Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Frost is in the air, reminding us that we are not so
far away from winter in West Yellowstone. Already,
the high mountain peaks are getting their first dustings
of snow. Wild buffalo will soon be on the move,
seeking lower elevation habitat outside of Yellowstone
National Park for the critical forage they can find
where the snows are less deep and grasses easier to
find. Unfortunately, their migration can also
spell their peril, as hunters gear up to take a shot
at buffalo that migrate into Montana, and later the
Department of Livestock and federal and state government
will use our federal tax dollars to haze, capture, quarantine
and slaughter members of the last wild population simply
for migrating through their native habitat. As
always, BFC will be ready to stand with the buffalo
in their defense. You can too, no matter where
you are. There is ample opportunity to take action
to ensure a viable future for wild buffalo in Montana
and throughout America.
Around the cabin firewood has been gathered and we are
gearing up for Woodcut Weekend which will take place
on October 6 and 7. BFC invites you to join us
at campaign headquarters to help cut and stack the many
cords of firewood that will keep the masses of volunteers
warm throughout the region's frigid winter.
Contact us at buffaloatwildrockies.org
or 406-646-0070 if you can join us for Woodcut Weekend.
Room and board will be provided and it's always a lot
Eric and barb escorted members of the Endangered Species
Coalition around the West Yellowstone area, showing
them the buffalo's favorite migration routes, and the
ugly traps that await them. We are grateful that
the Coalition is taking a great interest in the protection
of wild buffalo; the animals that BFC stands with are
members of the last truly and continuously wild population
of bison in the United States, deserving of strong protection.
As you know, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently
accepting your comments to help build a strong case
for protecting these buffalo under the Endangered Species
Act (ESA). Please see below to learn more and
to take action now!
Mike, Fishburne and Chris have returned to camp after
a very successful West Coast Road Show. Be on
the lookout for a full update from these brave buffalo
road warriors in the coming weeks. Many thanks
to everyone who helped make the Road Show another great
Not too long from now volunteers will begin to arrive,
moving in time with the buffalo's migration, hearing
their call. People will come from all over the
country, and indeed, around the world, to stand in defense
of the last wild buffalo. If you are interested
in volunteering please contact us. Our greatest
need for volunteers, however, is from March through
May. Room and board is provided to anyone willing
to stand in defense of America's last wild buffalo.
Please consider making a monetary or in-kind donation
to BFC to keep our field patrols going strong.
It takes a lot for us to feed the hundreds of people
who walk through our doors, keep our video and communication
equipment in good working order, and keep our volunteers
well equipped with skis, snowshoes, and the gear that
keeps everyone warm and dry in the frigid high country.
It is you who makes our work possible and we couldn't
be here without your help and support. Thank you
to everyone who keeps us in the field, sharing the buffalo's
story with the world and advocating for their lasting
* TAKE ACTION:
Support Petition to List Yellowstone Bison as Endangered!
Right now we have one of the last chances to gain meaningful
legal protection for wild buffalo and their native habitat.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) is currently
accepting your comments to help demonstrate that the
last wild population of buffalo in the U.S. - the Yellowstone
buffalo - and their historic native range deserve protection
under the Endangered Species Act. Yellowstone
is the last stronghold for the wild American buffalo.
This remnant population represents the last of our nation's
TAKE ACTION TODAY! Please contact
the USFWS and let them know you support James Horsley's
petition. Urge them to grant Endangered Species
Act protections to the Yellowstone buffalo, and strongly
encourage them to reconsider their current position
not to protect wild buffalo and their habitat under
the ESA. USFWS's finding is deficient and lacking
serious scientific consideration of the full range of
threats that imperil the wild American buffalo's survival.
The agency must be encouraged to gather and use the
'best available science' when making their decision.
Our task is to identify important and substantial information
that clearly demonstrates that the last wild buffalo,
those remaining in Yellowstone, and their native, historic
range, deserve protection under the ESA. Include
any information you feel is important to the history
and future of wild buffalo in America. Submit
stories, maps, petitions, books, papers; any information
we can submit to the USFWS to help them realize that
the Yellowstone herd is, indeed, endangered, and deserving
of ESA protection.
SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO:
Assistant Regional Director
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, CO 80228
For more information, including James Horsley's peition
to the USFWS, the USFWS finding notice, talking points
and more please visit http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/update0607/082307.html
contact Darrell at email@example.com.
Please note that BFC is building a comprehensive web
page dedicated to this ESA petition and we will share
it with you just as soon as it is finalized.
Save the herd ~ spread the word!
* Montana Bison Hunt: Save a Buffalo for Just
There's still time to put in your application to help
save a Yellowstone buffalo from Montana's so-called
hunt. This year, Montana Fish, Wildlife &
Parks (FWP) intends to issue 44 bison tags to Montana
hunters while both the Nez Perce and Confederated Salish-Kootenai
tribes will hunt under treaty right, taking an additional
44 buffalo between them. While we respect tribal
sovereignty and fully support treaty rights, these feelings
do not extend to the state of Montana who is only in
the business of killing or harassing every buffalo that
migrates into Montana to serve the whims and prejudice
of the cattle industry. Wild buffalo are
afforded no year-round habitat in Montana, they are
currently mismanaged by the Montana Department of Livestock
whenever they cross the border from Yellowstone, and
there is never a a time when wild buffalo are allowed
to exist in Montana without being hazed, captured, slaughtered,
quarantined or hunted. Now the buffalo that have
been admired by millions of Yellowstone visitors all
summer will be "fair game" from November 15
to February 15, when they migrate across the manmade
border into Montana. And for salt in the wound,
should an additional 60 or more buffalo migrate into
Montana during the hunt period, Montana FWP will issue
100 more tags to kill, proving that they believe the
only good buffalo in Montana is a dead buffalo.
You can make a difference by applying for a buffalo
tag and choosing not to use it. The application
fee is just $5. Hunting districts include 385
(Gardiner area) and 395 (West Yellowstone area).
You can choose either, because both are wild buffalo
migration hot spots. Should you win the lottery
and be in possession of a buffalo tag, you only need
to take the hunter safety course to waive your license
fee. At the end of the hunt season, members of
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks conduct interviews
with buffalo tag holders, and this is a great time to
let them know that you chose not to kill a wild buffalo
because they are part of the last wild population in
the United States, ecologically extinct throughout the
country and heavily mismanaged. Wild buffalo must
be afforded year-round habitat in Montana and respected
as a valued native wildlife species.
Save a Wild Buffalo for Just $5:
Please also call, write, or email Montana Fish, Wildlife
& Parks as well as Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer
and urge them to call off the hunt and demand that wild
buffalo be provided year-round habitat in Montana!
* Wyoming Bison Hunt: Slaughter at the "Refuge"
It's really quite amazing what is going on at the National
Elk Wildlife Refuge in Jackson, Wyoming. As you
may know, the Elk Refuge engages in a policy of artificial
feeding of elk during severe winters. Those yummy alfalfa
cakes have attracted buffalo too. The result is that
over the years the buffalo population on the refuge
has increased due to what is essentially baiting of
wildlife to congregate in specific areas on public lands
to keep them off private lands which have steadily impinged
on wildlife habitat.
On the refuge and at 22 other feedlots in Wyoming, elk
are artificially fed because of political policies.
Stockgrowers and farmers have consistently opposed closing
these feed stations. By concentrating large populations
of buffalo and elk they create the conditions under
which disease transmission, including brucellosis, thrives.
Both Wyoming and Idaho have lost their brucellosis-free
status in recent years due to transmission from feedground
elk to cattle.
One would think that Wyoming wildlife biologists would
be leading the call for the phase-out of these feed
stations, and for habitat acquisition for both elk and
buffalo. Instead, as of September 15th, they have instituted
a public "hunt" to kill up to several hundred
buffalo on the refuge. If we as humans determine there
are "too many" bison, artificially feeding
them through the winter is certainly not the answer.
This current policy is just one more instance of the
irrational and unethical behavior on the part of wildlife
biologists bending to political pressure. The continued
feeding of wildlife only exacerbates the problem.
~ barb abramo
Buffalo Field Campaign, the Animal Welfare Institute,
and Jackson Resident Walt Farmer recently submitted
a letter outlining legal and ethical deficiencies in
the agencies' authorization of the bison hunt on the
National Elk Refuge. You can read about it in
a recent Casper Star Tribune article.
CST article on NER bison hunt and AWI/BFC letter.
TAKE ACTION: Contact
the National Elk Refuge and urge them to
1) Call off the hunt; and
2) phase-out the feed grounds! 307-733-9212
* Last Words
"Nature did not draw the lines of "No Trespass"
for buffalo around Yellowstone National Park.
This region was not meant to be their prison nor the
marshals of the Fish & Wildlife Service their guards."
~ James (Jim) Horsley