Update from the Field: Buffalo Nightmare, Helicopter Returns
* Update from the Field: Bison Abuse in the Hebgen Basin
* NEW BFC Video: Buffalo Nightmare - Three Days of Helicopter Hazing
* TAKE ACTION! Contact Congress: Wild Buffalo on Capitol Hill
* Announcing BFC's Free Buffalo Museum!
* Honoring the Guacamole Fund - 40 Years Young and Rocking & Rolling On
* Volunteers Wanted!
* Opportunity: Legal and Field Internship for Fall and Summer 2013
* By the Numbers
* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration
"Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
* Update from the Field
Wild bison are under attack. Some hazing continues to the north in the Gardiner Basin, while increasingly heavy assaults have been carried out on the western edge of Yellowstone National Park, in the Hebgen Basin. May 15 is the arbitrary date by which the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) aims to evict all wild bison from Montana. It is also the height of wild buffalo calving season. This week, the DOL's helicopter returned to terrorize the ecosystem, important habitat for ecologically extinct wild buffalo, and also threatened grizzly bears (image). The intense activity that we witnessed this week is difficult to describe in a few words, so below is a photo essay and a new BFC video to show you what the buffalo have suffered at the hands of the government. Even in the midst of such trials there have been moments to celebrate. Click on the photos for larger images.
Photo by Fred Baker, bison advocate and BFC volunteer.
In Gardiner, small groups of buffalo have been hazed, including a mama buffalo and her new calf who were punished for continuing to visit their imprisoned relatives at the USDA-APHIS-run research facility, where the federal livestock overseers are undergoing a controversial chemical population control experiment with the pesticide GonaCon. We are grateful to our buffalo brothers Fred and Scott who have been documenting these activities, helping to prevent the DOL from carrying out its threat to shoot the pair.
On Thursday, DOL livestock inspectors Bridger Cunningham and Mark Anderson hazed a small group of buffalo, including an injured calf, out of the Denny Creek area. They pushed this group for five miles, until the injured calf collapsed, unable to follow the herd any longer. The agents left the group for another day, and frustrated, bullied another group of buffalo, chasing them around for the fun of it before calling it quits.
Over the weekend, the buffalo got a much-needed break from hazing. While the DOL was away, we celebrated Mother's Day and wild buffalo calving season with our annual "Free Coffee, Free Cookies, Free the Buffalo!" event. Friends came from far and near, there was kite making for the kids (big and little), and for the adults, a respite from running after buffalo hazers. BFC buffalo warrior and board member Justine Sanchez organizes this celebration each year to help raise awareness and remind us that even during the darkest of times, there is light to be found: the gift of the next generation of wild buffalo!
After a long weekend, the DOL and other state and federal agencies returned to the Hebgen Basin to haze wild buffalo out of Montana. Two hazing operations happened simultaneously; one from the Denny Creek area, the other from the south side of Horse Butte. Both groups were pushed together and hazed into Yellowstone National Park. The DOL's helicopter, attended by bison abuser Rob Tierny, joined the riders in the chase. More than 150 buffalo, including at least 30 calves, were forced from their chosen ground and run for over ten miles into Yellowstone. We documented injured buffalo, exhausted calves, and at least one instance in which a calf was separated from its mother. The mama buffalo was finally able to escape the hazers to seek out her baby.
On Tuesday, the DOL and other agencies returned, with horses and helicopter, to haze wild buffalo from lands north of Horse Butte, along the Grayling Arm of the Madison River and US Highway 287, into Yellowstone National Park. During this haze, five riders broke off and headed to Denny Creek to haze yet again. Additionally, buffalo hazed the day before were again hazed from within Yellowstone, deeper into the park, and patrols even witnessed a buffalo giving birth while being forced to flee.
Wednesday brought more government insanity, as the agents attacked nearly 400 wild buffalo on Horse Butte, where no cattle will ever graze. Hazing began on buffalo-friendly land (image) in Yellowstone Village and the Galanis property. Riders posted up on public land and in the Village, while the helicopter zeroed in on buffalo on the Galanis property, pushing them towards the waiting horsemen. The helicopter initiated solo attacks against buffalo along the south side of the Madison Arm, pushing them over to the Horse Butte haze, where they were forced to join the other operation before being hazed along the bluffs and then across US Highway 191, east into Yellowstone National Park. Already, some buffalo are returning to the places they were so brutally chased away from. Local reporters and an additional professional film crew bore witness to the day's chaos. Today the madness continues as government hazers push these exhausted and injured buffalo deeper into Yellowstone National Park.
Our hearts break for the buffalo, and the pain we feel is nothing compared to what the buffalo are being put through. After yesterday's brutal haze, the sky finally gave us much-needed rain, as if weeping along with us. During each of these operations, BFC patrols witness terrible things. Buffalo limping with injuries, run into high tension and barbed-wire fences, moms and calves separated from each other, mama buffalo trying to escape hazers to search for their lost calves, calves collapsing from exhaustion, mothers bluff charging agents in defense of their babies, baby buffalo swept down rivers, miscarriages, and worse. Hazing can and has killed buffalo. The dishonorable actions by the DOL, Park Service, and all of the involved agencies are indefensible and certainly not worth a handful of cattle, nor a million. These crimes against America's last wild buffalo come at tremendous taxpayer expense and, more importantly, immeasurable cost to the buffalo in their immediate lives, their long-term viability, and their evolutionary potential. And still the buffalo survive. While they withstand this continued centuries-old war against their kind, more people are learning about it and taking action on their behalf. The livestock industry knows this, knows that their actions are unjustifiable and that the time of the holy cow will draw to a close, and the once and future wild buffalo will roam free!
Wild is the Way!
*NEW BFC Video: Buffalo Nightmare -- Three Days of Helicopter Hazing
Click image to watch the video. PLEASE SHARE WIDELY! You can take action below. Many thanks to all the BFC volunteers who have worked so incredibly hard, spending countless and very difficult hours in the field, witnessing and documenting these atrocoties. You are all strong warriors for wild buffalo and we give thanks! Special thanks to Mike Mease for reviewing and pulling all the heart-wrenching footage together so that the world can know what is happening to the sacred and gentle buffalo.
Buffalo Field Campaign 5/16/13
Buffalo Nightmare: 3 Days
Straight of Helicopter Hazing
On May 13, 14 and 15, 2013, a tax payer-funded helicopter harassed the Yellowstone ecosystem. Flying at times barely 20 feet (and sometimes even lower) above the earth and Madison River, the management actions disrupted all in the area. Pregnant buffalo Moms and new born calves were run up to 12 miles in the hazing operation.
*TAKE ACTION! Contact Congress: Wild Buffalo on Capitol Hill!
Buffalo Field Campaign's Public Policy Coordinator, Josh Osher, will be traveling to Washington, DC next week for meetings with numerous congressional representatives and wild buffalo advocates. This important part of our efforts to gain protections for wild buffalo goes hand in hand with our work in the field, legal challenges, educational outreach and media production. Another crucial element is your continued participation and answer to our calls for action. This week, we ask that you take a few moments to send a message to your Congressional Representative and Senators to ask them to support wild, free-roaming buffalo.
*Limited Edition BFC Tee Shirt Available Next Week Only!
We are proud to announce that we've been chosen by For Love of all Things (FLOAT) as their featured nonprofit next week. Purchase from their web site from Monday 5/20 through Sunday 5/25 and $8 will go directly to BFC and our work to protect America's last wild buffalo. For more information and to see the design when it is available, stay tuned to the BFC Facebook page or check the FLOAT website on Monday.
*Announcing BFC's Free Buffalo Museum!
Buffalo Field Campaign is pleased to announce that we are making a transition this summer from tabling inside Yellowstone National Park to opening a Free Buffalo Museum just outside the west entrance, in the town of West Yellowstone. The museum will take you on an incredible buffalo journey, through their storied history and amazing natural lives to their current plight and the efforts of the people standing in their defense. The museum will showcase photos, artwork, images, and video, as well as buffalo items you can touch, plus BFC merchandise. Standing guard and welcoming all will be our ever-popular Buffaloon, a gigantic inflatable buffalo, who will lead the way to BFC's Free Buffalo Museum!
You can help make this museum the best it can be! We are looking for a few items to showcase, items of cultural and practical significance such as (but not limited to):
>> War shields made of buffalo hump
>> Buffalo hide paintings
>> Buffalo horn spoon
>> Buffalo jawbone warclub
If you have any related items that you'd be willing to allow us to showcase in our Free Buffalo Museum, please contact Mike Mease at firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-646-0070. Thanks and see you there!
* Honoring The Guacamole Fund - 40 Years Young and Rockin' & Rollin' On
THE GUACAMOLE FUND is a tax exempt, public charity that has been helping to coordinate events for organizations that work in the public interest since 1973.
They have also been active supporters and promoters of BFC since shortly after our founding in 1997 connecting the cause of protecting America's wild buffalo with performances by America's great musicians and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, and Crosby, Stills, & Nash, among other notable artists.
THE GUACAMOLE FUND is an exemplary group of beautiful people that BFC has gotten to know both personally and professionally. Now 40 years young and still rock 'n' rolling on, we give thanks that THE GUACAMOLE FUND continues on ~ touching the lives of so many people by connecting musicians with grass roots causes to change the world for the better.
To our friends and family at THE GUACAMOLE FUND ~ Buffalo Field Campaign salutes you for your invaluable contributions, and your lasting, passionate commitment to having fun while doing great works for the people, our planet, and our buffalo. Long May You Run.
The Guacamole Fund Tom Campbell, Margaret Holmes, Diane Leigh Koletzke, Paula Ash, Phil Lusk, Jeff Smith, Thomas P. Keefe, Jr., and Rick Leach.
* Volunteers Wanted!
We have immediate openings for field volunteers to help with our front-lines patrols now through June. We are also seeking summer volunteers who can help us conduct outreach and education, representing BFC and the buffalo to Yellowstone visitors at our new Free Buffalo Museum in West Yellowstone. If you are interested, passionate, and hard-working, please email our Volunteer Coordinator.
* Job Opportunity: Legal and Field Internship for Fall and Summer 2013
BFC and ally Western Watersheds Project is seeking a legal and field intern who can help with reviewing project files and documenting conditions in the field for several Forest Service grazing allotments in the West Yellowstone and Gardiner Basin areas, and creating legal documents. Learn more...
*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 ecologically extinct throughout their native range in North America.
Total Buffalo Killed: 256
Buffalo Released from Capture:
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
Total Killed Since 2000: 4,250
*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine/experiments, hunts, and highway deaths
*Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration
"'Buffalo have power,' said an American Indian living in the High Plains during the late nineteenth century, "the spotted cattle of the White Man have no power." This distinction remains the great value of bison today. You don't meditate on a feedlot full of cows any more than you contemplate a herd of Angus. But you can bison. The difference is the direction in which they transport our thinking: outward, away from the self and apart from culture as opposed to a tame walk down a domesticated hallway of mirrors."
~ Doug Peacock, author of Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness
Please send us your submissions to Last Words. Thank you for all the poems, songs, quotes and stories you've contributed! Keep them coming!