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           Weekly Update from the Field July 18, 2013
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ACTION: Comment to Support Year-Round Habitat!‏
* BREAKING NEWS & COMMENT: Montana Proposes Some Year-Round Habitat for Wild Bison
* Special Book Announcement: BFC Proudly Presents In the Presence of Buffalo by Dan Brister
* Contact Key Decision-Makers to Help Protect Wild Buffalo
* BFC Thanks Visiting Dignitaries!
* VOLUNTEERS WANTED to Help With BFC's Free Buffalo Museum!
* 2014 Wild Bison Calendars are Here!
* Print Newsletters: Contact Us to Help Spread the Word!
* Save the Date: Wood Cut Week September 9-15, 2013
* By the Numbers
* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration

Montana Proposes Some Year-Round Habitat for Wild Buffalo!

Click button to take action right now!

Opportunity for public comment is now available on Montana's proposal for some year-round bison habitat in both the Hebgen and Gardiner Basins, west and north of Yellowstone National Park. In response to the scoping comments you sent Montana last summer, on July 12, in the midst of America's summer vacation season, the Montana Departments of Livestock (DOL) and Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) released a very important Environmental Assessment (EA), and the public has a short window of time to submit comments. While we are currently reviewing the document, our initial take is that a "Buffalo's Alternative" needs to be considered which welcomes both bull and cow buffalo, year-round, on all lands within the Hebgen and Gardiner Basins. A take action with talking points has been created for your convenience. We strongly encourage you to use our points as guidelines, and put things into your own words, ensuring your comments will hold far more weight.

You can send your comments, learn more, and review the EA by clicking on the Take Action button.
The deadline for submitting your comments is August 13, 2013.

* Special Book Announcement:

BFC Proudly Presents In the Presence of Buffalo by Dan Brister

BFC is thrilled to announce the publication of "In the Presence of Buffalo: Working to Stop the Yellowstone Slaughter," the long-awaited published work by BFC's very own Dan Brister. Including a forward by celebrated grizzly bear and wildlands advocate, Doug Peacock, "In the Presence of Buffalo" is a unique and inspiring work which sheds intense light on the little known and highly inglorious history of Montana's livestock industry and explores the deep relationship between First Nations and their buffalo relatives. Dan goes painfully deep at times, as he courageously shares honest personal accounts of losing his mother as a teenager, and his journey that ultimately led him to become one of the world's greatest champions of wild buffalo. The power of "In the Presence of Buffalo" comes directly from Dan's unique first-hand experiences and his incredible talent. Weaving historic documentation with the storied challenges the buffalo face and his own personal trials, Dan breathes new life into a traditional American theme. Every wild buffalo advocate should have this book.

ORDER NOW! Proceeds directly benefit Buffalo Field Campaign, and the first 100 copies ordered through BFC's web site will be personally signed by Dan! Please note that we are awaiting shipment from the publisher. Please allow four to five weeks to receive your signed copy.

More about the book and author:
In the Presence of Buffalo: Working to Stop the Yellowstone Slaughter is Dan's powerful tribute to the gentle giants that still roam. This incredible, beautifully articulated work reveals so much more than the usual accounts of American buffalo that sheepishly ignore the conflict still taking place on the border between Montana and Yellowstone National Park. While numerous books about buffalo have been published, there is no other book like this one. "In the Presence of Buffalo: Working to Stop the Yellowstone Slaughter," absolutely stands alone, fearlessly exploring the controversial buffalo wars through not only contextual historic accounts but offers unique, intense personal first-hand experiences the author has had face to face with the gentle giants and those who seek to harm them.

Dan began his dedication to wild buffalo advocacy over sixteen years ago. While attending graduate school at the University of Montana in Missoula, an alert on a bulletin board caught his eye. It was a grim tally of wild buffalo that had been senselessly killed and a call for volunteers to stand in their defense. Each day he would check the board and the numbers would rise. Cape Cod born and bred, Dan hadn't realized that wild buffalo still existed, much less that they were in dire straights. The buffalo called. Dan answered on a frigid, snowy Christmas night in 1997, which also happened to be his birthday. He drove his heatless 1970's-era Volkswagon bus through the cold night for 250 miles in treacherous conditions, arriving at Buffalo Field Campaign, entering into a world that would change his life forever. Initially planning to volunteer for two weeks, he never left their cause. Sixteen years and thousands of hours in the field with wild buffalo have now passed. After his first experiences with the buffalo, Dan decided to complete his Master's Thesis on their struggle, and the result is his first published work.

Dan has made a life commitment to protecting America's last wild buffalo. Evolving from one of our first and most dedicated volunteers, to media coordinator, project director, serving on the board of directors, and now executive director, Dan Brister has a long history with Buffalo Field Campaign. Honor his work and help the buffalo by ordering "In the Presence of Buffalo: Stopping the Yellowstone Slaughter" today. Proceeds from the sale of In the Presence of Buffalo will directly fund BFC's work to protect wild buffalo.

* Contact Key Decision-Makers to Help Protect Wild Buffalo!

1. Tell Congress to protect our last wild buffalo!

2. NEW! Urge Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to change federal policy and protect the buffalo

3. NEW! Urge Montana's Governor Steve Bullock to champion wild, migratory bison

4. VOTE FOR BUFFALO WITH YOUR DOLLARS! Do you live in Montana or planning to visit the state or Yellowstone National Park? If so, please refuse to purchase beef and let the businesses know why!

* BFC Thanks Visiting Dignitaries

Buffalo Field Campaign would like to thank all of the students, educators, writers, fund-raisers, and visitors for stopping in at our headquarters and inviting us to present on BFC's on-going work to protect America's last wild buffalo and the ecosystems upon which they depend. These are valuable visits and outreach opportunities for BFC and we appreciate the commitment people have taken to learn more about what we all can do to help the buffalo. Thank you!

  • Dr. Charles Amlaner, Kennesaw State University and Indiana State University, and his fellow educators, writers, and scientists;
  • Gary Ketterling, Ph.D. North Dakota State University, and the American Indian educators and cultural leaders from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Fort Yates Public Schools;
  • Patrick Burke, and his students from the University of Montana/Wild Rockies Field Institute;
  • Senta Burton and Erik Anderson from Harvard University;
  • Professor Robert Pahre and his Political Science students from the University of Illinois;
  • Yellowstone Association, who invited BFC to present at Lamar Buffalo Ranch; and
  • 4M Consulting, Sarah, Maggie & Chuck, who visited BFC HQ and delivered an awesome donation from United Activists for Animal Rights! Thank you Nancy Burnet for supporting BFC and our work protecting wild buffalo roaming free in their native habitat!

* Visit BFC's Free Buffalo Museum!

BFC's Free Buffalo Museum is now OPEN! We are located just outside Yellowstone National Park's west entrance, in the town of West Yellowstone, at 128 Firehole #2. The museum provides visitors with 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 showcases photos, artwork, images, and video, as well as buffalo items you can touch, plus BFC merchandise. Please visit us or call for more information: 406-646-6445. BFC's Free Buffalo Museum is open daily from noon until 8pm.

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 mease@wildrockies.org or 406-646-0070. Thanks and see you there!

* 2014 Wild Bison Calendars are Here!

We are thrilled to announce that our 2014 Wild Bison of Yellowstone Country calendars are now available! This is the fourth year we've had the honor of working with a variety of buffalo advocates through their photographs, art, and words, to bring together a wonderful calendar that educates, inspires, and truly celebrates wild buffalo 365 days a year! Familiar and new artists and photographers are featured this year, and their fantastic work demonstrates their deep love of these gentle giants, and it is clear that the buffalo have touched their very souls. These calendars are great for your home or office, and make really fantastic gifts.


* 2013 Newsletters: Contact Us to Help Spread the Word!

Our annual print newsletter is being mailed today! Loaded with updates, images, and actions you can take to help the buffalo, BFC's newsletter has something for everyone, whether you are new to the issue or a seasoned wild buffalo advocate. If your address has changed, if you would like to be added to our mailing list, or if you would like us to send you a stack of newsletters to distribute in your community, please contact our office coordinator, Rain, with your mailing address at buffalo@wildrockies.org or 406-646-0070.

* Save the Date: Woodcut Week September 9-15, 2013

Mark your calendars and come to BFC! The week of September 9th through the 15th is BFC's Annual Wood Cut Week. We will be gathering, cutting, and stacking wood for the coming winter field season. Bring your chain saw if you have one and bring lots of friends! Room and board will be provided and there's also plenty of camping space available. Please contact Mike Mease for more info at mease@wildrockies.org or 406-646-0070.

* Volunteers Wanted!

We have immediate openings 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.

For more information about volunteering with BFC visit this page.

*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: 261
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: 3
Highway Mortality: 7
Cause of Death Unknown: 3

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: 4,256

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

*Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration

"Montana is one of the few areas in the nation where wild game abounds. It is regarded as one of the greatest of the state's natural resources, as well as the chief attraction for visitors. Wild game existed here long before the coming of man. One who acquires property in Montana does so with notice and knowledge of the presence of wild game and presumably is cognizant of its natural habits. Wild game does not possess the power to distinguish between fructus naturales and fructus industriales, and cannot like domestic animals be controlled through an owner. Accordingly a property owner in this state must recognize the fact that there may be some injury to property or inconvenience from wild game for which there is no recourse."

~ Montana Supreme Court in State of MT v. Rathbone, 1940, cited in ruling by Hon. E. Wayne Phillips dismissing the Park County Stockgrower's claims, January 2013.

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

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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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