* Update from the Field
This bull is feeling good in the summer season; it's rut time! Photo by Barbara Magnuson and Larry Kimball, used with permission. Click photo for larger image.
Summer is a relatively peaceful time of year for wild buffalo. Inside Yellowstone National Park, during this time of year, America's last wild population is being left alone to simply be buffalo, free to raise their young, engage in the rut, and otherwise tend to buffalo society in the ways they see fit. As it should be. This is the season of plenty as buffalo dine on plentiful summer grasses that will carry their massive bodies through many dark months of intense winter.
Help us spread the word with BFC's 2011 Print Newsletter!
BFC volunteers continue to table inside Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, talking with park visitors, making new friends and continuing to build a strong advocacy towards a healthy future for these gentle giants. We have also been engaging in many other activities and building alliances that will bring forth positive change, as you can read more about below. You, too, are key to helping spread the word to save these last wild herds! Contact our office coordinator Elizabeth to obtain copies of our 2011 print newsletter, which we encourage you to place around your communities.
Represent! BFC crew at the Summer 2011 Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, Utah. From left to right: Mike, Blake, Sweeney, Hunter, Dan and Andrea. Click photo for larger image.
A BFC crew also migrated down to Salt Lake City, Utah last week for the Outdoor Retailer show, to represent our work to protect the buffalo, browse all the incredible outdoor gear, make new friends and strengthen alliances. This was a really special trip because, not only was it Mike's birthday, this time, BFC, Patagonia, Osprey Packs and Klean Kanteen initiated the rewarding campaign to "Ditch Single Use Plastic & Protect Habitat for All Species." Many thanks to everyone for making this such a huge success!
I love buffalo! Come listen to Good Shield sing with this guitar, and hear stories about the buffalo from him and BFC's executive director Dan Brister. You can join us Friday in Lake Tahoe, and there will be other opportunities when Mike Mease hits the road for our yet-to-be-announced West Coast Road Show. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
If you're in the Lake Tahoe region, Buffalo Field Campaign will be in South Lake Tahoe tomorrow, Friday, August 12, and we hope you can join us to celebrate and protect America's last wild buffalo. Our dear friend Good Shield will play his incredible music and BFC's Executive Director Dan Brister will share stories and video from his time in the field with the buffalo.
Please join us:
Murphy's Pub and Restaurant
787 Emerald Bay Rd
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Buffalo allies continue to grow and work in solidarity for positive change, spreading the word to save these last wild herds. You are a huge part of every inch of headway that we make together; stay the course for there is much work yet to be done.
* A Powerful Encounter: BFC Meets with Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribal Council
A very good day! Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Tribal Council (pictured from left to right) Rueben Mathias, Carole Lankford, Jim Malatare, Joe Durglo, Chairman E.T. Bud Moran, Terry L. Pitts, James H. Steele, Jr., Michel "Mike" Kenmille, Steve Lozar (not present, Charles L. Morigeau); Buffalo Field Campaign (left to right) Michael S. Mease, Darrell Geist, Peter Bogusko, Stephany Seay. Click photo for larger image.
On Tuesday, August 2, Buffalo Field Campaign's Mike, Darrell, Peter and Stephany had the great honor of visiting Pablo, Montana - the Flathead Nation - to come before the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council, to share information and build on an already healthy alliance. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) have strong ties with buffalo and with Yellowstone Country that go back many, many thousands of years, and, indeed, their compassion and foresight helped ensure that the last wild buffalo - the so-called Yellowstone population - still exist today. The CSKT are now also an equal partner - representing tribal interests and, hence, the buffalo - on the Interagency Bison Management Plan. And it was no coincidence that this great opportunity was taking place just two days before the CSKT would host the IBMP agencies for the August meetings.
We were at once exalted and humbled by the reception from the Tribal Council, which was deeply and generously supportive of our work. The opportunity to speak with this powerful First Nations buffalo culture was an extremely fortunate experience for us; we learned so much, made friends and felt the fire of hope come alive. The strong and ancient spirit of the buffalo was pulsing in the room with us.
It was one of the only times any of us has spoken with a governing body, a leadership council, and had people actually listening, and caring, sharing stories and sending back as much passion as was conveyed. We shared tears and laughter, and an overwhelming sense of hope filled the room.
Try as we may, no words can really describe what we all felt happening that day. There is hope! Strong hope with the tribes, with us, in solidarity with everyone who truly loves and respects buffalo and embraces their inherit right to roam free. We give thanks to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council for this fortunate opportunity, give thanks for the feeling and power in the room and where we will go with it together. Special thanks to our friend Tom McDonald of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes for believing in us and helping bring us before the Tribal Council. Wild is the way!!
* Report Back from IBMP August Meetings
Yamncut, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal members drum "Calling Buffalo Son" on morning of the first day of the IBMP meetings, hosted by the CSKT in the Flathead Nation. BFC file photo by Darrell Geist. Click photo for larger image.
The Interagency Bison Management Plan meetings were, for the first time, held on Tribal land, on the Flathead Nation of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), August 4-5, 2011. BFC's Darrell Geist was in attendance, and the CSKT were tremendous hosts. The CSKT started the first day with an opening prayer, gave a brief history of the CSKT relationship with the buffalo, and drummers and singers filled the room with "Calling Buffalo Son." The Tribe took everyone on a tour of their efforts to develop and expand wildlife safe passages on Highway 93, and also the National Bison Range.
The second day of meetings, the Tribal representatives - Nez Perce, Confederated Salish and Kootenai, and the InterTribal Buffalo Council - again brought forth their ongoing concerns and questions with how the IBMP partners make decisions, and how the public can participate in agency conference calls that are currently closed to the people. As Darrell reports, most of the second day brought in the grim, disheartening typical stuff from the state and federal government agencies, setting the tone of the last wild buffalo treated like so many livestock. There was talk about making the quarantine program (read: domestication process) "operational," meaning that it would no longer be an experiment, but be part of how the agencies mismanage wild buffalo. There was a gross sense of "urgency" to slaughter 300 to 350 buffalo from Yellowstone's northern range this coming season, and mention was made that bulls need to be killed from the Central Interior of Yellowstone, though there was no explanation as to why, and no discussion of the significant loss from previous slaughter years or the grave impact that all of these nefarious, livestock-model mismanagement techniques have on the evolutionary potential of the wild American buffalo.
The apparent silence from the Tribes in much of these discussions is, indeed, heartening. Though it is painfully clear that Montana and the federal government will hold on stubbornly to their acutely destructive behavior towards America's last wild buffalo, it is even more clear that this way of thinking is beginning to lose power. See below on ways you can raise your voice for America's last wild buffalo!
* Join BFC & Dana Lyons for BFC's Annual Wood Cut Week!
Dana Lyons will join BFC for our Annual Wood Cut Week and play a free concert on Wednesday, September 7. Please join us at our headquarters in West Yellowstone, Montana! Click photo for larger image.
Recording artist and eco-warrior, Dana Lyons, will perform a FREE CONCERT at Buffalo Field Campaign headquarters in West Yellowstone, Montana, on Wednesday, September 7th, during BFC's Annual Wood Cut Week! We are so excited about this really special occasion and we are deeply honored that Dana will spend time with BFC and share his incredible music. Dana is probably best known for his awesome tune "Cows with Guns," and you've probably also sung along to some of his other fantastic songs like "RV" and "Ride the Lawn."
So mark your calendars for BFC's Annual Wood Cut Week September 5-11, with a special performance by our friend Dana Lyons on September 7. Join BFC and Dana for some rewarding work that will keep BFC volunteers warm during southwest Montana's long winter months, terrific, inspiring music, and lots of fun and laughter to help the folks on the front lines working in defense of America's last wild buffalo!
Lodging and camping are available and delicious meals will also be provided. Bring friends and chain saws. Please contact Mike if you are able to join us.
* BFC's Wild Bison 2012 Calendars Are Going Fast!
Get them before they're gone! To order now, click the calendar image or visit this link.
Connect with the buffalo through Buffalo Field Campaign's brand new 2012 calendar. Filled with eye-catching and awe-inspiring images of wild buffalo on their native habitat in Yellowstone country, this year's calendar is a beautiful tribute to this amazing species.
Wild Bison 2012 is a positive celebration of the last continuously wild herds of bison in America. This year's calendar features photographs submitted by BFC supporters or shot by volunteers. Each month offers a seasonal perspective on wild bison and highlights their natural history.
With a limited print run of just 5,000 calendars, be sure to order yours as soon as possible.
* TAKE ACTION!
1. Contact Your Members of Congress and urge them to force an end to the Interagency Bison Management Plan, support Tribal co-management of wild buffalo, and re-direct federal funding towards habitat based solutions for wild buffalo. TAKE ACTION!
2. Contact Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk and USDA APHIS Western Regional Director Brian McCluskey and tell them it is not acceptable for wild buffalo, which are ecologically extinct, to be surrendered without public notice or input for experiments with chemical sterilization.
TAKE ACTION: Please email Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk and APHIS Regional Director Brian McCluskey.
3. Write Letters to the Editor in support of protecting America's last wild buffalo.
4. Donate Now! Buffalo Field Campaign is dependent upon contributions from our supporters for our survival. Please make a donation of whatever amount you can afford and ensure that we remain the buffalo's most powerful voice in the field and in the policy arena.
Thank You! Spread the word to save these herds! Please share these action links on FaceBook, blogs, etc.
* BFC Wish List: BFC Office Coordinator Needs A Computer!
Elizabeth, Buffalo Field Campaign's office coordinator, is in need of a computer upgrade. BFC recently purchased essential software upgrades she needs to do her job, but unfortunately the software does not run on the old Power PC processors. BFC has the software but we need a computer to match the talents of Elizabeth - Can you help?
Our wish list item for Elizabeth is 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 3,600 individual buffalo. Wild buffalo are currently ecologically extinct throughout their native range.
2010-2011 Total Buffalo Killed: 227
2010-2011 Government Capture: 770
2010-2011 Government Slaughter: 0
2010-2011 Held for Government Experiment: 30
2010-2011 Died In Government Trap: 3
2010-2011 Miscarriage in Government Trap: 1
2010-2011 State & Treaty Hunts: 211
2010-2011 Quarantine: 0
2010-2011 Shot by Agents: 4
2010-2011: Killed by Angry Residents: 2
2010-2011 Highway Mortality: 11
2009-2010 Total: 7
2008-2009 Total: 22
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
* Total Since 2000: 3,972*
*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine, hunts, highway mortality
* Last Words ~ Mike Mease
"When the thunder of the mighty bulls in rut fills the valley, the herd makes way for the next generation--as it has always been."
~ Mike Mease, Cofounder and Campaign Coordinator, Buffalo Field Campaign.
Do you have submissions for Last Words? Send them to Stephany. Thank you for all the poems, songs, quotes, and stories you have been sending; you'll see them here!