Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
We apologize for the delay in getting the Update to
you this week. Yesterday we experienced an extended
power-outage after a severe wind storm, and our computers
just got back on line late this morning. Thanks for
your patience. A note to all: Starting this week, the
Update from the Field will resume it's weekly publication.
Thank you for being with us!
Thanks to everyone who has been sending in comments
to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) on the Royal
Teton Ranch (RTR) land lease. We are amazed at the tremendous
amount of comments you all have been generating! The
land lease being considered is a very bad deal for wild
bison, which just exacerbates the status quo of hazing,
capture, test, invasive handling, and slaughter as sanctioned
under the cattle industry-driven Interagency Bison Management
Plan (IBMP). Through the public process, FWP responded
to your initial requests to extend the comment period,
and will now be accepting your input through November
21, 2008. If you have not yet taken action, you can
easily do so by clicking here.
Please be sure to *personalize* the draft comment letter
provided for your convenience. Here
you will also find more information as well as talking
points. Thank you for being a voice for the last wild
Tomorrow, November 15, Montana's so-called bison hunt
opens. Buffalo Field Campaign strongly opposes the hunt,
as wild bison still have no year-round habitat in Montana,
they are still managed by the Department of Livestock,
and there is never a time bison are allowed in the state
without being subjected to harassment or death. Wild
bison must be allowed to recover as a wildlife species
in Montana, and they must be respected and managed as
a valued wildlife species before a hunt should ever
be considered. The Yellowstone bison population - the
last wild buffalo in the U.S. - number fewer than 3,000
animals and cannot afford to fall under the gun, especially
while being mismanaged under the Interagency Bison Management
Plan (IBMP). Hunters are being used by cattle-interests
to eliminate wild bison that migrate into Montana. As
it stands, wild bison are ecologically extinct in Montana.
Hunters and non-hunters alike need to unite in opposition
to this hunt, and work together to restore wild bison
to their native range.
Buffalo Field Campaign is again running two camps within
the bison's migratory paths along Yellowstone National
Park's north and west boundaries: Gardiner and West
Yellowstone, Montana. Our West Yellowstone headquarters
is up and running with volunteers arriving and field
patrols underway. Our Gardiner camp opens today as well.
It takes a lot of resources for us to run two camps,
to be able to bear witness and advocate for wild bison
where they attempt to roam, and to keep field volunteers
fed, warm and dry. You can help maintain
our presence in the field with a tax-deductible monetary
or in-kind donation. If you are able to join us
on the front lines, we welcome your participation. Please
see below for BFC's Wish List and Call for Volunteers
to learn about different ways you can help keep BFC
on the front lines.
In other news, the state and federal government agencies
responsible for carrying out the Draconian IBMP, which
has needlessly sentenced thousands of wild American
bison to death or imprisonment, are considering an essentially
meaningless adaption to their management scheme along
Yellowstone's western boundary. It is possible that
Horse Butte and other lands on the Park's western edge
may temporarily be available to an undisclosed number
of wild bison, but as yet details are uncertain. What
is certain is that these agencies will continue to cave
to the pressures of livestock interests and will not
consider year-round habitat for bison on Horse Butte,
or anywhere in Montana, even though the Butte is 100%
cattle free at all times of the year. Like the RTR land
"deal" being considered on the Park's north
boundary, this potential change in bison management
along the western boundary really has no significant
long-term, positive impact for wild bison in Montana.
Decisions are expected to be made by the agencies next
month in Helena, Montana. We will keep you posted as
we learn more and as we see how these "adaptions"
play out on the landscape.
Keep your letters, emails, and phone calls going to
the involved agencies, your members
of Congress, and the
media to remain a strong voice for wild bison restoration.
While you're at it, drop
a line to our new President-elect Barak Obama. We
are hopeful for positive change from the new administration
and with endless pressure, endlessly applied, we will
realize the attainable goal of wild, free-living bison
on the North American landscape.
* New Action and Donation Tools Increase BFC's
As a member of this list, you provide a crucial and
dependable source of support to Buffalo Field Campaign.
Your contributions allow us to keep our focus where
it belongs, on our mission of protecting the buffalo.
I am writing to let you know that we have teamed up
with a different organization to process online donations
and will no longer be using the services of Groundspring.
We are excited about our collaboration with Democracy
in Action who in addition to providing safe and secure
processing of donations and purchases are also providing
us with a set of web-based tools enabling us to be much
more effective in our online advocacy efforts. If you
responded to our action alert in this or the last email,
then you've already taken advantage of those tools.
Because your support is so critical to our efforts,
I want to make sure you have no problems in making donations
through Democracy in Action. We have changed all the
"donate now" links on our web site so the
shift to the new donation server should be seamless
for you. If you have book-marked the Groundspring donation
link you will have to change that link to the one below.
If you are a recurring donor, you should have already
received an email from us with detailed instructions
on how to transition to the new server.
Please visit our new secure Donate
Now page and contribute to our work.
Be sure to enter the same email address through which
you receive these updates.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact
me using the information below. On behalf of everyone
at Buffalo Field Campaign I want to thank you for your
continued support of our efforts to protect the bison
and for your patience as we make this important transition.
For the Wild Bison,
BFC Project Director
* BFC Wish List
You can help support the function of our campaign to
defend the last wild bison by making in-kind donations
of various items. Below are some of the items most needed
to keep us effective, as please visit our general Wish
List as well. Please send monetary or in-kind donations
to: Buffalo Field Campaign, P.O. Box 957, West Yellowstone,
Montana 59758, or call us at 406-646-0070 for more information
on specific needs.
~ Fuel efficient vehicles with 4 wheel drive
~ Mac/Apple computers no older than 2000
~ Six-burner propane stove (see below for details)
our general Wish List for other items that help
us make it through seasons on the front lines.
THANK YOU for your support and dedication!
* Call for Volunteers on the Front Lines
Attention friends, family, and supporters of the buffalo!
The last wild bison need you to come volunteer your
time in the field for the 2008-2009 season. We are starting
our field patrols in Gardiner and West Yellowstone for
the year and need compatriots of the buffalo, like you.
At this time it would be wonderful to have buffalo warriors
with a clean driving record for the last three years
so we can transport our patrols to and from the front
lines. Also for those buffalovers who know their way
around a computer, we need you as well. We need buffalo
defenders to assemble so we can begin another season
of front lines defense on their behalf. Room, board,
and gear will be provided; All you need to do is get
here. The closest airport to us is in Bozeman, and BFC
does weekly town-runs to Bozeman every Wednesday, enabling
us to pick you up on that day of the week. There is
also a shuttle service every Tuesday and Thursday from
Bozeman to West Yellowstone. For more information, please
call our volunteer coordinators at (406) 646-0070, or
email us at volunteer"at"buffalofieldcampaign.org.
Thanks to everyone for their time and support. We look
forward to seeing you on the front lines!
* Food and a New Stove Needed for Hungry Volunteers
As the snow starts to fall and the temperatures drop
American's last wild buffalo population will again migrate
to their winter habitat outside the boundaries of Yellowstone
National Park. As the buffalo move into the zones where
they can be harassed, shot, and captured, our volunteers
will be there to document witness, and take actions
on their behalf. In addition to the field work this
year volunteers will also be working on organizing demonstrations
and supporting legal work to protect the Buffalo. You
can help us put more funds into the struggle and our
work by donating food, the fuel that keeps our volunteers
on the front lines going week after week. Expensive
extras that give a smile when we have them include:
coffee, good tea, sugar, pasta (all types), Luna bars,
Cliff bars, hot chocolate, honey, and maple syrup. Along
with food, we are seeking funds to replace our broken
propane oven, which we desperately need to efficiently
feed the multitudes of volunteers throughout the season.
A new stove will cost around $600.00. You can send us
a package to BFC, P.O. Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT
59758, or make
a tax deductible donation for food.
* Last Words
"The Bush Administration has presided over the
largest slaughter of bison since the Great Plains herds
were slaughtered nearly to extinction by unscrupulous
buffalo hunters in the late 1800s. Even more tragically,
the 1,167 killed this year resided in Yellowstone National
Park where their survival should have been protected.
The Administration's failure to formulate a plan allowing
bison to roam freely within and outside Yellowstone
National Park and lack of leadership on most ecological
issues will likely lead to more bison deaths in the
winter of 2008-2009. Bison are a symbol of the National
Park Service and the Department of the Interior, both
of whom should be ensuring the protection and survival
of these animals rather than aiding in their slaughter."
~ U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva,
A REPORT on THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION ASSAULTS ON OUR
NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS AND PUBLIC LANDS
* Kill Tally
AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population
in the U.S.
2008-2009 Total: 1
2008-2009 Slaughter: 0
2008-2009 Hunt: 0
2008-2009 Quarantine: 0
2008-2009 Shot by Agents: 1
2007-2008 Total: 1,616
Total Since 2000: 3,682*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts