* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Thankfully, action in the field has been minimal this
In Gardiner, along Yellowstone's northern boundary,
two beautiful elderly buffalo mamas have had much of
the landscape to themselves. Little Miss One-Horn
and her matronly companion have been roaming through
town, strolling through the neighborhood, and seeking
out the best grasses in all of Gardiner's nooks and
crannies. A few days ago they were dangerously
close to the Stephens Creek bison trap, located inside
Yellowstone. Thankfully, before any government
agents could harass these peaceful ladies, they turned
hoof and headed deeper into the Park.
In West Yellowstone the eerie quiet still looms.
Save for a couple of bulls who suddenly appeared then
quickly disappeared back into Yellowstone, our shaggy
friends are still out of sight. Perhaps this is
the calm before the awesome thundering storm of spring
A lot has been happening in our nation's capitol, as
you'll read below from Josh. It is a critical
time to keep the pressure on our House Representatives
and Senators. The time is ripe for buffalo-friendly
action from Congress, as we have already seen with the
oversight hearing and Government Accountability Office
(GAO) investigation. Don't let up on your legislators!
Each call you make and letter you send to your House
and Senate members helps reinforce the urgency to protect
the last wild buffalo left in the country.
Thank you all for helping to make a positive difference
for the last wild buffalo!
Spread the word to save the herd!
* Update from Washington, DC
Our first week in Washington, DC, was highly productive
and encouraging. Darrell, Marian and I met with
a number of congressional staffers to discuss the potential
resolution of conflicts that lead to the continual harassment
and slaughter of wild Yellowstone buffalo. We
felt that our message was largely heard and understood
by the staffers. There are simple common sense
solutions out there that need congressional support
in order to move forward. Several key members
of Congress are ready to act for the protection of wild
buffalo in the coming months. BFC's credibility
in Washington is very high and we have a great opportunity
to be instrumental in developing successful legislation
to benefit buffalo.
This week, Marian and I attended an oversight hearing
before the House Interior Appropriations Committee about
the Park Service 2008 budget request. Rep. Maurice
Hinchey (D-NY), who sits on the Committee, asked some
pointed questions of the Park Service about their management
actions and the impact on the genetic integrity of the
various subpopulations of buffalo in Yellowstone.
Unfortunately, the Park Service representative who responded
skirted the question even though Rep. Hinchey clearly
stated the issues of concern. The truth is that
the Park simply does not know enough about the genetic
subpopulations of buffalo in the Park and the impacts
their management actions are having on them. There
are effective non-invasive ways to learn more about
buffalo genetics and the Park must do more to ensure
that this research is being done and then incorporate
the findings by changing their management actions accordingly.
Overall, our trip to Washington has been very successful.
There is a different feeling at the Capitol these days
compared to the many years when issues like protecting
wild buffalo were not supported by congressional leaders.
Protecting Yellowstone's wild buffalo is now a legislative
priority. Just the fact that hearings on the issue
took place less than three months after the leadership
change is a clear indication that the Congress is taking
this issue seriously. It's now up to us to keep
the pressure on by contacting our Representatives and
Senators and making sure that action is taken that will
protect the buffalo for future generations.
Many thanks for all of your letters of encouragement
and support. It is a wonderful feeling to know
that our efforts are not going unnoticed. If it
were not for all of you, the day would never have come
when Buffalo Field Campaign would be invited to testify
before the Congress of the United States.
* Contact Congress for the Buffalo!
1) Call, write, email, fax your House Representative
and urge them to take a leadership role in protecting
the Yellowstone bison, the United State's last continuously
wild herd. http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/politicians.html
2) Please contact your Senators and urge them to do
MONTANA: It is critical that Senators Tester and
Baucus hear from you - we must have their support to
win for the buffalo! http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/politicians.html
SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS:
A) Urge the Subcommittee (and all of Congress)
to provide clear direction to our National Forests and
Parks that wild bison belong, and are our top priority
on public lands;
B) Ask them to fund the purchase of wildlife conservation
easements including winter range and corridors for bison
to migrate through private lands in the Yellowstone
C) Please also insist that Native American interests
are represented at future hearings and in all decisions
affecting wild buffalo.
BFC Wish List: Coordinator Tipi Needed!
After a big wind storm, our stellar kitchen coordinator,
Jesse, is currently without a lodge. Jesse is
a lad of many talents and put his sewing skills and
quite a few patches to use making this 16 foot tipi
livable for its' tenth intense Yellowstone winter, but
some recent great gusts proved to be just too much.
Here's how another coordinator, barb, described what
"As I walked to my car to go to town I looked up
and Jesse's tepee looked like angel-wings ... the wind
was blowing about 60mph and whipping at his structure
... now it is no more ..."
Jesse is making the best of the situation, but he and
his faithful canine companion Fog need a new home.
Please help us acquire a tipi canvas and liner (16ft)
so they are able to find the much-needed space and solitude
so important to the well-being of BFC's dedicated coordinators.
BFC is grateful for in-kind donations, which are tax-deductible
and we invite you to check our Wish List at http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/aboutus/wishlist.html.
Our mailing address and phone number are listed at the
end of this Update. Jesse can be reached at email@example.com
and he and Fog sincerely thank you in advance!
* Last Words
"The slaughter of bison is not required in order
to manage the threat of disease. Slaughter is
not management. It is an approach from a bygone
era and has no place in a time of rapid scientific and
economic progress. We are capable of more ingenuity
and more compassion if we are willing to try."
- From the Opening Remarks of U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall,
II, Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources, before
the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public
Lands Oversight Hearing on Yellowstone National Park
Bison, March 20, 2007
"Any legitimate threat of disease must be
managed effectively. But of equal importance,
the slaughter of bison should stop."
- From the Remarks of U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva,
Chairman, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and
Public Lands, Oversight Hearing: Yellowstone National
Park Bison, March 20, 2007