*TAKE ACTION! Year-Round Habitat EA Deadline Extended, Take Action Updated!
Buffalo walk some of the lands that could be made available to them all year long. Please help us gain this ground for wild buffalo by submitting your public comments today! BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
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. Montana has responded to our plea for an extension on the deadline for comments (good job!), which has been afforded another 30 days.
The comment period now ends on September 13, 2013.
If you have already submitted comments, thank you! You can now send supplemental comments based on additional information learned.
BFC has thoroughly reviewed the EA and consequently updated our talking points. If you have already submitted comments, you can send them again and include these new talking points as supplemental comments, and they will be counted. However, it is VERY IMPORTANT that everyone personalize your comments, or else Montana will not include them individually. We strongly recommend that you edit our sample subject to include your name, and personalization of the subject itself. Use our sample letter as a suggestion only, and please put things into your own words so that your voice counts!
Click this button to send your comments now, and to review Montana's EA.
Click here for other important actions you can take for the buffalo.
Drive the message home!
* Update from the Field: BFC Attends IBMP Meeting, Forecast for Gloomy Winter
A cow buffalo shows her snowy face, looking up from "cratering" through the snow for the life-giving grass beneath. If the IBMP agencies have their way, Winter, though challenging enough, could be the least of the buffalos' worries this season. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
The Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) cohorts met in Polson, Montana on July 31, to discuss their ill-fated intentions for wild buffalo this coming winter, and future winters. BFC's Mike Mease attended and documented the meeting, and during the small window for public comments, spoke strongly for the buffalo and laid heavy, well-deserved criticism on the parties responsible, who wax injustice with their continued war against the gentle giants. What Mike learned is that we are in for a potentially gloomy winter. The agencies, tribes, and a federally chartered tribal organization involved with the IBMP intend to continue to grossly mishandle this special population -- all to serve livestock interests -- by managing for the minimum population of this ecologically extinct wildlife species. Currently, as of June, Yellowstone National Park estimates the bison population to be around 4,600 animals. This is all that remains of America's wild bison. Sadly, the agencies want to reduce the populations even further, to 3,000-3,500 animals, and keep it there, through harvest (so-called hunting) and slaughter.
In a document ironically titled "Managing the Abundance of Yellowstone Bison, Winter 2014" Yellowstone National Park biologists recommended to their IBMP partners, "the removal of 600 bison, including 300 females (45 yearlings, 255 adults), 165 males (25 yearlings, 140 adults), and 135 calves from the northern management area [the Gardiner Basin] during each of the next three winters..." BFC vehemently opposes Yellowstone's recommendations to the IBMP cohorts; the IBMP exists to cater to livestock interests and fails to benefit wild buffalo in any way. Earlier in the same document, they mention that with no hunting or culling, the last wild bison populations could make a small rebound to 6,000 animals by 2016. But, they say it as if that were a bad thing, something to fear.
BFC and other wild bison advocates celebrate the possibility of a tiny leap to 6,000 wild bison! Even that number is far too low for them to realize their evolutionary potential or fulfill their ecological role. BFC fully, absolutely supports the populations growing to and far beyond 6,000 animals, growing and growing, and migrating through the lands that have suffered in their absence of over 150 years. Let the buffalo reclaim their sovereignty on the landscape, heal the wounded land with true abundance, until we again have millions of wild, free-roaming buffalo filling up the Plains.
Please visit our Take Action Page to send an assortment of letters to a variety of decision-makers to make your voice heard for our last wild herds! Watch this space for more news from these meetings. Please see "Last Words" (below) for a very intense poem that just might be the public comment wild buffalo would make, should they have a chance to say words to their killers and oppressors, and those who betray them.
* Rave Reviews for "In the Presence of Buffalo" by Dan Brister.
Get Your Copy Now!
"In the Presence of Buffalo: Working to Stop the Yellowstone Slaughter," is the long-awaited published work by BFC's very own Dan Brister. Reviews have been outstanding, and the book is selling like hot cakes! This incredible book includes a forward by celebrated grizzly bear and wildlands advocate, Doug Peacock. "In the Presence of Buffalo" is a unique and inspiring work which sheds light on the history of the buffalo, including the little known and highly inglorious history of Montana's livestock industry, while exploring the deep relationship between First Nations and their buffalo relatives. Dan digs 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. We've already sold out our first order of 100 books but Dan has agreed to sign the next 100 sold through BFC's site. Please note that we are awaiting shipment from the publisher and your signed copy will be mailed in early August.
Publisher's Weekly Review
Amazon Customer Review
Sonoron Connection Review
Dan discusses his book on the BFC Show Podcast
* WISH LIST: Lightening Strikes BFC Tipi, Burns it to the Ground
A rouge lightening strike starts a fire, almost daily all across the west. One such bolt of fate or randomness, however you see it, burned a BFC Tipi to the ground. I was the lucky current inhabitant of the lodge when it torched, lucky because I was graciously offered the Tipi as my home. Lucky because I am here at all, I was not in the tipi at the time, lucky because I lost many personal "things" in the fire, but not one "thing" that really matters. The loss of the tipi itself, is significant because so many of us had called it home for years and the spirit of that space was felt by all who were lucky enough to share in it. It is also significant because BFC now is without one home for its people, and we all know how vital that is. If anyone out there has or knows of a 16 foot Tipi that could be donated to the campaign, please let us know, thank you! Speaking of thank you, I am humbled by the help and compassion shown me by all my BFC Family, and I will forever be thankful to Kim Jardine and Patagonia for generously giving and giving without asking for a thing in return. And I am by no means special in this regard, Patagonia has spread the love all over the world since day one and I am again lucky to have been given so much by so many.
firstname.lastname@example.org / 406-646-0070
* 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com 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 4,600 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
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: 3
Highway Mortality: 7
Cause of Death Unknown: 3
Total Killed in Previous Years
Total Killed Since 2000: 4,256
*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine/experiments, hunts, and highway deaths
*Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration
BFC file photo. Click photo for larger image.
This Bias Against Bison ~ by Lyn Dalebout
1. My feet went walking
in another world
to discover the roots
of this bias against the Bison.
I was barefoot
walking in green grass
in high grass
under a blue sky
an infinitely high
I felt the spirit of the Bison
I was walking amongst
the ghost herds,
sixty million ghosts
of rumbling Bison.
I heard their spirit laughter:
breath of bounty
breath of trusting spirit
breath in knowing all their needs were met.
These were the chosen Bison
trusting the People
giving to the People
in their time of need
still breathing quietly amongst their kin
the whole herd
one big kin.
These Bison are returning here
as they once returned
to the spirit world
where I hear them now
It takes us here to call them back,
to welcome them home
as history, in continual reversal,
asserts itself again.
They are ready. They''ve wandered
long enough beneath perfect skies.
They want the Earth again.
They want the Earth beneath their feet again.
They seek our help.
They need our help to return them
to the Earth again.
For they are there.
I heard them in the other world.
I await their words.
2.They say they will forgive us
for their slaughter.
Sixty million dead in simply months.
They say some had to leave
for times were dark
as history spiraled to its death.
There would be no place for them,
the place they held:
of bounty and of prayer.
They would have smothered
no b r e a t h no b r e a t h
no room to breathe.
They say there are still no words,
but that we've grown used to
the downside of our species.
We think the way to peace
is bloody war.
3. "You're cracking open.
There is joy returning.
There will be too much light
for some to stay.
We want the Earth again.
We want the Earth beneath our feet again.
If you do not love the Earth
and all her bounty,
then please, remove yourselves,
do not stay.
If you do not love this place
with all your heart
then give it back to us
who fertilized Her unfailingly--
perhaps our greatest gift!--
and grunted the daily language of
and of prayer.
Our solo grunts and rumblings,
our massive tribal thunderings,
it was all applause,
for the universal bounty,
the unEarthly beauty
of this place.
You never knew, but now you know.
You always guessed, but now you know.
It was all applause,
our glad communion with the Earth."
4. My feet went walking
in another world
to discover the roots of bias
They say they will forgive us.
They would provide again
these thundering nations.
For they are there.
We need them here.
They await our word.
Thank you, Lyn, for this incredible gift of your powerful words.
Please send us your submissions for Last Words. Thank you for all the poems, songs, quotes and stories you've contributed! Keep them coming!