* Update from the Field
Young bachelor bulls north of Yellowstone. BFC file photo.
Small numbers of buffalo have begun to appear along the north and west boundaries of Yellowstone National Park.
Late last week, three bull buffalo were shot by Nez Perce hunters near Gardiner, Montana. The Nez Perce are hunting under treaty rights through Monday, March 15. Another small group of buffalo have migrated past Yellowstone's north entrance gate, but have not yet entered areas where they are vulnerable to hunters or government actions.
Along Yellowstone's western boundary, several buffalo have approached, but not crossed into, Montana. If and when they do enter the state, their migration corridor will carry them right past the Department of Livestock's Duck Creek Trap, so BFC patrols are keeping a close eye on the buffalo and any government activity in the area.
The situation with the eighty-eight Yellowstone buffalo, currently locked away from the public on the private ranchlands of Ted Turner, has not changed, though their story continues to make the news.
A growing number of people are coming to the understanding that they have been purposefully mislead by the government, the media, and compromising conservation organizations.
When these 88 bison, born wild within Yellowstone Park, were transported to Ted Turner's ranch the public lost all access to them.
If you haven't yet seen BFC's video about FWP's Turner scheme, check it out and share it with your friends.
Winter was unusually mild this year and Spring has arrived early, revealing and awakening the sleeping grasses. With the greening of the earth, the buffalo will come: last years' calves grown into dark and wooly yearlings, bulls young and frisky and adult and enormous, elegant mothers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, grandfathers and grandmothers. With these families will come the pregnant buffalo who hold the gift of the next generation within them. Raise your voices loud and strong for the buffalo and help tell their story so that when they do arrive those who mean them harm will know that the buffalo's allies are strong and growing.
* BFC Returns to Washington
Buffalo Field Campaign's Josh Osher has been in Washington, DC for the past several weeks drumming up support to protect the buffalo and reinvigorating members of Congress to take action. In the past, we have pursued several congressional strategies including Appropriations Amendments, The Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act, and a congressional oversight hearing. BFC was also instrumental in getting Congress to ask for a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) which was released in 2008 and found that the agencies implementing the Interagency Bison Management Plan were failing on several levels and needed to improve bison management. Based largely on this report, the agencies have made some limited changes that benefit buffalo outside the Park. It is these changes that the Montana Department of Livestock is currently trying to undo.
Currently, we are focusing our efforts on the upcoming Appropriations bills for the Departments of Interior and Agriculture. We are developing proactive ideas that the various agencies could implement for the benefit of buffalo. Look for more details about our efforts and strategies in next week's Update and prepare to lend your voice to these efforts. The buffalo have not been in the forefront of the national legislative agenda recently and it is up to all of us to let our members of Congress know that we want the buffalo protected.
In the meantime, your financial support of our efforts in the nation's capitol would be greatly appreciated. Josh's trip to Washington comes at an additional expense to our regular operating budget, yet is vital to our broader campaign to protect the buffalo.
* BFC Co-Founder Mike Mease to Speak at L.A. Film Awards
Buffalo Battle, a special TV documentary featuring the work of Buffalo Field Campaign and produced by Planet Green, has been nominated for a Prestigious Genesis Award. BFC Campaign Coordinator Mease will be in Los Angeles next weekend to attend the ceremony and will present a special reception on Friday night. If you live in the area, or know people who do, please join us for front-lines stories, exclusive
footage, and exciting clips from Buffalo Battle.
Vegan Hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be served
$5 suggested donation.
Friday March 19
1770 Glendale Blvd Echo Park
For more info and to download a flyer about the event click here.
* Summer Coordinator & Volunteers Needed!
For the past fourteen summers BFC has staffed information tables inside Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. This public education program has always been a central part of BFC. During the summer tabling program we meet prospective volunteers and supporters and generate needed donations. Most importantly, we educate park visitors about the endless aggression and harassment the bison endure during the time of year when most park visitors are not here.
We are currently recruiting bright, personable, and passionate people who can volunteer a minimum of three weeks to table in the Parks. The three week commitment will allow you to gain a solid understanding of the bison issue.
If you are interested and possess the qualities described above, please apply by sending me an email at volunteer"at"buffalofieldcampaign.org.
We are also looking for a person more involved in the issue and all its facets, who has volunteered with the campaign for at least a month previously, to spearhead and oversee our summer program. This person would need to make a full summer commitment from June through Labor Day, and be able to train, lead and organize a small to medium-sized group of volunteers. Besides being educated and articulate on bison issues, our Summer Coordinator needs to be a licensed driver in good standing.
If you have interest in filling this role contact me to discuss details.
We thank you for everything you do for these sacred bison and for our campaign. Your support keeps us going and gives us our strength.
BFC Volunteer Coordinator
* Buffalo Calendar Update: We Need Your Feedback!
Thank you to everyone who has sent photos for BFC's buffalo calendar project. We have enjoyed your incredible shots so much and are amazed at the terrific photographers you are and how you each capture the essence of the buffalo as seen through your eyes. It is an honor and a gift to have you share these with us.
We have some bad new and some good news regarding the calendar. The bad news is that the first publisher we submitted our proposal to turned us down. The good news is that this is not going to stop us and we are looking into publishing the calender on our own with the generous help of Art and Image Printing in Missoula.
In order for this project to succeed, we need your help! This is a huge commitment for us as we'll need to print and sell at least 10,000 calendars. While we will be distributing some to stores in the Greater Yellowstone area and elsewhere in the country, we are relying on you, our supporters, to make this calendar a success.
In addition to making them available individually on our web site, we will be offering them in quantity at discounted prices for you to sell and distribute in your communities. Kind of like Girl Scout cookies.
Before we commit to ordering so many calendars, we'd like to get an idea of the level of support for such an undertaking. Please write bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org to express your level of interest and the number of calendars you think you can distribute in your community. Thank You!
* Last Words
"Bison have the best chance of full recovery as wildlife by being allowed to roam freely across hundreds of thousands or even millions of hectares. Making this possible poses one of the biggest challenges for restoring bison herds as both public and private landowners will need to give their support."
~ From an International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) press advisory announcing the release of their report, American Bison: Status Survey & Conservation Guidelines 2010.
Do you have submissions for Last Words? Send them to bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org. Thank you all for the poems, songs and stories you have been sending; you'll see them here!
* Kill Tally
AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2009-2010 Total: 4
2009-2010 Slaughter: 0
2009-2010 Hunt: 4
2009-2010 Quarantine: 0
2009-2010 Shot by Agents: 0
2009-2010 Highway Mortality: 0
2008-2009 Total: 22
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
Total Since 2000: 3,706*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts, highway mortalities