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Weekly Update from the Field September 4, 2008
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* Update from the Field
* Represent! More IBMP Meetings Coming Up Soon!
* NEW BFC T-Shirts Available Now!
* Photo of the Week ~ Bonnie Raitt & BFC
* Last Words
* Kill Tally

* 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 buffalo!

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 join us!

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.

Roam Free!
* 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 smerritt@mt.gov or 406-444-9431.

See you there!

For those who did not make the IBMP meeting in Mammoth or Bozeman 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.

Check 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
A great 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

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