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Weekly Update from the Field December 4, 2008
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* Update from the Field
* Please Donate Now! Keep BFC on the Front Lines!
* Update on Royal Teton Ranch Land Lease
* View & Vote! Belgian Director Creates Bison Film
* Last Words
* Kill Tally

* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Haunted is the landscape without the presence of buffalo. Patrols have seen barely 200 buffalo, but only miles deep inside Yellowstone National Park. In the Park's western lands fewer than five buffalo have been spotted. The Park's north boundary from the Blacktail Plateau through the Lamar Valley, where buffalo typically flourish, is also profoundly empty. Where thousands recently roamed, very few buffalo have been seen.

The absence of buffalo within Montana does mean that many may be spared in the hunt, but it's also a very telling sign of the drastic toll last years' slaughter took upon our shaggy friends. The Park estimates that there are fewer than 3,000 bison within Yellowstone. This encompasses the entirety of the United State's wild American bison population. And, sadly, from what we have seen - or, rather, have not seen - it appears there are even far fewer left than that.

Bison have suffered centuries of persecution. That they remain among us is testament to their ability to survive; they embody the very essence of persistence, resistance and endurance. And also hope. Even so, the last wild population is in a perilous situation and requires immediate and strong protection, protection that does not come from being raised as livestock on ranches, placed on commemorative coins, or from being fenced in and unable to migrate and flourish, something denied all public herds. Wild bison must roam! They are a gift to the grass; the heartbeat of this continent. This awareness is spreading. With your help, we are making a difference, influencing policy and changing minds in our efforts to secure habitat in Montana and elsewhere, where wild bison will be welcomed, respected, and protected.

We'd like to share with you a brief update on our efforts to protect Horse Butte for wild buffalo. Please visit our Horse Butte Habitat Update page to learn the latest.

As always, thank you for being with us and for the buffalo. Your strong support of our work and your undying love for the buffalo keeps our collective, attainable dream alive!

Roam Free!
* Please Donate Now! Keep BFC on the Front Lines!

Buffalo Supporters,

Buffalo Field Campaign has been feeling the effects of the economic collapse.

We've been doing everything we can to cut costs without hampering the effectiveness of our efforts, but it does cost money to feed, house, clothe, and train our field volunteers; send representatives to public meetings; and document, write, and edit video, photos, and communications with you, the people who care for and act on behalf of the wild buffalo. And while we are very hopeful that the new administration and Congress will take action to protect the buffalo, it will require that we make several costly trips to Washington DC this winter and spring.

With the overwhelming majority of our funding coming in the form of individual donations (the five, ten, twenty, and fifty dollar contributions sent in by people like you) we are dependent upon you for meeting our budget. While it's never easy to ask for money we are very proud of our work and know you believe in us too.

So please, if you are able, make an online donation today or send a check or money order to: Buffalo Field Campaign/ PO Box 957/ West Yellowstone, MT 59758. Donations are tax-deductible and go directly to our front-lines grassroots work to protect the Buffalo.

Thank you!
For the Buffalo,
Dan Brister, MS
Buffalo Field Campaign
* Update on Royal Teton Ranch Land Lease
Many heartfelt thanks to all of you who submitted comments to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks on the Royal Teton Ranch (RTR) land lease. The overwhelming number of public comments received showed a strong opposition to this bad deal for bison. Thank you! But, unfortunately, it appears that FWP is ignoring the public once again, and have decided to implement the land lease. You can read FWP's decision notice and please consider dropping a line to the new Region 3 Director for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Joe Maurier, to express your feelings about this decision. On December 11, the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission will meet to discuss the land lease where they are expected to make a recommendation based, in part, on public comments received. From there, on December 17 and 18, the Interagency Bison Management Plan agencies are expected to discuss the issue further. We will let you know the news as it happens. Thank you again for being such a strong voice for the last wild bison population in the U.S.
* View & Vote! Belgian Director Creates Bison Film
A film director from Belgium, Sebastien Wielemans, came to Buffalo Field Campaign this October as part of "The Adventure of Eight Video Nomads," a competitive video project that brought four European film makers to American, and sent four Canadians to Europe to do film projects. Sebastien decided to do a film about the last wild buffalo, which he titled "Where the Bisons Roam." The film features interviews with BFC's Mike Mease as well as BFC's footage from the field. It's a wonderful, short piece worth watching!

Please take a moment to watch Sebastien's video. So far, his film is in the lead among the eight contestants, and if he wins, his film "Where the Bisons Roam" will be seen in numerous international venues! If you have the time, you can also subscribe to vote for Sebastien's film and help get the buffalo's story told to audiences in other countries! You do need Adobe Flash Player to view the film.
Many thanks to Sebastien for coming to Buffalo Field Campaign, learning about the buffalo, and choosing to do this amazing project for them! The best of luck to you Sebastien! You can also drop Sebastien a line to talk about his film.
* Last Words
"In the beginning of all things, wisdom and knowledge were with the animals, for Tirawa, the One Above, did not speak directly to man. He sent certain animals to tell men that he showed himself through the beast, and that from them, and from the stars and the sun and moon should man learn.. "
~ Eagle Chief (Letakos-Lesa), Pawnee
* Kill Tally
AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2008-2009 Total: 2
2008-2009 Slaughter: 0
2008-2009 Hunt: 1
2008-2009 Quarantine: 0
2008-2009 Shot by Agents: 1
2007-2008 Total: 1,616
Total Since 2000: 3,683*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts

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