* Update from the Field--Courts Rule Against Bison; Agencies Plan Slaughter
While the buffalo remain safe--for the moment--in Yellowstone National Park, developments in the courts and policy arena have not been so benign.
Last Thursday, August 30, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a memorandum affirming the district court in a challenge filed against the Interagency Bison Management Plan by Buffalo Field Campaign, Western Watersheds Project, and other groups and individuals. While we are very disappointed in this decision against the buffalo, we remain heartened in our work for their protection. While the lawsuit did not have the outcome that we desired and believe to be justified, this legal effort played a major role in preventing the government from slaughtering buffalo for two consecutive winters and helped to move the government to implement greater tolerance for buffalo on habitat outside Yellowstone in the Hebgen and Gardiner Basins.
Specifically, the court found that the Agencies were "not required to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement" and that "the Forest Service’s adoption and implementation of the IBMP in the Gallatin National Forest does not violate the National Forest Management Act."
Our legal team fought incredibly hard for the buffalo and we are most grateful to Western Watersheds Project and attorneys Summer Nelson, Rebecca Smith, and Tom Woodbury and BFC's Habitat Coordinator Darrell Geist for their tireless work on the case. In the wake of this decision we will redouble our efforts, in the field and on every level of the policy front, to protect wild bison in and around Yellowstone.
On the same day the 9th Circuit Court issued their decision, the government agencies responsible for the hazing, capture, and slaughter of America's only continuously wild buffalo population made public their plans to continue to violently enforce Montana's intolerance for wild bison during the 2012-2013 winter. According to the report, which you can download here, the agencies would like to artificially influence bison populations through "culling" to achieve an "equal sex ratio." In order to avoid a "large-scale" slaughter and the attendant negative publicity, the agencies recommend killing or "culling" 400 bison a year for the next five years. For the coming season, the government plans to "remove 450 bison--primarily females from the northern herd."
In light of the court's decision and the governments nefarious plans, we are redoubling our efforts to protect the buffalo, end the Interagency Bison Management Plan, and save millions of tax dollars through Congressional action. Please take a moment from your busy schedule to contact your US Senators and Representative. We've prepared a sample letter but feel free to customize your message to reflect your personal opinions.
Please take action today and urge your friends and acquaintances to do the same.
For the Buffalo,
Buffalo Field Campaign
* 2012 West Coast Road Show Schedule is Posted! Two New Events Added!
BFC's Campaign Coordinator Mike Mease will be hitting the road in the middle of September for a short road show to Oregon and California to share music, stories, video, and activism inspired by the Yellowstone bison. He'll be joined by musicians GoodShield and Phoenix for what promises to be a handful of very special events. Please join BFC if you live in or near the towns we'll be visiting. Email Mike for more details or to help promote these events.
View the 2012 Schedule and download posters to place around your community to help get the word out!
* Join BFC for Wood Cut Week September 10-15, 2012
Mark your calendars and come to BFC! The week of September 10th 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 email Mike Mease for more info or call him at 406-646-0070.
* New BFC Merchandise Available
Ditch single use plastic cups with BFC's new Klean Kanteen pint cup. Visit our Bison Goods page to check out all the cool new things we have available!
In celebration of Buffalo Field Campaign's 15th anniversary, we have launched a new line of merchandise. Please visit our bison goods page to view and purchase this beautiful new merchandise. We are very excited to offer you the opportunity to support our work through these BFC-branded products you can use in your everyday lives. New merchandise includes: tee shirts, Klean Kanteen water bottles and pint cups, bumper stickers, and notecards.
* By the Numbers
AMERICAN BUFFALO ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S. The last wild population is currently estimated at fewer than 4,300 individual buffalo. Wild bison are currently ecologically extinct throughout their native range in North America.
2011-2012 Total Buffalo Killed: 33
2011-2012 Government Capture: 10
2011-2012 Buffalo Released from Capture: 7
2011-2012 Government Slaughter:
2011-2012 Held for Government Experiment: 3
2011-2012 Died In Government Trap:
2011-2012 Miscarriage in Government Trap:
2011-2012 State & Treaty Hunts: 28
2011-2012 Shot by Agents: 3
2011-2012 Killed by Angry Residents:
2011-2012 Highway Mortality: 2
2010-2011 Total: 227
2009-2010 Total: 7
2008-2009 Total: 22
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
* Total Since 2000: 4,008*
*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine/experiments, hunts, highway mortality
* Last Words
"Please read this and tell me why it has been going on for years
This is the latest newsletter but you can go back 2 years or 10 years and it's been the same and worst
These are the last WILD Buffalo in the West from the few that remained from the slaughter of them during the expansion of the west
Thousands have been sent to slaughterhouses by the State of Montana when the state has no population of Wild Buffalo unless these animals step over their state line
How can a State where the Animal is extinct have a right to kill any
I realize that you may think that there are much more important things to worry about
But Animals that belong to EVERYONE in AMERICA are being Hazed and Slaughterd by the State of Montana and even National Park Rangers that are sworn to protect these and every Animal in the park
The Park Rangers even have a Buffalo on the sleeve of their shirts
Most of the land that they are Hazing on is Public land that the Beef Industry Contracts each year for Pennies on the dollar
I realize it all boils down to The Beef People running the show in the west
But the voice of the people should outweigh anything that a group says
Especially if Wild Animals that belong to the people of the United States are being abused
You mean to tell me that in a State the size of Montana that a wider buffer could not be given to the Buffalo when it's been their Land way befor the Cattle ever got here
Please read this and tell me if you would want your animals treated this way
By State Or private contracters that work for the state
Not just Buffalo are effected by this hazing
Every species in the Yellowstone Valley are effected by Helicopter, and 4 wheelers
And men on Horseback chasing calves that have just been born hours Minuets before being run for miles on broken legs and dislocated limbs
What is wrong with a world that would let this go on at all let alone for years
It's time something is done to show the state of Montana that we have had enough
When they have a pool to get the reaction of "the People"
They only count the votes from their state
When the Buffalo Belong to the People of the Nation Not just Montana
I would hope you could put forth a protest to show Montana that it's time to get other people to run the Department of Livestock and to tell the beef people to back off ... It should be stopped
This is beyond ignorance on the part of the state of Montana
No one should treat a living thing like this"
~ Lenny Novak, BFC supporter, from a letter to a friend asking that he get involved in helping America's last wild buffalo. Because of the profound passion conveyed in these words, no editorial changes were made before posting here. Thank you Lenny!
If anyone has submissions for Last Words just send them to us. Thank you for all the poems, songs, quotes and stories you have been sending! Keep them coming!