!  

That's the theme of the third 'Drumming a Sacred Circle for Life,' which will be held on Sunday, March 18th, from 1:00 - 5:00 at the Livingston Depot Center in Livingston, Montana.  Together we will celebrate the migratory nature of the buffalo, the whale, the elephant, the butterfly and the tern. 

We will drum the rhythm of migration and awaken the consciousness of the collective human spirit, making ourselves ready for the movements of the animals, for wild buffalo and their right to roam and return to their native lands.  

There will be a video on animal migration, intensive drumming, exquisite raffle items, inspiring speakers and a positive time had by all. 

There is a $5.00 minimum donation at the door, two dollars for young people 12-18, and 11 and under enter free. 

Please bring percussion instruments and lots of friends!  Spread the word! 
Save the herd! 

For more information call 406-333-4098 or 406-646-0070, or email bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org.

Special, heartfelt thanks and tons of BuffaLove to Monica RavenHeart for organizing this special event and for always being a strong, spirit-filled and active voice for our wild buffalo friends!
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* Last Words
"Oh why can't we roam this open country?
Oh why can't we be what we want to be?
We want to be free."
~ Bob Marley, Rebel Music


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