Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Yellowstone National Park has released an estimated
bison population count for the summer. According to
Yellowstone officials, buffalo numbers are estimated
between 2,800 - 2,900 individuals. This includes calves
that were born this spring. If there was ever a question
if wild bison are an endangered species deserving protection,
these numbers reflect the affirmative. A species that
was once roaming free 50 million strong spanning the
continent has been cut down over the centuries to mere
thousands forced to live inside an inadequate box of
land. The same forces that nearly drove these sacred
prehistoric giants to extinction continue to manipulate
their future survival for the benefit of invasive livestock
production, catering to the whims of whatever it takes
for this industry to make a buck. Fewer than 3,000 wild
American bison remain in the U.S. And in less than two
and a half months, Montana will once again hold open
season on those who follow their natural instincts to
migrate across Yellowstone's boundaries to lower elevation
habitat in Montana.
A few BFC volunteers have been scouting areas of Idaho
for a bull who has reportedly been roaming the area
of Island Park. The bull has been quite elusive, much
to his benefit. But, patrols are keeping a lookout for
him and we will be there to witness any actions made
against this bull who is representing his species in
their attempts to reclaim their stolen ground. Check
out this news story from Island Park News.
BFC would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to the beautiful
and talented Bonnie Raitt and the Guacamole Fund for
their generous support of BFC's front lines work. Bonnie's
concert was a huge hit, and BFC's Mike Mease and Darrell
Geist got to spend a little time with Bonnie to talk
about the buffalo and hand her a "Let Buffalo Roam"
Montana license plate. Check
out the Photo of the Week! Many thanks to those
who purchased the BFC benefit tickets - every ticket
was sold! - and, of course, thank you Bonnie and the
Guacamole Fund for making the benefit tickets available
and especially for believing in BFC and the last wild
BFC would also like to thank everyone who contributed
to our Wood Cut Week! It was hard work resulting in
a huge success and we are close to having all the wood
we'll need to keep the camp fires burning during the
upcoming 08-09 field season. Many thanks also go to
barb and Frankie Colors for keeping the woodcutter's
bellies full and happy. We will be hosting a Wood Cut
Weekend in October to do some final stacking and cutting,
so be on the look out for details and please plan to
Remember, most everywhere you go in North America is
a place where buffalo once roamed. Tell everyone you
meet what is happening to the buffalo now, and that
when we all pull together and stand for the buffalo,
their time to fill up the plains and forests of this
vast country will come again.
* Represent! More IBMP Meetings Coming Up Soon!
The agencies involved in the Interagency Bison Management
Plan, the document driving the harassment and slaughter
of the last wild bison population in the U.S., will
host a second set of meetings, open to the public, on
September 8-9 in Helena, Montana. Please come if you
can to represent the wild buffalo! The meetings begin
at noon on the 8th and end at noon on the 9th. Meeting
location is in the Department of Environmental Quality
Remediation Division at 1100 N. Last Chance Gulch, Room
112. This set of meetings will be hosted by the Montana
Department of Livestock. For more information contact
Steve Merritt, DOL, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-444-9431.
See you there!
For those who did not make the IBMP meeting in Mammoth
the agencies briefing papers are available online. Click
the meeting location to view. The next set of meetings
are scheduled in Helena for October 2-3, 2008. Click
here for the full calendar of meetings and other information.
* NEW BFC-T-shirts Available Now!
Buffalo Field Campaign introduces a brand new t-shirt,
featuring the message "Wanted: Room to Roam."
The design image of a beautiful woodcut buffalo was
created by Cindy, a very talented BFC volunteer. T-shirts
are $20 with all proceeds going directly towards BFC's
front lines work.
them out and order now!
P.S. The t-shirt image is best viewed if you use web
browsers other than Safari.
* Photo of the Week ~ Bonnie & BFC
photo of Bonnie Raitt holding a Montana "Let
Buffalo Roam" license plate, and standing with
BFC's Mike Mease and Darrell Geist. The photo was taken
back stage after Bonnie's concert in Big Sky, Montana
on August 27, 2008. Thank you so much Bonnie for your
beautiful music and your support for our work to protect
the last wild buffalo!
* Last Words
"In 1880, [Montana] was practically uninhabited.
One could travel for miles without seeing so much as
a traveler's bivouac. Thousands of buffalo darkened
the rolling plains. There were deer, elk, wolves and
coyotes on every hill and in every ravine and thicket.
. . . In the fall of 1883, there was not a buffalo remaining
on the range and the antelope, elk, and deer were indeed
scarce. . . [T]here were 600,000 head of cattle on the
range. The cowboy . . . had become an institution."
Granville Stuart, quoted in Donald Worster, Under Western
Skies: Nature and History in the American West (New
York: Oxford University Press, 1992).
* Kill Tally
AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population
in the U.S.
2007-2008 Total: 1,616
2007-2008 Slaughter: 1,450
2007-2008 Hunt: 166
2007-2008 Quarantine: 112
Total Since 2000: 3,681*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts