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           Weekly Update from the Field April 4, 2013
Subscribe to our email list and receive our weekly Update from the Field
Urgent Action, Bison on Road Video, Lawsuit Update and More!
* NEW BFC Video: Slow Down! Buffalo on Road
* Update from the Field
* Buffalo Public Trust Lawsuit Has Day in Court
* The Passing of a Great Friend: Honoring Tinyman Heavyrunner
* Volunteers Wanted!
* 2013 Wild Bison Calendars Discounted to $2.99
* BFC Wish List Feature Items: Bikes & Bike Tools
* By the Numbers
* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration


* NEW & URGENT ACTION! Urge Governor Bullock to Veto Bad Bison Bills!

Kill the Bills, Not the Buffalo! Montana legislators have done some damage, passing five anti-buffalo bills. You've helped defeat the rest of the harmful bills but these five are headed to Montana Governor Steve Bullock's desk. He is now our last line of defense for preventing these bills from becoming law. Click on the button below to take action now!

Please visit our Take Action page for other actions you can take. Thank you!

* NEW BFC Video: Slow Down! Bison on Road.

Wild bison are migrating to their calving grounds in southwest Montana, but their journey is dangerously interrupted by busy highways. Click the image to watch BFC's latest video. Please share widely!

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Buffalo Field Campaign 4/03/13

Slow Down: Bison on Road
Wild bison are migrating to their calving grounds in southwest Montana, but their journey is dangerously interrupted by busy highways. Buffalo Field Campaign is out, morning through night, helping to warn motorists of buffalo on the road. BFC is doing all we can with the tools we have, but we need safe passage infrastructure -- tunnels and bridges that help wildlife cross roads without having to step foot on them.

Read recent media about bison the on road:
* Yellowstone Gate
* Billings Gazette
* Bozeman Daily Chronicle

* Update from the Field


A pregnant buffalo negotiates the dangers of Highway 191 by the Madison River. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click image for larger view.

We are very pleased to report that treaty hunting has finally ended, and no wild bison were killed this week, either by hunters or motorists. Snow is rapidly melting, bluebirds and meadow larks have returned, and the ice of Hebgen Lake is giving in to the blue waters beneath. Throughout the Yellowstone area, wild buffalo are migrating towards their calving grounds.

These spring migrations are keeping BFC patrols extremely busy along the highways, specifically in the West Yellowstone area. Highways 191 and 287 -- heavily used by locals, tourists, and semi trucks seeking a short cut -- dangerously interrupt this critical migration corridor. BFC is out, day and night, trying to create safe passage for wild buffalo and helping motorists reach their destinations without impacts with bison.


Without safe passage infrastructure, buffalo migrating to thier calving grounds face the dangerous gauntlet of the highway. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.

Buffalo Field Campaign would like to send out a special thank you to the Montana Department of Transportation. The good folks of MDOT here in the Hebgen Basin have upped their efforts: they have changed the marquee signs to read "BISON ON ROAD, 55MPH" and dug out areas in the snowbanks along Highway 191 to give buffalo an easy way to move away from the road. While all of these efforts make a huge difference, ultimately we need wildlife crossing infrastructure, bridges and tunnels that allow bison and other wildlife to cross roads without ever having to set foot upon them.

Unfortunately, as the beauty of spring unfolds, the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) has been scouting the landscape for wild bison, readying themselves for their abusive and unnecessary hazing operations. Buffalo Field Campaign is ready, too, standing with the buffalo and watching the DOL's every move.

Wild is the Way ~ Roam Free!
~ Stephany

* Buffalo Public Trust Lawsuit Has Day in Court

Wild and free? Or

... private property on a menu near you?

After 3 years waiting to be heard, our lawsuit to keep all of the quarantined descendants of the Yellowstone herd public and Tribal wildlife finally had its day in court before Montana District Court Judge Holly Brown. Read the news story.

Plaintiffs Western Watersheds Project, Buffalo Field Campaign, Gallatin Wildlife Association, and Yellowstone Buffalo Foundation filed suit against Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks for a deal it struck with Turner Enterprises Inc. giving away public buffalo for private, commercial use. The deal privatizes three of four buffalo offspring born in captivity on Turner's Green Ranch west of Bozeman, Montana in exchange for keeping the buffalo in quarantine for five years.

From the time these buffalo calves were trapped in Yellowstone National Park and taken from their family groups for an experiment to produce brucellosis-free buffalo, the promise Montana made and broke, was to keep all of these public buffalo, public and Tribal wildlife forever.

While we await a court decision, whether the deal stands or not is largely up to Gov. Steve Bullock who has promised to "fight attempts to privatize and commercialize public wildlife, and protect fair chase hunting."

The public will find out if Governor Bullock's promise holds true for the buffalo.

Special thanks to Western Watersheds Project attorney Summer Nelson and law clinic student Talasi Brooks, for being well prepared and articulating the irreplaceable conservation legacy these buffalo carry as public and Tribal wildlife for future generations.

* The Passing of a Great Friend: Honoring Tinyman Heavyrunner

A passing of an inspiration of life can now only be reached from the heavens. Chief Tinyman Heavyrunner has passed on from this earth. I have had the honor to be taught, friended and lead down this path of life I am on because of him. His trust in me and sharing of his visions will guide me until I join him again. I am sad that our last talk was from a phone, but our dreams will keep us connected forever. Thanks for all the lives you have changed and the culture that lives on because of your teachings. As you told me it is time to be leaders.
~ Mike Mease

Floyd "Tinyman" HeavyRunner, Jr., of the Blackfeet, and Louise Wawatee of Ottawa were the most Sacred People to walk this earth. That includes the Pope and all men and ladies! Creator demands we honor these humans! We look at Death so ignorant as people. God has Tinyman and Louise in his hand. Don't cry for these human beings. Honor them. U.N.Y.A.H.
~ Jimmy St. Goddard, Sacred Paint Gatherer of the Blackfeet Nation

* Volunteers Wanted!

We have immediate openings for field volunteers. Between now and June we need people to staff our front-lines 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 email us or visit the button below.

* 2013 Wild Bison Calendars Discounted to $2.99

We still have some of our 2013 calendars and we want to get them to you. To make it easy 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 Feature Items: Bikes & Bike Tools

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: floor pump, pedal wrench, crank puller, cable cutters, cassette/free wheel tools, cone wrenches, chain lube, chain brush, and 26 inch tubes.

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

Thanks for your support!

Alex
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.

2012-2013
Total Buffalo Killed: 252
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: 217
Unknown Hunts: 5
Quarantine:
Shot by Agents:
Highway Mortality: 5

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: 4,246

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

*Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration

Critics say the bills would end their plans for new wild herds. Which is exactly the point, Senator Brenden said. "Why do you want to spread this creeping cancer, these woolly tanks, around the state of Montana?" he asked. "Trying to bring back the buffalo in big herds across Montana is like bringing back dinosaurs. And who wants dinosaurs in Montana? I certainly don't."

Read the article, where Senator Brendan's statement appeared, in the New York Times.

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
406-646-0070
bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org
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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