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           Weekly Update from the Field March 7, 2013
Subscribe to our email list and receive our weekly Update from the Field
Honoring Buffalo Mourning & Ways You Can Help!‏
* Update from the Field
* NEW BFC Video! In Honor of Buffalo Mourning
* TAKE ACTION! Important Ways You Can Help Wild Buffalo Right Now!
* Align Your Life with Your Ideals: Come to Work for BFC
* Tune In! Buffalo Field Campaign Show: Episode 4
* BFC Attends "Brucellosis in Yellowstone Bison" Symposium
* 2013 Wild Bison Calendars Discounted to $2.99
* BFC Wish List Feature Items: Bikes & Bike Tools!
* By the Numbers
* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration: Grief in Animals

* Update from the Field

A young and very handsome bull gazes back at his admirers. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.

Since our last Update, 17 more wild buffalo -- mostly mature bulls and pregnant cows -- were killed by Nez Perce and Umatilla treaty hunters, all within three days. The majority were killed at the very edge of Yellowstone National Park, at Beattie Gulch, the place we now call "the killing fields." The ravens and eagles have had their fill of the gut piles. To be sure, the buffalo have had more than their fill of loss of family, of human intolerance and disrespect, and they made it clear that they would not stand idly by while state, federal, and tribal entities planned their capture and slaughter while simultaneously gunning them down at the park border.

Buffalo graze and relax on Church Universal & Triumphant (CUT) land, something very new for BFC and the buffalo! Buffalo are now relatively safe here; safe from hunting, but potentially in danger from government hazing and capture. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.

Hundreds of wild buffalo had been inhabiting the lands made newly available to them in the Gardiner Basin, north of Yellowstone National Park. While no hunters were in town, buffalo were simply living their lives, enjoying a little extra room, and mourning the relatives they had recently lost to hunters. On Thursday, Yellowstone officials posted closure signs around the Stephens Creek bison trap, making clear their plans to soon start capturing and slaughtering buffalo. A stir of unease filled the air, and the buffalo felt it more than any of us. On Friday morning, after seven buffalo had been shot at Beattie Gulch, hundreds of wild buffalo responded.

Wild buffalo on the run! BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.

It was late-morning. Our hearts were heavy with the deaths of the buffalo we had just witnessed and the wakes we had seen just days before. We were high in the hills above the gate to Yellowstone, looking through scopes and binoculars to locate other buffalo. Then it began: at first we saw a fairly large group running full tilt toward the south for over ten miles as the road goes, away from hunters and away from the trap! As we watched, the buffalo just kept coming. By the hundreds they ran, wild and free, away from certain death and capture! As we counted them, more arrived, as if word had gotten out: death and danger to the north. Buffalo are wise beings, and we have no doubt that they sensed the fate that awaited them. More than four-hundred and fifty wild buffalo, all but a few small, scattered groups, promptly fleeing the landscape where they were vulnerable. On this day, the buffalo saved themselves.

Please read below to learn about the ways you can help wild buffalo right now, and help raise awareness by sharing this email with all of your friends and contacts.

Wild is the Way ~ Roam Free!
~ Stephany

* NEW BFC Video! In Honor of Buffalo Mourning

Watch this short, but very powerful new video by BFC's Mike Mease. Please share widely!

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Buffalo Field Campaign 3/6/13

A short glimpse into the deep relationships the Buffalo have with
one another. All Buffalo matter to
each other as shown in this video.

* TAKE ACTION! Important Ways You Can Help the Buffalo Right Now

BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.

1. Several More Bad Bills Killed! Five Bad Bills Remain. Keep Pressure on Montana Decision-Makers. The pressure you've been applying upon the Montana legislature is making a difference. Already, several bad buffalo bills, HB 312, HB 249, HB 484, and HB 507 have died in committee. Unfortunately, six bad bills remain to be stopped: SB 256, SB 305, SB 341, SB 143, HB 328 and HB 396.. These bad-for-buffalo bills are being considered by the Montana legislature and these lawmakers and Montana Governor Steve Bullock need to keep hearing from you! Keep writing, calling and emailing, attend hearings if you can, and keep the pressure on! Your actions matter!

2. Watch & Share BFC's Public Service Announcement Videos. BFC recently created two short and powerful public service announcements (PSA) taking Yellowstone National Park and Montana to task for their driving roles in the slaughter of America's last wild bison. The more people who see these PSAs, the better chance the buffalo will have. Please watch the videos, take the actions urged in each, and then share them widely.

TAKE ACTION! Post the video links below directly onto your Facebook and other social media pages or web sites, forward them to all of your friends, encourage them to do the same, and help us get these out to the critical masses!

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Buffalo Field Campaign PSA 2/14/13

Yellowstone Park Plans to Kill
Hundreds of Buffalo

*Yellowstone Park Plans to Kill Hundreds of Buffalo
Copy and paste this link onto your Facebook or other social media page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hrJE2FZTZ6Y

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Buffalo Field Campaign PSA 2/14/13

Montana is a Bad Neighbor to
Yellowstone National Park

* Montana is a Bad Neighbor to Yellowstone National Park
Copy and paste this link onto your Facebook or other social media page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=i7EiMjfnJV4

3. Contact Yellowstone National Park Opposing their Plans to Slaughter Wild Buffalo! The Organic Act of 1916 established the National Park Service and requires the agency "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Yellowstone National Park's maltreatment of America's last wild buffalo populations runs contrary to the intent of "this most important provision of law." Tell Yellowstone to uphold their legal responsibility to the Organic Act and to cease all plans to harass and slaughter wild bison.

4. Join BFC on the Front Lines! Field volunteers are needed from November through May, with an increased need for volunteers during the spring months. Please consider volunteering with us to bear witness and advocate for wild buffalo! Details and a volunteer application can be found here

5. Make a monetary or in-kind donation to BFC to help keep us strong and effective in the field, the policy arena and in the courts!

* Align Your Life with Your Ideals: Come to Work for BFC

Buffalo Field Campaign is currently accepting applications for our Office Coordinator position. This job, located at BFC headquarters near West Yellowstone, will open in May 2013. Applicants should be well organized, personable, and articulate. Experience with Microsoft Office is a must, as is knowledge of and passion for wild bison and BFC. For a full job description and information on how to apply, please contact Dan.

We also have immediate openings for field volunteers. Between now and June we need people to staff our frontlines patrols. In the summer we'll need education and outreach volunteers to represent BFC and the buffalo to Yellowstone visitors. If you are interested, passionate, and hard-working, please reply to this message.

For more information about volunteering with BFC visit this page.

* Tune In! Buffalo Field Campaign Show Podcast: Episode 4

Episode 4 of The Buffalo Field Campaign podcast is now available! Join Rain, BFC's awesome volunt-gear coordinator and long-time buffalo warrior, as he talks with The BFC Show host Kim Acheson about volunteering at BFC, and so much more!

We will be doing new podcasts throughout the winter. You can listen to individual episodes or subscribe to our feed and stay in the loop on matters affecting the buffalo.

It's really easy to subscribe and never miss an episode:

On iTunes.

No iTunes? No problem. Subscribe here.

Or get it delivered directly to your e-mail.

Thanks so much for tuning in!

* BFC Attends "Brucellosis in Yellowstone Bison" Symposium

We recently attended and documented 18 hours of "Brucellosis in Yellowstone Bison" meetings at Chico Hot Springs, MT. The purpose of the meetings was to get a fresh perspective from scientists with backgrounds ranging from wildlife, conservation and evolutionary biology to vaccinology, veterinary sciences, and infectious diseases.

The first day was dedicated to familiarizing the panel with bison and brucellosis. Bison management agencies presented their perspectives and scientists from within and outside the agencies reviewed the most recent science. The discussion was interesting and informative. The panelists were engaged, showed an interest in the subject matter, and asked insightful questions.

The second day was dedicated to panel discussions on topics presented by the agencies. The focus of the first half of the day was the feasibility and effectiveness of remotely vaccinating wild bison. The panelists' general conclusion was that such a vaccination program was unnecessary. The chairing agencies expressed displeasure with this conclusion and tried to steer the panel away from it. Other topics discussed were bison birth control (also dismissed by the panel) and the proper means for "culling" the population.

It was refreshing to see the agencies, who usually rely on their own paid biologists to make the science fit their needs and justify their management actions, to seek the opinions and advice of outside experts. Their attempt to steer the panelists away from conclusions they did not like was disheartening, and ran counter to their stated intentions of being genuinely interested in hearing fresh perspectives. We hope these conversations will continue and that at some point the agencies will begin relying more upon objective science than on livestock industry politics to inform bison management.

Training and Support Coordinator
Buffalo Field Campaign

* 2013 Wild Bison Calendars Discounted to $2.99

2013 Wild Bison calendars discounted to just $2.99!

We still have our 2013 calendars but we want to get them to you. To do so, we've dropped the price by ten dollars from $12.99 to $2.99, plus shipping.

Order yours today and get one while they last!

* BFC Wish List Featured Item: Bikes & Bike Tools!

BFC board member Justine Sanchez, and executive director Dan Brister follow a haze on bikes. Bikes enable us to keep up with hazing operations, keep us more energy-efficient, and allow us to access areas where cars are not allowed or are a hindrance. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.

In the springtime, government agents haze buffalo down miles of Forest Service roads that are not yet open to cars, but open to bikes. Even when cars are allowed, BFC volunteers use mountain bikes to keep up and document hazing operations on Forest Service and some private lands. Help us get our bicycle fleet ready for spring by donating bikes and tools. Tools we especially need include: work stand, floor pump, headset wrench, pedal wrench, crank,puller, cable cutters, cassette/free wheel tools, cone wrenches, chain lube, chain brush, and 26 inch tubes.

You can view other items on BFC's Wish List. All donations in-kind and monetary are tax deductible.

Thanks for your support!

Gear Coordinator

*By the Numbers

The last wild buffalo populations are currently estimated at fewer than 4,200 individual animals, living in and around Yellowstone National Park. Wild bison are currently ecologically extinct throughout their native range in North America.

Total Buffalo Killed: 195
Government Capture:
Buffalo Released from Capture:
Government Slaughter:
Held for Government Experiment:
Died In Government Trap:
Miscarriage in Government Trap:
State Hunt: 25
Treaty Hunts: 164
Unknown Hunts: 5
Shot by Agents:
Highway Mortality: 1

Total Killed in Previous Years
2011-2012: 33
2010-2011: 227
2009-2010: 7
2008-2009: 22
2007-2008: 1,631

Total Killed Since 2000: 4,189

*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine/experiments, hunts, and highway deaths

*Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration: Grief in Animals

"Grief itself is something of a mystery, for there doesn't seem to be any obvious adaptive value to it in an evolutionary sense. It does not appear to increase an individual's reproductive success. Whatever its value is, grief is the price of commitment, that wellspring of both happiness and sorrow."

Marc Bekoff, Ph.D in Animal Emotions. From his article, Grief in Animals: It's arrogant to think we're the only animals who mourn

Please send us your submissions to Last Words. Thank you for all the poems, songs, quotes and stories you've contributed! Keep them coming!

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Media & Outreach
Buffalo Field Campaign
P.O. Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
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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