* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
We regret to report that the bull bison who migrated
from Yellowstone into Idaho was shot by Idaho officials
on Monday. The bull had been in the area of Island Park,
Idaho for nearly a month, much to the pleasure of many
local residents. Sadly, on Monday, Idaho Fish &
Game officials shot the bull to death near a housing
area. Read a brief report from the Island
This bull should be remembered as another champion of
his species, who was trying to gain some ground for
wild native bison. He demonstrated that bison restoration
can happen quite naturally, without the "help"
of government interference or quarantine projects that
use our tax dollars to take the wild out of wild bison,
by orphaning calves, raising them like livestock, and
determining where they should go. This is the government's
idea of bison restoration. The bull killled on Monday,
like so many other buffalo, knows what real restoration
is about. One foot in front of the other. Let them roam!
They'll restore themselves if humans can learn to co-exist.
Over the years many bull bison have been shot for walking
across the land that their ancestors made home for millennia.
You may recall a few springs ago the four bulls that
walked more than 20 miles on a frigid night, from Yellowstone's
boundary down to the lower-elevation grasslands of the
Madison Valley, where that morning they were shot -
execution style - by Montana livestock agents. Another
group of bulls was shot dead just last spring for migrating
from Yellowstone to the area of Yankee Jim Canyon. These
celebratory bison-driven restoration efforts are met
time and again with the line-in-the-sand mentality of
the government-backed cattle industry who feels that
the grass is there for their cows. Too many attempts
made by wild bison to restore themselves to their historic
range result in fatal consequences like this.
Idaho perhaps, like Montana, has forgotten that these
lands once shook with buffalo. They were here long before
spotted cattle and barbed wire fence. They can come
back, but fear and greed must be set aside; coexistence
embraced. We give thanks to the residents of Island
Park who tried to keep this bull safe, and we mourn
his loss with you. We encourage everyone to take a moment
your disappointment and outrage to Idaho Fish &
Game's killing of this beautiful bull bison and
the instinctual ecological restoration he and his kind
* IBMP Meeting Updates & Future Dates
The second series of Interagency Bison Management Plan
meetings was held on September 8 & 9 in Helena,
Montana. BFC's Habitat Coordinator, Darrell Geist, was
in attendance and was strongly encouraged by the "show
of unity for wild buffalo and willingness to speak out
for each other." The cattle industry also had a
lot of representation at this meeting, contrary to those
held in August where hardly a stockgrower could be found.
But buffalo allies abounded. These meetings are helping
to show that there is a strong, growing constituency
for wild bison in Montana. The meetings will continue
through December, with the next scheduled for October
2-3 (noon till noon) in Bozeman, Montana at the Gallatin
National Forest office located in the Federal Building
on 10 E. Babcock. Click
here for the full calendar of meetings and other
* Horse Butte Residents Intervene in Stockgrowers'
On August 13, 2008 Earthjustice lawyers representing
Horse Butte residents EDITH FORD, JOANNE MAYO, ED MILLSPAUGH,
TOM SHEPERD, ANN STOVALL, JOANN STOVALL, KARRIE TAGGART,
JEANNETTE THERIEN, along with GREATER YELLOWSTONE COALITION,
and NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL filed to intervene
in the Montana Stockgrower's suit against the Montana
Dept. of Livestock and State Veterinarian Marty Zaluski.
The Stockgrowers filed suit in Madison County May 2008
claiming the Montana Deptartment of Livestock and State
Veterinarian Marty Zaluski threaten ranchers' cattle
that graze in the Hebgen Basin by not removing or killing
wild buffalo that remain on Horse Butte after May 15.
The Earthjustice filing states long time local residents
of Horse Butte joined the lawsuit to protect their "distinct
interests in private property, wildlife conservation,
and preservation of habitat outside Yellowstone National
Park for bison." These folks simply enjoy seeing
wild buffalo on their land and in their neighborhood
village and "benefit from bison grazing that reduces
fire danger and other ecological disruptions from tall
grasses and weeds on Horse Butte."
The locals say a long running dispute with the Montana
Deptartment of Livestock and its operations targeting
wild buffalo for removal from Horse Butte - a peninsula
where cattle no longer graze - "are highly disruptive,
noisy, and negatively impacts the ability of these property
owners and residents to maintain a safe and quiet neighborhood."
Horse Butte is completely cattle-free year-round and
there's no reason whatsoever that wild bison should
not be given freedom to roam there. Visit
our Horse Butte Bison Habitat page to learn more
about the efforts of Horse Butte residents in their
legal battle to gain some ground for wild buffalo, and
if you haven't yet, please sign the petition
to support the locals who support having wild bison
in their neighborhood.
Many thanks to everyone who has signed this petition
and who has contacted the involved agencies. Our numbers
are growing! Save the herds, spread the word!
* Wood Cut Weekend October 11 & 12
Volunteers have been hard at work gathering lots of
wood for BFC's '08-'09 field season, and now it's time
to cut and stack the cords. We need your help! Please
join BFC during the weekend of October 11 & 12 to
help us finish this critical annual project. Room and
board are provided. Bring friends and chain saws. Please
RSVP with barb at buffaloatwildrockies.org
or call 406-646-0070. Thank you for helping to keep
the camp fires burning!
* NEW BFC T-Shirt Designs Available!
Buffalo Field Campaign introduces a brand new t-shirt,
featuring the message "Wanted: Room to Roam."
The woodcut artwork was created by Cindy Rosin, a very
talented and dedicated BFC volunteer. T-shirts are $20
plus $3 shipping and handling with all proceeds going
directly towards BFC's front lines work.
Shirts can be ordered by sending a check or money order
(no cash please) to BFC, PO Box 957, West Yellowstone,
MT 59758. Please be sure to specify size. Alternately,
can order online.
P.S. The t-shirt image is best viewed on web browsers
other than Safari.
* BFC West Coast Road Show Wrapping Up
BFC's Mike Mease is on the road again, underway with
a short but sweet West Coast Road Show. He's travelling
with talented Native American musicians Good Shield
& Seventh Generation Rise and After Buffalo. There
are only a few more shows to go, so if you are in California,
you can still get a chance to join them. Check
out the West Coast Road Show schedule.
Our gratitude and respect to Good Shield & Seventh
Generation Rise and After Buffalo for sharing the stage
with us and for being such strong advocates for BFC
and the last wild buffalo. You can learn
more about these great bands and their music on the
road show page of our web site.
* Last Words
"... And the American bison: their hordes would
hide a prairie from horizon to horizon, great heads
and storm-cloud shoulders, a torrent of life --- How
many are left? ..."
~ Robinson Jeffers, Passenger Pigeons