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           Weekly Update from the Field March 31, 2013
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Veto Power, Buffalo Power: Update from the Field 4-18-13‏
* TAKE ACTION! Pressure Governor Bullock to Veto Bad Bison Bills!
* Update from the Field: Life, Death, Family, and Freedom
* NEWS! Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council Pass Buffalo Resolution
* Celebrate Mother's Day with Handcrafted Cards from BFC
* Win Two Weekend Passes to Summer Camp Music Festival 2013!
* Volunteers Wanted!
* BFC Wish List Feature Items: Binos, Spotting Scopes and... Coffee!
* BFC Supporter-Made Video: Prayers for the Bison
* By the Numbers
* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration

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

Kill the Bills, Not the Buffalo! Twelve anti-buffalo bills were alive at the start of this legislative session. Thanks to you and other friends of the buffalo, only two survive!

HB 143, which would have made it mandatory for the Department of Livestock to immediately kill, capture, harass, quarantine and trap for slaughter all buffalo migrating into Montana, failed yesterday in its 3rd reading in the Montana House by a vote of 50 to 50.

HB 328, which allows wildlife officials to reveal the location of wild buffalo to hunters, unfortunately, was signed into law on Friday.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock is the last line of defense against the last two surviving bills.

HB 396 would grant unconstitutional powers to county commissioners, giving them full authority over any wild buffalo transferred or introduced in Montana. It would also make it legal for the Montana Department of Livestock to auction or sell wild bison and keep the money.

SB 256 would legislatively undo a long standing Montana Supreme Court precedent that wildlife does not belong to any owner by making the state liable for any private property damage or public safety hazard caused by reintroduced buffalo.

 Please contact Governor Bullock today and urge him to veto these awful buffalo bills!

Here is Governor Bullock's veto power status.

Please visit our Montana Legislature 2013 page for more info on the bills and our Take Action page for other actions you can take. Thank you!

* Update from the Field: Life, Death, Family, and Freedom

The next generation is on their way! BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.

Wild buffalo calving season has begun here in the Hebgen Basin, west of Yellowstone! On Tuesday, BFC patrols were blessed to spot not one, but two brand new, tiny red buffalo in different locations on Horse Butte. As always, it was a joyful experience and cause for celebration! The next generation of wild buffalo is coming!

Grizzly bears are also awake and active! BFC field patrols have been spotting their huge tracks and other sign in various locations throughout the Hebgen Basin. A few volunteers were even blessed with spotting tracks from a wolf pack not far from our own back yard!

As we celebrate, we also mourn.

Photo by BFC supporters Jerry and Marsha Newcomb. Click photo for larger image.

A solitary bull buffalo migrated north of Yankee Jim Canyon, the government's proclaimed "drop dead zone" for wild, migratory bison in the Gardiner Basin. Along Highway 89, at the tight bottleneck of the canyon, where the Yellowstone River's rapids get serious, they put in a huge cattle guard and six-foot fencing that climbs up steep cliffs in both directions. It's there to prevent wild buffalo (and who knows what other wildlife) from migrating out of the "tolerance" area. But this bull may never have even seen this blockade; he had simply been up in the hills, on the high trails, and migrated into the area of Dome Mountain, a place where wild buffalo haven't been allowed to be in over 150 years. A few have made it in recent years, but they've been killed. For a month he was around the Dome Mountain Ranch, a buffalo-friendly guest ranch. Hardly anyone knew he was there. He was harming no one, living his life, eating grass. Then the DOL found out. It was as if the troops had been called in for battle.

They failed to find him during their first search, and we prayed hard for that bull. First thing Friday morning they had reinforcements. Wasting no time (but plenty of federal tax dollars) two livestock inspectors with the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL), two Yellowstone National Park rangers, and one Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks agent, donned their cowboy attire and set out to hunt down this "rogue" lone bull buffalo. It was a five against one, tax dollars and buffalo be damned. The two DOL agents carried high-powered rifles. The good people of Dome Mountain Ranch refused to allow the DOL to shoot the bull on their land. Never concerned much with technicalities or buffalo-friendly property rights, the DOL shot the bull right over the boundary, on the Dome Mountain Wildlife Management Area, public land where wildlife is supposed to be allowed. His body was left for scavengers. Maybe because the DOL was denied buffalo killing so far this year, they were eager to satisfy some of that cowboy buffalo-blood-lust. The DOL stated that they shot this bull because they didn't want him going back to get other buffalo, they wanted to kill that herd memory. But we all know that the mighty bull left a scent trail, and buffalo will always find a way.

A mixed group of over forty buffalo consider their options at the Yankee Jim cattle guard, right along Highway 89, north of Gardiner, MT. North through this canyon would lead them into the Paradise Valley, where wild buffalo need and want to be. BFC file photo by Tyler E. Click photo for larger image.

A few mornings later, BFC patrols drove down to the Yankee Jim Canyon cattle guard on Highway 89 to find a mixed group of forty-one buffalo contemplating this buffalo baffle. As the buffalo were on and off the highway, considering their options, a DOL agent headed towards Gardiner drove right through the group without a second glance. Patrols waited, anticipating a haze, or at least some sort of help in assisting these buffalo away from the highway. For four hours no one came. By the time the agents did arrive, the buffalo had already moved away from the road and toward the Yellowstone River. Agents harassed them further from there, hazing them up river and then across it, into Cutler Meadows.

The DOL is so quick to assemble when they have a chance to kill a lone bull bison they didn't even know about for weeks. But when it comes to public safety on the roads, they take their sweet time and figure since it's a highway issue then Buffalo Field Campaign will deal with it.

The next morning, these forty-one buffalo were back. But this time, instead of witnessing another haze, patrols got to see something special that once again speaks to the strong family ties buffalo have with each other: Just south of Yankee Jim Canyon are private lands being leased by USDA-APHIS for their controversial GonaCon buffalo population control study. Separating two of these fields is a corridor that provides public access to Gallatin National Forest. In one field, Becky Frey, an APHIS bison abuser, was literally inducing abortions in this specific "study group." As she did so, the wild group of buffalo moved closer to the fence to check out their imprisoned relatives. Department of Livestock agents also arrived. The buffalo - both captive and wild - came as close to each other as the fence would allow. It was like visiting day at the buffalo jail. Eventually, the wild group continued up the public access corridor and into the hills, up to Dome Mountain. The DOL says if they go south from there, they are okay until they get hazed into Yellowstone on May 1st. If they go north, the scent trail of that solitary bull still lingers, as does the vast landscape beyond.

Wild is the Way ~ Roam Free!
~ Stephany

P.S. Read a news article about the DOL shooting this bull

*NEWS! Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council Pass Buffalo Resolution

The Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council passed a resolution on March 23, 2013, which became available to the public over the weekend. The resolution urges protection of the wild, migratory buffalo in and around Yellowstone National Park and Montana. The resolution urges the Governor of Montana, the Montana Legislature, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Yellowstone National Park, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Forest Service, to recognize and honor their trust responsibilities and treaty obligations to American Indian Nations with cultural, religious, and treaty rights and affiliations with buffalo. The resolution urges these agencies to provide for viable populations of wild migratory buffalo (or bison) in the wildlife species' native habitat.

This important resolution was brought forth to the Council by Jimmy St. Goddardd, Spiritual Leader of the Blackfeet Confederacy.

Read the media announcement and the resolution here

Read an additional resolution from the MTWYTLC, as well as a Shoshone-Bannock resolution opposing Montana's anti-buffalo bills here

* Celebrate Mother's Day with Handcrafted Cards from BFC

Click the image to view and order now!

Kathleen Stachowski, our talented and generous card-maker, has committed to hand-crafting a limited number of Mother's Day cards! This year year's Mother's Day card features Walt Whitman's words, "Peace is always beautiful" and a hand-drawn scene of a mountain bluebird face-to-face with a baby buffalo. For your minimum donation of $15 per card, we'll send one to the recipient(s) of your choice, timed to arrive before Mother's Day.

SEE INSIDE THE CARD AND ORDER NOW or send a $15 check or money order (no cash please) to: Buffalo Field Campaign, PO Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758.

Your purchase of a Mother's Day card enables Buffalo Field Campaign to continue fighting for wild bison and their rightful place on the land.

* Win Two Three-Day Passes to Summer Camp Music Festival 2013!

Buffalo Field Campaign is proud to team up with Summer Camp Music Festival to help share our work to protect America's last wild bison. To celebrate, we are offering two 3-day passes to this festival of festivals, being held May 24th-26th in Chillicothe, IL.

Registering to win these passes is easy, and you'll help protect the buffalo in the process.

Everyone who uses these links to donate to Buffalo Field Campaign or take action to protect America's last wild buffalo between now and April 28 will be entered in the drawing!



Please click for a full lineup of artists and for more information on Summer Camp Music Festival 2013.

* Volunteers Wanted!

We have immediate openings for field volunteers. Between now and June we need volunteers for 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 click on the button above or email our Volunteer Coordinator.

*BFC Wish List Featured Items: Binos, Spotting Scopes and.... Coffee!

Good binos are critical for gathering the information we need from a distance. We are asking for outdoor optics, waterproof and multi-coated. Some suggested types include compact and full-size high-resolution binoculars, water- and fog-proof, 7-10x 35-70mm magnification. Alpen Optics has generously offered to give us 60% off on four pairs of binoculars or spotting scopes. Help us take advantage of this great opportunity.

Please donate now and write "optics" in the "additional information" box

If you'd rather send a check, please mail to Buffalo Field Campaign, PO Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758. All donations are tax deductible. Please contact our gear coordinator with any questions.

Gear Coordinator

The days are getting longer as spring is coming into full swing in Southwestern Montana. Buffalo Field Campaign patrols are waking up earlier and staying in the field later to stand with America's last wild Buffalo and bear witness to the government harassment of these ancient majestic creatures. Patrols are in the field with the Buffalo from sunrise to sunset, and with the days becoming increasingly longer, our supply of coffee has dwindled to just a few remaining beans. If you or someone you know would like to assure the alertness of Buffalo Field Campaign's field patrols, please consider donating coffee. Please. This is very important, we NEED coffee!

Office Coordinator

Thanks for your support!

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

*BFC Supporter-Made Video: Prayer for the Bison

Click to watch a prayer for the bison of Yellowstone, who are threatened for roaming outside of the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. We pray they may find peace in their ancestral home. Video by wild buffalo advocate Debbie Noyes.

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Buffalo Field Campaign 4/17/13

BFC Supporter-Made Video:
Prayer for the Bison

A prayer for the bison of Yellowstone, who are threatened for roaming outside of the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. We pray they may find peace in their ancestral home.

Video by wild buffalo advocate Debbie Noyes.

*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: 256
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: 218
Unknown Hunts: 5
Shot by Agents: 1
Highway Mortality: 7

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: 4,250

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

*Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration ~ Akiva Silver

Free the wild
free the wild,
it's locked up right now,
let me tell you how,
it's called monoculture
and the dark
of Yellowstone Park
where animals are collared and tagged
and buffalo bodies are dragged
by the rangers who kill
worried that cattle might get ill
scared to feel
what might be real
we hand our children a pill,
emotions gotten at will
Free the wild
free the wild
Forget these borders
and consumer commercial orders,
let's walk in the woods again
to feel our everlasting harmonious friend,
I feel the wind
and see no end
on the water sits a pelican
clouds float in front of the sun
and everywhere great colors run
as the day is almost done
birthing unto the night,
the wild brings my soul to a great height,
higher than cable TV,
even a fool can see
that we are raping Mother Earth
forgetting her gift of life and birth,
forgetting how much this is worth,
beauty that can't be described
so we joke and laugh to hide
searching for peace in a phat ride,
luxurious cars
and Hollywood stars
never can compare to Venus and Mars
hanging in the evening sky,
life is breathing
and these bodies we'll be leaving
free the wild

~ Akiva Silver, written from his monopod while occupying the Horse Butte buffalo trap. April, 2004.

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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