* Update from the Field
Department of Livestock agents, finding too little snow to tear after buffalo on their snowmobiles and too much to chase them with their ATVs, have been prevented from hazing, capturing, and slaughtering bison near West Yellowstone this week. Free for the moment to follow their hearts across their ancestral lands to Horse Butte, buffalo families have been reawakening the land and our spirits with their return.
Things haven't been so peaceful for their cousins on the north side. Horseback riders working for the Park Service chased 18 bison last Saturday, blocking their migration along the west side of the Yellowstone River near Gardiner. A second operation a few days later turned the herd around again.
With mixed groups of buffalo on the move along both Yellowstone's northern and western boundaries, we are currently maintaining two camps in order to run patrols in both areas. Experienced volunteers are in short supply this year, and those who are here have been spending long and many days in the field, monitoring the bison's migration and standing ready to document the hazing, capture, or slaughter that we know is on the way. If you are an experienced volunteer (and even if you are not) we could definitely use your help this spring. Please contact us and make plans to come volunteer.
The truth is that our strength lies in our community, and we're going to need your help to be as effective as we can this spring. There are myriad creative ways for you to help the bison right now including: writing an article or posting a blog, sending a Mother's Day card, seeing Jackson Browne in concert, volunteering in person, and supporting field patrols with a tax-deductible contribution.
Eva Vincent, a long-time Buffalo Field Campaign supporter from Helena, shows how it's done this week with her excellent article (excerpted in "Last Words," below) on the Yellowstone bison that she wrote and had published on the Australian web site Habitat Advocate.
Laurel Ripple-Capenter, a field volunteer in 2003, describes what BFC's Mother's Day cards mean to her in the piece that follows, which she posted on her personal blog and on BFC's Facebook page.
To everyone who pitches in to keep BFC a strong and effective force in the field and on the policy front, we thank you!
* Celebrate Mother's Day and Support Wild Buffalo
Every year, I wish my mama a happy mother's day with a handmade card from the Buffalo Field Campaign. She knows to expect the card in the mail each year, and when she opens it, she knows that she's holding a piece of my heart in her hands.
Back in 2003, I was lucky enough to spend the winter, spring and summer in the wilderness just outside Yellowstone National Park, hiking through the forest and spending my days alongside some of the most majestic and awe-inspiring creatures that walk this earth, the buffalo. Buffalo Field Campaign is a direct action campaign working in the field 365 days per year, to stop the slaughter of the last continuously wild herd of American bison. As a BFC volunteer, I went into the field everyday, documenting the actions of government agencies against these free-roaming bison, and taking a stand against the injustice of their harassment, capture, and slaughter.
Although I can't be there doing the important work of advocating for wildlife anymore, I contribute a tiny bit each year through BFC's Mother's Day Card Fundraiser. --Laurel Ripple-Carpenter, former BFC field volunteer
This year our card-maker has committed to 150 original artwork, hand-colored cards with the possibility of exceeding that if she's able; to ensure that your special recipient receives a BFC card, please order early. Your purchase of a Mother's Day card helps Buffalo Field Campaign continue fighting for wild bison and their rightful place on the land. For a minimum $15 donation per card, we'll send one to the recipient(s) of your choice, timed to arrive before Mother's Day.
To order, click HERE or send a $15 check or money order (no cash please) to Buffalo Field Campaign, PO Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758. Please remember to clearly state the name and address of the person/people you'd like us to send the card to as well as any message you'd like to include. Deadline for placing orders is Thursday, April 22nd.
* Special Jackson Browne Tickets Benefit BFC
Buffalo Field Campaign supporters will have a special opportunity to see Jackson Browne with David Lindley on August 3 at Montana State University in Bozeman. Proceeds from these special tickets, to some of the best seats in the house, allow you to meet Jackson Browne in person after the show, and Purchasers of these tickets intended to share the music and support BFC's efforts will also get to meet Jackson Brown in person after the show! For more information and to purchase tickets, please click for more information and to purchase your tickets.
* BFC Needs Summer Volunteers
BFC is still looking for volunteers who can make a minimum three week commitment with the campaign. Tabling starts June 15th and runs through Labor day weekend. It will involve professionally representing BFC and discussing bison management with visitors to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. We will provide training. If you are personable, energetic and would like to spend your summer in one of the most beautiful places on earth doing meaningful work, please email or call 406-646-0070 to learn more. The bison and BFC thank you for all you do.
"For the past 200 years these bison have been slaughtered to near extinction. Even as you read this the Montana Department of Livestock is getting ready for their spring hazing of these remnants. This animal that once numbered into the millions is now down to a meager 3,000 and will be even less if they are slaughtered by government agencies as in the past."
--Eva Vincent (read the whole artice on the HabitatAdvocate web site.)
* 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 mortality