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Weekly Update from the Field April 23, 2009
Subscribe to our email list and receive our weekly Update from the Field
* Update from the Field
* BFC Needs You on the Front Lines!
* Apple Laptop Computer Needed for BFC's Media Crew
* Last Words
* Kill Tally
* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Along the western boundary of Yellowstone, the first known buffalo calf of the season has been born on Horse Butte! The next buffalo generation is arriving.



The funny thing is, we did not take these pictures. In fact, we haven't even seen the baby buffalo yet. One of our patrols found a camera on Pine Needle Road, where we drop volunteers off for Horse Butte patrols, and it just so happened to contain pictures of this little calf that were taken on April 20th. We are making an effort to locate the camera's owner.
This baby buffalo, and those soon to come, may have a little time to play, sleep, and eat in peace, but come May 15, their little legs will be forced to travel great distances when agents appear with horses, trucks, ATVs, a helicopter, and law enforcement to chase them out of Montana. For now, however, their biggest threat is the highway.

Buffalo are really on the move, and most have once again left Horse Butte. Luckily, on Sunday, our friend Jim Macdonald of Buffalo Allies of Bozeman got to spend time with us and over 170 buffalo on Horse Butte. Jim is a long time buffalo warrior, but this was his first time on Horse Butte. It was one of those magical days that words can not adequately describe, but you can see a series of Jim's photos.

The very next day, patrols on Horse Butte watched in awe as most of these buffalo suddenly kicked up their heels and ran full speed down the Butte, inspiring their friends on the flats to join them in a speedy migration eastward along the Madison River bluffs. It's been amazing to see how they behave when left alone by agents. They go where they want to go, stay as long as they want to stay, and venture wherever their beautiful cloven hooves will take them. Unfortunately, their hooves often take them across Highway 191, which is unavoidable as it dissects their migration corridors.

BFC has been running night patrols every evening and buffalo are keeping us busy all day, every day, as we monitor their migration and warn traffic of their presence in our effort to reduce bison/vehicle collisions. Our signs are an enormous boon to this effort and we are forever grateful to you for helping us acquire them. BFC's role of buffalo crossing guard is a direct action that is clearly saving buffalo lives.
One buffalo was lost this week, but in an amazingly natural way: a yearling was taken down by a grizzly bear beside the Madison River. Our patrols had seen a young grizzly, and the next day we learned that a bear had successfully hunted a young buffalo. That's quite a feat for a young bear, so it may be that this bear's mother is also in the neighborhood. She would likely have the experience and strength to penetrate the protective herd. Needless to say, there is electric excitement knowing grizzly bears are around in the areas we patrol, and volunteers are being extremely cautious and bear aware.

We are very pleased to let you know that no more buffalo have been hit on the highway since reports from our last Update. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to write to Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and the Montana Department of Transportation. It has made a difference: the marquee signs have recently been changed to include the message "15 Bison Impacts This Year" and we have noticed a highway patrolman enforcing the 55 MPH speed limit. More still needs to be done, so BFC will continue to work with other buffalo allies to push for better permanent signs, nighttime speed reductions during migration, and safe passage projects that will allow buffalo and other wildlife to cross the busy highway without having to step on the road.

Thank you all for being with us and for the buffalo!

Roam Free,
~Stephany
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* BFC Needs You on the Front Lines!
Buffalo Field Campaign is looking for volunteers to join us on the front lines now. Buffalo migration is in full swing and our shaggy friends are everywhere, keeping us busy nearly 24 hours a day. BFC provides room, board, training, and gear; the ecosystem provides the magic and mystery. If you are interested, please contact Brock, our volunteer coordinator at volunteer@buffalofieldcampaing.org or call 406-646-0070.
We are also looking for summer volunteers to help us with outreach in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Talking to park visitors who are in the company of the buffalo we are trying to protect is a great way to raise awareness and make more friends for the buffalo.

If you would like to spend some or all of your summer with BFC, please contact Mike at mease"at"wildrockies.org or call 406-646-0070.

We also have a job opening for a Summer Maintenance Coordinator. We're looking for someone who is handy with tools, knows what it takes to maintain cabins, and is also mechanically inclined. If you are interested, please contact Mike at mease"at"wildrockies.org or call 406-646-0070.

See you in West Yellowstone in the land of the last wild buffalo!
------------------------------
* Apple Laptop Computer Needed for BFC's Media Crew
BFC's media crew is looking for a good Apple/Mac laptop computer. All of our computers are currently stationary systems, and a laptop will enable us to work from other locations and consequently be more effective with communications and outreach. All donations to BFC are tax deductible and are very much appreciated! If you can help us acquire a laptop please contact Stephany at bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org or call us at 406-646-0070.
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* Last Words
"It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being, and we therefore yield to our neighbors, even to our animal neighbors, the same right as ourselves to inhabit this vast land."

~ Chief Tatanka Iyotank (Sitting Bull), Hunkpapa Lakota holy man (1831-1890)
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* Kill Tally
AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2008-2009 Total: 17
2008-2009 Slaughter: 0
2008-2009 Hunt: 1
2008-2009 Quarantine: 0
2008-2009 Shot by Agents: 1
2008-2009 Highway Mortality: 15
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
Total Since 2000: 3,698*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts, highway mortalities
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Media & Outreach
Buffalo Field Campaign
P.O. Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
406-646-0070
bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org
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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