* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Lip-service land deals, wildlife vaccination plans,
confinement, hazing, quarantine, capture-and-slaughter,
canned hunts; these are the "management" tools
that the government - including Yellowstone National
Park - intend to carry out in order to cater to the
economic interests and unfounded fears of Montana cattle
producers. These invasive and deadly plans erroneously
ignore feasible solutions as well as the millions of
people who call for respecting the cultural and spiritual
significance, wild integrity, ecological health, and
evolutionary potential of America's last wild buffalo.
You can take three actions take right now to help defend
the buffalo against further destruction from these entities.
Bison - and now elk - need your participation, your
voice, your steadfast support to help ease them into
a future where they are not hunted down, trapped, orphaned,
and slaughtered, but respected and protected and free
to roam. We strongly encourage you to pass these alert
items around and get everyone you know to take action
for the last wild buffalo!
We are the ones we've been waiting for ~ if we don't
help the buffalo, who will? It is up to us. The future
of wild buffalo shall not be the cattle industry's to
* Bonnie Raitt BFC Benefit Tickets ~ Only 7
Enjoy incredible music by the beautiful and talented
Bonnie Raitt while helping keep Buffalo Field Campaign
on the front lines with the last wild buffalo! The Guacamole
Fund and Bonnie Raitt have generously offered Buffalo
Field Campaign 20 tickets to Bonnie's concert coming
to Big Sky, MT on August 27, 2008. Tickets are $200
each and include an aftershow backstage visit with Bonnie!
Ticket purchases go directly to Buffalo Field Campaign.
Only 7 tickets are left! Get
* Comment! RTR Purchase is a Lousy Land Deal
for Wild Buffalo
Your public comments are needed on the so-called land
deal - a 30-year lease of grazing rights from the Royal
Teton Ranch - between state and federal agencies, some
conservation groups, and the Church Universal &
Triumphant (CUT). If this land lease goes through, CUT
will receive more millions for leasing their land for
a mere 30 years so that a handful of captured, tested,
and tagged bison could temporarily occupy portions of
their native range outside Yellowstone's north boundary.
Over the years, thousands of wild bison have been slaughtered
for even looking in the direction of these lands. Back
in 1998-99, $13 million U.S. tax dollars were spent
to allow wild bison and other migratory wildlife safe
passage through this critical corridor, but to date,
bison have been repeatedly harassed and killed for attempting
to access these lands. Now, the agencies involved are
touting it as a huge step forward, when, in reality,
only 25 buffalo would have temporary access to it and
only after being run through the typical buffalo torture
This deal is in its "scoping" phase, meaning
the entities are looking at the very beginnings of the
process, getting all the details in order before submitting
a plan or proposal for further public comment and consideration.
While BFC opposes the land deal, we have prepared some
key questions for the agencies to answer prior to proceeding
with the deal.
Comments are being accepted through August 11. Buffalo
Field Campaign has already submitted comments, and we
have provided talking points below to help you craft
yours. Send your comments to:
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Attn: RTR Grazing Rights Purchase
1420 East Sixth Avenue
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701
~ The notice is deficient and lacking key information
for the public to make substantive comments. We request
that this be rectified by re-issuing a public notice
and providing additional time for the public to review
new information requested herein and contribute comments
on the proposed action by the State of Montana and U.S.
~ Ask the agencies to provide factual information on
the specific locations and extent of fencing proposed,
what type of fencing will be installed, whether the
new fencing will be permanently installed or used temporarily,
and the duration.
~ As the fencing will be located in a known wildlife
corridor, ask the agencies to provide baseline information
on how migratory species including elk, bighorn sheep,
mule deer, pronghorn antelope and buffalo could be impacted.
Ask them to also provide information on how grizzly
bears, gray wolves and eagles may be impacted by the
proposed fencing and its impact on ungulate migration.
~ Ask the agencies to provide a map of elk, bighorn
sheep, mule deer, pronghorn antelope and buffalo habitat
and migrations for the project area. Thomas Lemke, a
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist mapped this
area as part of the 1999 Royal Teton Ranch land agreement.
~ Ask the agencies to address and explain how the fencing
impacts critical wildlife habitat purchased and conserved
with taxpayer money in the $13,000,000 Royal Teton Ranch
land agreement reached in 1999.
~ Ask the agencies to provide factual information on
the terms of the 30-year agreement, and the sources
of funding secured, pledged or otherwise sought.
~ Ask the agencies to provide information on whether
the proposed 30-year lease is a stand-alone agreement,
or is in part or whole the "Bison Management Plan"
as called for in the Royal Teton Ranch land agreement
and the Record of Decision for the Interagency Bison
~ Ask the agencies to provide information on how the
30-year lease will be managed "to preserve, restore
and enhance the bison that utilize the Property and
~ Ask the agencies to provide information on the status,
location, and consideration of locating another buffalo
trap on Gallatin National Forest lands that may be constructed
as part of the lease agreement and/or the IBMP in the
THANK YOU for taking action for the buffalo!
Please contact Darrell, BFC's Habitat Coordinator at
*Yellowstone Superintendent Caters to Cowboys,
Betrays Buffalo & Native Cultures
On July 21, Suzanne Lewis, Superintendent of Yellowstone
National Park, took time out of her busy schedule to
travel to Helena, Montana and attend a Montana Board
of Livestock meeting. Her statement to the Board was
carefully prepared and tailored to her audience. It
was thick with compromise and lacked the courage and
integrity necessary to defend the wild species in her
She spoke of the "common heritage" of those
in the room, the commonality of "rangers, ranchers,
conservationists, and sportsmen" yet not once did
she mention the First Nations buffalo cultures, or address
any Native American concerns or interests and how the
destruction of the wild buffalo is affecting anyone
other than the livestock industry. How is it that Ms.
Lewis was able to make the four-hour trek to Helena
to listen to the concerns of cowboys, but could not
find the time to attend her own Park's annual so-called
consultation meeting with Native American tribes in
early June? A meeting where the tribes waxed powerful
and eloquent, condemning the Park's status quo and demanding
that their voices have at least equal footing as that
of the livestock industry.
With the aid of Montana, Yellowstone Superintendent
Lewis was responsible this past winter and spring for
the largest wild buffalo slaughter since the 1800's.
Her words and actions betray the buffalo and Native
American buffalo cultures. Under her leadership, Yellowstone
continues to ignore all entities that hold no ties to
the livestock industry. She is in charge of protecting
America's natural, native heritage - not Montana's livestock
interests - and she must be held accountable.
Read Superintendent Lewis' entire
statement to the Montana Board of Livestock:
And please call her at 307-344-2002 to remind her that
she is supposed to be protecting the bison and other
wild creatures of Yellowstone, not the livestock of
* Spread the Word! Emergency Action Alert from
Global Response to Save the Last Wild Buffalo!
At the request of Buffalo Field Campaign, 7th Generation
Fund~Tatanka Oyate Project, Indigenous Environmental
Network, and Honor the Earth, the powerful Global Response
environmental action and education network, with members
in over 92 countries, has organized an urgent international
letter campaign to help the last wild population of
bison (buffalo) in the United States.
ACTION & SPREAD THE WORD!
Please help by taking action yourself, spreading the
word, and posting this alert and link every place you
can think of! Global Response does not stop until there
is success! Their campaigns have been strikingly successful
in mitigating a wide variety of environmental threats
on all continents, and we are grateful to have their
help for the buffalo! Please learn more about Global
Thank you, Global Response, for helping the last wild
* Join BFC for WoodCut Week, August 28 - September
Come to beautiful West Yellowstone, campaign headquarters
of Buffalo Field Campaign, and help us gather, cut,
and stack the firewood that will keep our field volunteers
warm (and alive!) through Montana's long, harsh winter.
Come for a day, a few days or the whole week. We need
and appreciate your help! Bring friends!!
Please RSVP with barb at buffaloatwildrockies.org
* Last Words
"Past experience has repeatedly shown that once
the agencies collectively choose a brucellosis management
direction, our field staffs work together smoothly and
professionally to get the job done."
~ Yellowstone Superintendent Suzanne Lewis, in a statement
to the Montana Board of Livestock, July 21, 2008. Read
the entire statement.