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Weekly Update from the Field March 26, 2009
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* Update from the Field
* Volunteers Needed on the Front Lines with BFC!
* Mother's Day Cards in Support of Buffalo Field Campaign
* Bluegrass & Beyond! Benefit for BFC
* Last Words
* Kill Tally
* Update from the Field

Dear Buffalo Friends,
Wild buffalo have returned with the Spring!

The song of mountain bluebirds is in the air, and tracks of the mighty bison are upon the land once again. After a long winter without the buffalo in Montana, the unspoken question hung in the air: would the buffalo return this year? Wild forces prevail, and on the Vernal Equinox the steady, determined footsteps of approximately fifty buffalo made their way down the Madison River corridor, out to their calving grounds on Horse Butte, heralding the season of rebirth. The buffalo's return has raised the spirits of everyone at camp. The energy is palpable, and we are once again running full patrols and basking in the presence of these prehistoric wonders.

Of course, the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) also knows the buffalo are here and local DOL agent Shane Grube is keeping a watchful eye on every move they make. Change is afoot, however, and right now the buffalo on Horse Butte are being left alone. In December, as a direct result of your persistence, the Interagency Bison Management Plan agencies signed a new Adaptive Management Plan which states that an unlimited number of buffalo are allowed to occupy Horse Butte until May 15th, with other agency-defined numbers of buffalo "tolerated" on lands north and south of the Madison River. The new rules don't respond to the natural movements or behavior of wild buffalo, so the agents, by drawing more lines in the sand have set them up to fail. Simply crossing a creek or river, or having one too many buffalo in a group could trigger severe management actions against them. Further, everything is up to the discretion of Montana's State Vet, who could decide at any time to scrap the minimal tolerance. So we are, as always, monitoring the buffalo's migration and watching every move the agents make to ensure that they uphold this new "tolerance" they've agreed to, while we continue to push for the buffalo's right to make their own decisions. But, at the moment, according to the agency's new plan, the buffalo on Horse Butte are immune to agency action.

Family groups with multiple generations are enjoying the fresh spring shoots of grass they've waited for all winter. Buffalo of all ages, including expectant mothers, are taking in the warmth of the waxing sun and the goodness of nutritional spring grasses, and whether or not they know it, they have put a bright gleam in our eyes and quickened the beating of our hearts.

Roam Free!!

P.S. Here's a glimpse of the return of the buffalo to Horse Butte:
* Buffalo grazing on Horse Butte
* Making the land complete
* A couple of young bulls close by
* Volunteers Needed on the Front Lines with BFC!
With the buffalo's migration finally underway, we are in need of volunteers for both spring and summer. If you've ever wanted to experience the splendor of the Yellowstone Ecosystem, this is the way to do it! Whether joining us on the front lines for the first time or as a returning volunteer, we need you! BFC is looking for folks for our spring field season and for summer the summer months when volunteers run our outreach tables in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. There are many ways to plug in at BFC: in the field, in our offices, and around the property -- opportunities abound, and any skills you bring we can put to good use. Help bear witness and strengthen the voice for wild buffalo. It is especially helpful if you have a valid drivers license and can drive a standard. BFC provides room, board, and training and we can outfit you with necessary gear.

If you are interested in volunteering this spring field season, please contact Brock or Will, our volunteer coordinators, at volunteer"at"buffalofieldcampaign.org or call 406-646-0070.

People interested in volunteering for our summer campaign should contact Mike at mease"at"wildrockies.org or call 406-646-0070. See you in West Yellowstone with the last of the last wild buffalo!
* Mother's Day Cards in Support of Buffalo Field Campaign

Mother's Day is a perfect time to reflect on the Earth we intend to leave to future generations. Will we "see beyond our own time" to ensure that wild bison roam free? That our children's children and grandkids will marvel-as we do-at these magnificent wild creatures?

This is what Buffalo Field Campaign works for, with your generous support. This year, our popular Mother's Day card features a hand-drawn (and reproduced) original copied from a smaller, accompanying photo of mom and baby in Yellowstone. Our card is appropriate for all the nurturing relationships you'd like to honor with a gift to BFC.

The deadline for orders is April 22, 2009. A minimum donation of $15 is requested for each card you wish to send.
ORDER TODAY! Or send a check or money order (no cash, please) to: BFC / PO Box 957 / West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Thank You!
* Bluegrass & Beyond! Benefit for BFC
Come to Bozeman, Montana and boogie down with us for the buffalo! BFC volunteer Art Brown, together with Buffalo Allies of Bozeman, has put in a tremendous amount of effort to organize "Bluegrass & Beyond" a benefit for Buffalo Field Campaign. This fun-filled event with incredible local bands is bound to inspire you to cut a rug and help the buffalo while you do.

HELP US SPREAD THE WORD by downloading a flyer that you can reproduce and post around town:
81/2 X 11
11 X 17
Our thanks and appreciation go to Buffalo Allies of Bozeman who are co-sponsoring this special event, and to all the bands and musicians who are making this possible. Many thanks also go to the Pour House for providing the space for this event. There is no cover charge for this event, so donations are most welcome. Please bring friends!
* Last Words
"Long ago
the ancients say
this land was free
and we shared it all
with the mountains and the sea
the birds and the trees
we lived in peace
long ago
before those others came
and built fences
by cutting the trees
dug mines
by cutting the earth
removed her blood
the oil that lies within
formed long ago
like us
who lived in peace
the birds sang less
without the trees
the land became dry
without the birds
to plant the flowers
and we too became quiet
watching our mountains die
listening for the birds
that no longer flew ...
but still we lived in peace
what sustained us
through all those years?
the nights of silence
and the songs of the frogs
for we know
as the ancients said
this land will again be free
and we will again share it all
with the mountains and the sea
the birds and the trees
for we still live in peace
and we wish you the same
for we are all one"
~Harriet Kofalk
Inspired by the Bribri, Indigenous Costa Ricans
* Kill Tally
AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2008-2009 Total: 2
2008-2009 Slaughter: 0
2008-2009 Hunt: 1
2008-2009 Quarantine: 0
2008-2009 Shot by Agents: 1
2007-2008 Total: 1,616
Total Since 2000: 3,683*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts

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Buffalo Field Campaign
P.O. Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
BFC is the only group working in the field every day in defense of the last wild buffalo population in the U.S.

Buffalo Field Campaign West Yellowstone Montana
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PO Box 957 West Yellowstone, Montana 59758
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