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           Weekly Update from the Field February 24, 2011
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Update & Action! Contact New Yellowstone Superintendent, Dan Wenk!
* Update from the Field: Contact New Yellowstone Superintendent
* Excellent Editorial: Bison Abuse Merits Harsh Criticism
* BFC Participates in Yellowstone Bison Citizen Working Group
* By the Numbers
* Last Words

* Update from the Field: Contact New Yellowstone Superintendent

This beautiful cow buffalo stops to look back towards members of her family, during a hazing operation conducted by Yellowstone National Park, Montana Department of Livestock, USDA-Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, and US Forest Service agents. BFC file photo.

Dan Wenk has started in his official capacity as Yellowstone National Park's new Superintendent. He enters his office at a critical time for the buffalo and needs to hear from you! Please take a moment right now to contact Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk, welcoming him to Yellowstone and urging him to take action to protect the buffalo.

TAKE ACTION! http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2426/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5976
Please share this link with everyone who you think might be interested in helping protect the wild buffalo.

Over 500 wild buffalo are still captive inside Yellowstone's Stephens Creek bison trap. Many of the females in the trap are a month or less away from calving. Yellowstone's own bison biologist has admitted that confining buffalo during this time can exacerbate increased prevalence of brucellosis among buffalo <link to video>. The buffalo in the trap are being fed alfalfa, a livestock food that is not natural for wild buffalo, and in large quantities can cause complications for pregnant mothers, including calf deaths. Injuries and death are also very common for buffalo that are confined. Yellowstone has not announced what they intend to do with the buffalo in the trap - if they will hold them there, or let them go. Other wild buffalo have suffered hazing operations nearly every day along the west side of the Yellowstone River, as they attempt to migrate out of deep snow into lower-elevation lands where they can find the grass they need to survive the winter. A few times during hazing operations, BFC patrols have witnessed the trapped buffalo stampeding while their friends on the outside are being chased by agents. At other times, we've seen buffalo in the trap try to walk along side of their relatives on the outside, who have come to pay them visits, only to bump into the fence, unable to follow their migrating brethren.

Wild buffalo are relentlessly forced to flee their winter range. Hazing operations like the one shown here are taking place nearly every day on critical habitat north of and inside Yellowtone National Park. BFC file photo.

Further hazing operations belie the failure of the Royal Teton Ranch land lease experiment, which in early January saw twenty-five buffalo forced through a $3.3 million corridor to a small section of Gallatin National Forest, where agents hoped they would stay for a couple months. Agents said they wanted to see how they might use the landscape. The buffalo showed them that wild buffalo use the landscape by migrating, so the agents shot two and have the rest in the trap. On Monday, a group of about forty buffalo used that exact same corridor, naturally migrating there own their own, yet six riders on horseback from Yellowstone, the Montana Department of Livestock, and USDA APHIS, along with US Forest Service law enforcement, chased them all back into Yellowstone.

These wild buffalo naturally migrated through the Royal Teton Ranch land easement corridor, only to be hazed back into Yellowstone National Park. Millions have been spent for buffalo to be able to use these lands, yet they are still refused access. BFC file photo.

The Montana Department of Livestock has also been conducting some curious activities along Hwy. 89 near Gardiner. On numerous occasions last week, patrols monitored DOL agents driving nearly 100-mile round trips to the Gardiner area in big pick-up trucks towing horse trailers, gathering with National Park Service, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Park County Sheriffs, and US Forest Service law enforcement, as if poised for hazing or shooting buffalo; yet, instead of witnessing actions against the buffalo, patrols saw the agents stand around and chat it up, go to lunch and leave town. Great for the buffalo, but extremely wastefu with U.S. tax dollars. A further demonstration of the extreme waste of funds allocated to the Interagency Bison Management Plan. These funds would be much better spent on habitat-based solutions.

Since we last wrote, twenty more buffalo have been killed by hunters. Sixteen bull buffalo were taken by the Nez Perce within four days on Gallatin National Forest lands outside of the Park's northern boundary. Another four buffalo were taken by Nez Perce and Umatilla hunters off of public lands west of Yellowstone. There are very few buffalo left for hunters to take.

Snow keeps falling, and wild buffalo will continue to migrate as their survival instincts dictate. BFC remains steadfast on the front lines with the buffalo around Gardinder and West Yellowstone. We sincerely appreciate all the actions you have been taking for the buffalo, and all the words of support you have been sending our way. All of you are Buffalo Field Campaign, and together, we will press on, as the buffalo do.


* EXCELLENT EDITORIAL: Bison Abuse Merits Harsh Criticism

Please read and widely share this powerful, articulate and moving editorial by Dr. Brian L. Horejsi,
Bison Abuse Merits Harsh Criticism


1. Contact Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk and welcome him to Yellowstone, tell him to set the trapped buffalo free, pull out of the Interagency Bison Management Plan, stop harassing and killing wildlife and work towards habitat-based solutions for America's last wild buffalo!
Take Action Now!

2. Contact your Members of Congress and urge them to intervene with the Park on your behalf and to support federal funding to protect America's last wild buffalo and their habitat. Ask them to support the re-direction of funds wasted on the Interagency Bison Management Plan towards habitat-based solutions that honor the wild integrity of our national heritage.
- Write Your Representative: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
- Write Your Senators: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

3. Contact Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and THANK HIM for the 90-day stay of execution, tell him he did the right thing. Please also remind him that wild buffalo must be allowed to access habitat in Montana. Brucellosis is not the issue, but habitat for wild buffalo is the solution. Remind him that until Montana embraces and respects wild, free-roaming bison, the state will continue to be globally shamed by these actions against America's last wild buffalo! Remind him that tourism sustains Montana. governor@mt.gov OR 406-444-3111

4. Sign BFC's Petition to National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis urging him to abandon the failed Interagency Bison Management Plan, Sign the Petition

5. Write Letters to the Editor to newspapers in your region to help raise awareness and bring an end to the unjust treatment of America's last wild buffalo. Write on for the Buffalo!

6. Vote for wild buffalo and all wildlife with your money by Boycotting beef.

7. Volunteer with BFC by joining us on the front lines! volunteer"at"buffalofieldcampaign.org, 406-646-0070 or visit

8. Watch & Share This Video to Inspire Yourself & Others to Protect the Wild Bison

THANK YOU! Please spread the word to save these herds by telling everyone you know what is happening to the country's last wild buffalo and what they can do to . Knowledge is power!

* BFC Participates in Citizen Working Group

On Tuesday evening, February 22, Buffalo Field Campaign gathered with other bison advocates, hunters, ranchers, film makers, land owners, and other interested parties to begin the process of creating a Citizens Working Group. The group has been born out of frustration with the Interagency Bison Management Plan. Nearly fifty people arrived for the initial meeting, each having an opportunity to express their interest as to why they were there. Most people present expressed that they were there because they want to see wild buffalo managed as wildlife in Montana, though there were certainly a few that expressed interest in protecting livestock. It is definitely going to be a challenge to see if we can all find a meaningful way to work together, and through consensus, find solutions that everyone feels good about. While we know we will not agree with everyone all the time, it is an opportunity for us to listen and learn from one another, build unlikely relationships, strengthen others, and offer sound alternatives to the quagmire of the Interagency Bison Management Plan. The next meeting is scheduled for March 7th, in Bozeman, Montana. We will keep you posted on how things progress.

You can read a brief article and watch a video from the meeting here

* By the Numbers

AMERICAN BUFFALO ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S. The last wild population is currently estimated at fewer than 3,700 individual buffalo.

2010-2011 Total: 173

2010-2011 Government Capture: 513
2010-2011 Government Slaughter:
2010-2011 Died In Government Trap: 1
2010-2011 State & Treaty Hunts: 173
2010-2011 Quarantine: 0
2010-2011 Shot by Agents: 2
2010-2011 Highway Mortality: 2

2009-2010 Total: 7
2008-2009 Total: 22
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
Total Since 2000: 3,884*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts, highway mortality

* Last Words

"We negotiated [the Interagency Bison Management Plan] in the good faith that it would eventually lead to free-ranging, untested bison. That was our end goal, not to be doing what we're doing now."

~ Keith Aune, former FWP employee and now senior conservation scientists for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Quote appeared in a 2/20/11 Bozeman Daily Chronicle article, "Time for a New Direction?"

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!

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Buffalo Field Campaign
P.O. Box 957
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BFC is the only group working in the field every day in defense of the last wild buffalo population in the U.S.

Buffalo Field Campaign West Yellowstone Montana
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