* Update from the Field
Close profile of a beautiful pregnant buffalo we were watching in May. BFC file photo by P. Bogusko.
Montana is warm and sunny these days and the buffalo are safe and sound within Yellowstone's boundaries for the time being, but BFC has been working hard to build the movement that will ultimately result in permanent protection for the buffalo and their habitat. If you are on our mailing list you should have received BFC's 2010 newsletter by now and we hope you find this year's edition informative, entertaining, and inspiring. Below you will find a sampling of some of the many initiatives we have been working on. If you believe in our work and want to help us protect the buffalo, please take action today. Today's Update is packed with ways you can help, either by adding your voice to the growing list of people sending comments to the Park Service against Yellowstone's plans to vaccinate wild bison, by volunteering for our annual Woodcut Week, or by supporting BFC with a financial contribution or merchandise order. We hate to have to but the truth is, we could not function without your support.
We're very excited for our new Wild Bison Calendar (see below) and next month's Jackson Browne concert in Bozeman will provide an excellent opportunity for us to raise awareness of the buffalo and to raise much-needed funds to carry out our work. Thank you Jackson Browne for being such a committed activist and musician, for supporting our work, and for speaking out for the buffalo.
BFC will be hosting our annual Woodcut Week from September 6-12, 2010 and we need your help to gather, haul, cut, and stack the firewood that will keep our volunteers warm all winter. Please make plans to join us for a week of good hard work, tasty meals, friendship, and nights around the BFC campfire. We are also in need of education and outreach volunteers to staff our tables in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks during the weeks of July 25 through August 8 and August 29 through September 5. For more information on these volunteer opportunities, please contact Mike Mease.
If you'd like to learn more about the buffalo and BFC's work, please listen to this interview we did earlier in July with Animal Voices, a Canadian radio program. With your help, we will stop the buffalo slaughter!
For the Buffalo,
* Wild Bison 2011 Calendars Are Going Fast!
These spectacular Wild Bison 2011 calendars are a huge hit! Get some for yourself, friends and family today!
Have you ordered your Wild Bison 2011 calendar?
Be sure to get yours while we still have them! These calendars are perfect for your home or office and make wonderful gifts. They are a spectacular salutation to the Yellowstone area buffalo, America's last wild population, teeming with powerful and endearing photos, passionate quotes, beautiful artwork, information about buffalo, and all content was provided by BFC supporters and volunteers. These calendars will help remind us to celebrate wild buffalo every single day of the year! If you know of any stores in your area that would like to carry them, or if you would like to distribute calendars in your community, please contact Mike Mease for more info.
* Tell Yellowstone: Do Not Vaccinate Wild Buffalo!
This wild buffalo expresses her thoughts on the Park Service's plan to vaccinate her relatives.
BFC file photo by Stephany.
Yellowstone National Park would like to shoot wild buffalo with a brucellosis vaccine intended for cattle, and unsafe for buffalo. The vaccine is ineffective, costly, harmful, intrusive and culturally unacceptable. Advocates for wild buffalo can help by submitting comments to Yellowstone, which are being accepted through July 26. Please tell the Park you do not approve of vaccinating wild buffalo, and instead, request Yellowstone to develop an alternative to buy-out cattle in the buffalo's immediate habitat areas of Yellowstone, Madison and Gallatin river valleys.
Take action today! And please spread the word to save these herds!
Read this excellent news article Bison Vaccine No Magic Bullet, Park Service Says from the Jackson Hole News & Guide.
* In Joyous Celebration: The Marriage of Dan & Andrea
At the altar. Dan and Andrea are married by Roman and Justine in front of friends and family.
Photo by Stephany.
On Saturday, June 26, 2010 family and friends gathered in Arlee, Montana, about 250 miles north of where the last wild buffalo currently roam, in celebration of the marriage of BFC's Executive Director Dan Brister and his beautiful partner, Andrea Davis. It was a perfect day for our buffalo and blood families to come together in celebration for the joining of these two special souls in their lifetime commitment to one another. People came together in this gorgeous spot in the Jocko Valley, on the edge of the powerful Mission Mountains, traveling from as close as West Yellowstone and Missoula, Montana, and from as far as Germany, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania, and from many other points around the country.
Photo by Stephany.
The spirit of the buffalo was with Dan & Andrea on this day as well; Dan has given nearly 15 years of his life to working in defense of these magnificent creatures, and Andrea has lent her love, wisdom and time to his work, becoming herself a special part of our buffalo family. Of course, the wedding wouldn't have been complete without the enormous and gentle presence of the ever-popular buffaloon. This inflatable giant was centerpiece at the reception, watching over the revelers who hula-hooped, played volleyball, badminton and music, and a huge hit among the little ones who ran about like newborn calves.
The buffalo watches over the celebrants and reminds us of the power of family and commitment.
Photo by Stephany.
The ceremony was splendid! The incredibly lovely ritual was presided over with poetry and eloquence by Roman and Justine Sanchez, who are both BFC board members. Dan's brother Bill and Andrea's friend Natalie performed readings and a full moon and partial lunar eclipse added to the power of the day as our BFC family grew under the watchful eye of Grey Wolf Peak. The day into the night was a passionate reflection of the journey of marriage and the strength of community. Thank you Dan & Andrea for the honor of celebrating this special day with you! With this wedding we continue to build a tribe of buffalo warriors ready to stand long and true with the buffalo.
BuffaLove and Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Brister!
* New Film! Facing the Storm: Story of the American Bison
Producer Doug Hawes Davis has created a new film documenting the history of the American bison, Facing the Storm: Story of the American Bison. Buffalo Field Campaign footage was used in the making of this documentary, which proves to be a powerful piece and is being presented by the High Plains Film Festival.
Learn more about the film and opportunities to view it.
* Last Words
"Water flows over these hands. May I use them skillfully to preserve our precious planet."
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
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 BUFFALO ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2009-2010 Total: 6
2009-2010 Slaughter: 0
2009-2010 Hunt: 4
2009-2010 Quarantine: 0
2009-2010 Shot by Agents: 2*
2009-2010 Highway Mortality: 0
*Two bulls that were drugged by APHIS on 5/4/10 were shot by DOL
later that evening.
2008-2009 Total: 22
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
Total Since 2000: 3,708*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts, highway mortality