Update from the Field: Bison Hazing Continues Near West Yellowstone
* Update from the Field: Bison Bison Hazing Continues
* TAKE ACTION! Wild Buffalo in Washington, DC
* BFC Videos: Buffalo Wild & Recent Government Abuses
* Buffalo in the Media
* Announcing BFC's Free Buffalo Museum!
* Volunteers Wanted!
* Opportunity: Legal and Field Internship for Fall and Summer 2013
* By the Numbers
* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration
*Update from the Field
All photos in this Update, unless otherwise credited, are Buffalo Field Campaign photos. You can click on any image for a larger view.
After last week's report of the government's abuse of America's last wild buffalo, the state and federal agents returned to once again haze multiple family groups including many of the same buffalo they have repeatedly harassed. Last Thursday, wild bison were forced off of habitat south of Horse Butte and instead of being hazed into Yellowstone National Park, where Montana's livestock interests insist they be, they were forced to Horse Butte.
After that morning haze, the agents left the buffalo and then took the next four days off. While the buffalo certainly needed the break, the DOL's actions call into serious question Montana's unsupported claim that wild bison are a "brucellosis threat," brucellosis being the purported reason for such maltreatment of these gentle giants. Apparently, the concern is small enough for these DOL agents to leave town and take a long weekend.
By Tuesday morning, the buffalo had already reclaimed the ground they were evicted from, only to have the agents repeat the exact same hazing sequence on many of the exact same buffalo. As the photos above show, family groups were aggressively forced to flee through Gallatin National Forest. As often happens, especially in the case of mother buffalo with their calves, the agents get bluff charged. The photo below, on the far right, shows a DOL agent getting a little bit of his own medicine. Who was the agent to be charged? None other than Mark Anderson (misnamed Jeff Bowers), the DOL agent you saw images of last week shooting paint balls at numerous buffalo, hitting one mama directly in the eye.
On Wednesday morning, twelve riders, other livestock inspectors, the Montana state vet (image), and law enforcement officers hit Horse Butte. This time they didn't have their helicopter and the actions and results were the same, proving the helicopter to be an unnecessary, costly and wasteful tool. As the photos below show, five Montana Department of Livestock riders and one USDA-APHIS federal agent (image) trespassed on private property. In Montana, a federal agent coming onto your property uninvited is a very big no-no. Yet here they came, acting like they owned the place, marching on horses though the Yellowstone Village neighborhood, through properties where buffalo are welcome (image) and the DOL are not (image). From there they hazed the buffalo onto the Galanis property, nearly 800 acres of private, buffalo-friendly land encompassing Montana's largest buffalo safe zone (image). The agents were informed numerous times that they were trespassing and were not welcome. Inflated with arrogance and corrupt with power, they didn't care whose private property rights they violated: they were going to get every last buffalo out of Montana.
Agents often run buffalo through fenced areas during hazing operations, particularly on private lands. Some buffalo, if given the time, are lucky enough to make it over gracefully, some, in their haste to flee, do not. Injuries are common. The photos below show the DOL and APHIS hazing buffalo over fences and onto buffalo-friendly private property, where the pursuit continued.
During Wednesday's operation, BFC saw numerous buffalo -- adults and newborn calves -- limping with injuries. These same buffalo have been repeatedly chased all over the Hebgen Basin for the past six weeks, through fences, forest dead-fall, mud flats, down gravel roads, over rocky terrain, through swollen rivers, up steep bluffs -- for miles and miles, again and again. On this day, we documented a few baby buffalo limping severely. Informed, the agents nevertheless forced them to move. Even if an animal has an injury that may not have been caused by hazing, it is certainly exacerbated by hazing, and the actions of these agents threaten their very survival. The limping buffalo would have to travel on their sore legs for more than eight miles without rest, in just a few chaotic hours. Wednesday's haze ended barely within the boundary of Yellowstone National Park, so as you read this, patrols will be on the front lines, documenting yet another hazing operation against the buffalo.
The DOL has no solid defense for the harm and abuse they inflict upon these wild buffalo. The agents appear to thoroughly enjoy their work, secure in their taxpayer-funded routine. We wonder how they can live with themselves, inflicting such pain on a nation of great beings. PLEASE TAKE ACTION FOR THE BUFFALO by contacting the Montana Department of Livestock (email) and Montana Governor Steve Bullock (email) and urging them to stop the war against wild bison in Montana.
Buffalo have a great many friends, and sometimes those friends come to their aid directly, right at the moment of greatest need. Over the weekend, some folks had noticed a young bull buffalo with his head caught in an oddly shaped fence. She noticed BFC volunteers, Noah and David, and called for help. Noah and David were a bit taken aback with what needed to be done, but aimed to help this bull. His mama was close by and seemed to sense that they were there to help. No lifting of the tail, no shaking of the head, she simply stood aside and let them approach. As the photos below show, they managed to free the young bull. It was a great day for that buffalo and his family.
Rose Patnode Photos.
As we come towards the end of BFC's 16th season in the field with the buffalo, we reflect on so many things we have experienced: so much pain, and yet so much incredible pleasure. As hard as it can be, we are blessed to be here, standing in defense of these gentle, sacred giants, chipping away at and exposing the injustice towards them. You are the people who give us the great honor to stand with the buffalo. Thank you for always being with us, for the buffalo!
Wild is the Way~ Roam Free!
*TAKE ACTION! Wild Buffalo in Washington, DC
Working in Washington, DC on behalf of the buffalo can be both inspiring and frustrating. Fortunately, this past week's meetings were more inspiring than frustrating as we realized a pathway toward advancing some of our policy goals. Our main focus on this trip was to support the efforts of the Montana Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council and the National Congress of American Indians in the pro-buffalo resolutions that they have passed recently. Much of the work to come revolves around convincing Congressional leaders and Administration officials that the federal government has a legal obligation to consult with Native American tribes on the entire scope of bison management and to include cultural considerations in their management decisions. In this effort, your voice can help make the difference. Please TAKE ACTION HERE to send a message to your members of Congress.
For the Buffalo,
*Once Upon a Time in Yellowstone Children's Book Available
We are pleased to offer a beautiful children's book about a newborn bison calf and its miraculous migration through the Yellowstone Ecosystem. Written by the talented photographer, writer, and long-time BFC supporter Bonnie Flamer, Once Upon a Time in Yellowstone is a treasure of a book featuring fun and informative text and breathtaking photographs.
*BFC Videos: Buffalo Wild & Recent Government Abuses
Buffalo Field Campaign 5/9/13
A poem by John Trudell, put to music by Good Shield and Mignon Geli and video produced by Mike Mease of Buffalo Field Campaign. A powerful anthem to the wisdom of the buffalo.
Buffalo Field Campaign 5/16/13
Buffalo Nightmare: 3 Days
Straight of Helicopter Hazing
May 13, 14 and 15 a tax payer funded helicopter harassed the Yellowstone ecosystem. Flying at times 20 feet above the earth and Madison river the management actions disrupted all in the area. Pregnant buffalo Moms and new born calves where ran up to 12 miles in the hazing operation.
Buffalo Field Campaign 5/23/13
Buffalo Abuse Continues
The tax payer funded assault on America's last, wild genetically pure and free ranging Buffalo continues this week. This week's low lights include the Montana Department of Livestock agents shooting the Buffalo with paint balls. All the agents push the Buffalo families into the fast moving Madison river. Hard on the whole herd after being hazed up to 5 miles before being forced in the river.
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 visitors 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.
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 war club
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!
* 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 in 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 Western Watersheds Project are seeking a legal and field intern to join us this summer in the Yellowstone Ecosystem. We need someone to help document conditions in the field for several Forest Service grazing allotments in the West Yellowstone and Gardiner Basin areas, to review project files, and create 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: 259
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
Cause of Death Unknown: 3
Total Killed in Previous Years
Total Killed Since 2000: 4,253
*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine/experiments, hunts, and highway deaths
*Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration
"It was a rage she was in
It was a love she was in
To give one's life to sit down among the animals
is a strange, great thing"
~ Howard Nelson, from a poem he wrote about Dian Fossey
Please send us your submissions to Last Words. Thank you for all the poems, songs, quotes and stories you've contributed! Keep them coming!