* Update from the Field--Dates Added to West Coast Roadshow
BFC'S WEST COAST ROAD SHOW, SEPTEMBER 17 - OCTOBER 9, 2010
Buffalo Field Campaign's co-founder Mike Mease, and dedicated volunteer Noah, will soon embark on our 2010 West Coast Road Show, coming to numerous towns and cities in Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada. Mike and Noah will share stories and video footage from our front lines work with America's last wild buffalo and talk about ways you can join our efforts to help protect them, even from within your own community. Mike has nearly two decades of experience in the company of wild buffalo, having lived in one of the coldest climates in the lower 48 states to work in their defense, and he is an amazing storyteller, sure to inspire you to join the growing herd of wild buffalo warriors. For the duration of the tour, BFC is excited to announce that we will be joined by Lakota musician and activist, the talented Good Shield of 7th Generation Rise as well as the incredible Phoenix AfterBuffalo!
HELP SPREAD THE WORD! If you want to help us with any of these events, please check the Road Show Schedule and contact the point person at that specific venue to see how you can plug in. You can also help spread the word in your community by putting up these downloadable posters around your town, neighborhood and e-mailing all your friends, posting to Facebook or by any other means you can think of to help spread the word to save the herds.
Live in Portland and have community connections? We are looking for a venue to host an event there on the night of Monday, September 20. Please contact Mike and let him know.
If you have never been to one of these powerful presentations, you are in for a real treat. If you've joined us before, we hope you will do so again! If you have any questions about specific events, please check the schedule and contact the point person for that venue. For other information contact Mike Mease at mease"at"wildrockies.org.
See you soon!
With the Buffalo,
Cofounder, Buffalo Field Campaign
* Join BFC for Woodcut Week September 6-12!
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.
For more information on these volunteer opportunities, please contact Mike Mease at mease"at"wildrockies.org.
* Bison Advocates Tour Livestock Grazing Allotment Critical for Wild Bison
On August 4 Buffalo Field Campaign organized a field trip with local Montanans to view cattle grazing on the Gardiner Ranger District of the Gallatin National Forest. Gardiner District Ranger Mary Maj and Steven Schacht, vegetation staff, joined us to discuss the Forest's plans and to get local concerns for wild buffalo habitat on the Forest's radar.
Two permittees, James and Larry Stands and Lewis and Jill Wilks, operate the Three Peaks Ranch and run a total of 260 cow calf pairs and 10 horses on the Slip & Slide grazing allotment from June 16 through October 15. Slip & Slide covers 6,750 Gallatin National Forest acres and is the last public lands grazing allotment east of the Yellowstone River in the Gardiner basin, prime buffalo habitat and a major wildlife corridor.
The third permittee, Franklin and Susan Rigler, who operate the Dome Mountain Ranch, waived their portion of the Slip & Slide allotment to the Forest who allocated the cow calf pairs to Three Peaks Ranch. Rigler leases his private land for the Slip & Slide bison quarantine pen near Dome Mountain run by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The Slip & Slide permit is due to expire at the end of 2010. The Interagency Bison Management Plan agencies classify the Slip & Slide as Zone 3 due to the presence of cattle and bison quarantine pens at Corwin Springs and Slip & Slide. Wild bison are prohibited from occupying any habitat in Zone 3, at any time of year, despite the fact bison migrate to these habitats on the Gallatin National Forest. Several buffalo have been shot for venturing into Zone 3 in the Gardiner basin.
Gardiner basin is a critical wildlife corridor providing habitat for mule deer, one of the largest elk herds in North America, bighorn sheep, a small genetically isolated population of pronghorn antelope, and migratory bison. Grizzly bears and wolves are not far behind one of the largest migrations of wild ungulates in the lower 48 states.
One of the things we learned on the field trip is the Gardiner Ranger District's intent to annually renew the permit without performing an environmental analysis (last done in 1991) due to cutbacks in Congressional funding. The Forest's legal analysis may not come for years.
TAKE ACTION! Please contact Gallatin National Forest Supervisor Mary C. Erickson
* Tell Yellowstone not to Vaccinate Wild Bison!
Family group of buffalo out on the flats of Horse Butte, Gallatin National Forest. BFC file photo by Dru.
It doesn't make any sense at all to attempt to vaccinate bats, skunks, raccoons or other wildlife against rabies, but it does make sense to vaccinate your dog or cat. So where is the logic in vaccinating wild bison against brucellosis, and not mandating vaccinations for domestic cattle, the manageable species? If it doesn't make sense, the government usually wants to do it, and Yellowstone National Park is no exception.
TAKE ACTION! There's still plenty of time to submit your comments to Yellowstone National Park about their misguided plan to vaccinate wild bison. Comments are being accepted through September 24, 2010. It is very important that the Park hear from you about this unfortunate plan 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. 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! Thank you for taking this action to help America's last continuously wild buffalo. You can also review the official comments of BFC and our partners Western Watersheds Project.
* Last Words
"We looked upon animals like the wolf, buffalo, elk, and grizzly bear as elders because they were already here in the creation when our people came along. Ours is the task to respect the elders and to respect what the elders teach us."
--Jack Gladstone, Blackfeet Tribal Council
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: 7
2009-2010 Slaughter: 0
2009-2010 Hunt: 4
2009-2010 Quarantine: 0
2009-2010 Shot by Agents: 3*
2009-2010 Highway Mortality: 0
*Two bulls that were drugged by APHIS on 5/4/10 were shot by DOL
later that evening. One was shot by DOL on 7/13/10 for trying to free his imprisoned relatives at the Corwin Springs quarantine facility.
2008-2009 Total: 22
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
Total Since 2000: 3,709*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts, highway mortality