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           Weekly Update from the Field September 16, 2012
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Victory for Bears and Buffalo: DOL Helicopter Grounded!
* Home Again: Thank You for an Awesome West Coast Road Show!
* Take Action! Endless Pressure, Endlessly Applied
* Wild is the Way! New Bison Goods Help Recognize BFC's 15 Years in the Field
* By the Numbers
* Last Words--Buffalo Inspiration

* Victory for Bears and Buffalo: DOL Helicopter Grounded!

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Buffalo Field Campaign Video 5/09/12
Helicopter Hazing
A MT Department of Livestock helicopter hazes wild buffalo on Horse Butte last May. Scenes like this that create a veritable war zone in the Hebgen Basin may now be over, thanks to a lawsuit filed by the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. Click the photo to watch a BFC video, containing some of the footage that was instrumental in grounding the helicopter.

According to our stellar legal team, the State of Montana Department of Livestock has ended its helicopter hazing program!

Buffalo Field Campaign provided expert assistance to the nonprofit Alliance for the Wild Rockies, who filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) agencies for permitting the use of helicopters to haze wild bison in threatened grizzly bear habitat. Filed by attorney Rebecca K. Smith of the Public Interest Defense Center, the complaint made a compelling case that low-altitude bison-hazing helicopter flights violate numerous federal laws by harassing and displacing not only wild bison, but threatened grizzly bears, a species that is federally protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Video from the Field May 12, 2010
Grizzly Bear caught in Bison Haze

This BFC video, captured by Peter Bogusko and produced by Mike Mease and Tony, was part of the catalyst for the lawsuit that has taken the DOL's helicopter out of the picture.

Buffalo Field Campaign's field volunteers provided substantial evidence including signed affidavits, photographs, and videos of the DOL's helicopter disturbing a distinct and isolated grizzly bear population. This documentation resulted in a court order preventing the helicopter's use for two full weeks last Spring. The good news came last week when the DOL stated that without federal funding, they will no longer use the helicopter to haze or capture bison. The federal government has stated they will not fund the DOL's helicopter because of the ongoing lawsuit for grizzly bears.

A grizzly bear considers a bull bison. Bison, especially wolf- and winter-kill carcasses, are a very important food source for grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Photo by Kim Kaiser. Click photo for larger image.

The federal agencies have re-initiated consultation with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to analyze the impacts of IBMP hazing on grizzly bears. The U.S. Department of Justice filed a brief last week stating, in part: "Through adaptive management adjustments to the Interagency Bison Management Plan, the hazing of bison now occurs more often from December through June than in the past. The hazing of bison during spring and early summer may affect threatened grizzly bears in a manner or to an extent not considered in the 2000 Biological Assessment." Our lawsuit is forcing the federal agencies to take a very close look at how all bison hazing impacts grizzly bears. BFC knows through first-hand experience that getting the DOL's helicopter out of the sky is going to provide major relief to wildlife. This is a huge victory! As the lawsuit progresses, BFC will help further demonstrate that screaming cowboys on anxious horses and atvs, escorted by flashing lights and sirens from law enforcement, stampeding wild buffalo through sensitive habitat, also provides a major disruption to grizzlies.

You are a huge part of this victory because it is you who keeps us on the front lines and in the courts, able to bear witness and stop the insanity. Please continue to help keep BFC in the field so we may continue to document all actions made against America's last wild bison, and threatened grizzly bears.

Thank you for being with us for the buffalo. Wild is the Way ~ Roam Free!

* Home Again: Thank You for an Awesome West Coast Road Show!

Once again Buffalo Field Campaign's Fall West coast roadshow was a great success in sharing the buffalo's story with the people. I would personally like to thank the following people for helping make this Fall's tour such a great trip. If I forget someone please don't be offended, just know I am sometimes forgetful. First off a special thanks to Alex Berry for dropping everything in his life and coming on the road with me to handle our information table and so much more. You rock Brother, thanks. Good Shield has now come on the road with me for the last ten years, thanks for always making me look good my Brother from another Mother. Phoenix was able to play music for four of our shows and I am always grateful my friend. Andrew and Terry thanks for taking care of me in Portland and Newport, you are both family for life. Judy set up a very memorable evening in Portland. Thanks to Ireal Zashanon, Alejandro Tezcatlipoca, Gaea and the Urban Shaman and to Free Life TV for documenting the event. Phoenix, Kelly, Stella, and hte Jackson Well Springs staff took great care of us in Ashland. Thanks to Williams and our great family Michelle, Brian and Jaia and all of the great volunteers at the Sunspirit Farm. Also Rise Up Bakery, Oak Barrel Kombucha, Herb Pharm, Horizon Herbs, Nature Spirit Herbs, Of the Earth Hemp Clothing, Fox Treats, Peia, Padma Jewelry, Kitty & Aaron Jewelry & Clothing, Nabha and music by Diane Patterson & Sara Tone and Intuitive Compass. Dug and Frog it was so nice to spend time with you both. In Arcata thanks to Tony, Gretta, Scott, Clarie, Owen and Sundog. Also Johnny from 7th Generation Rise. Chris Skyhawk and family and Vince, thanks for all of your help. In the Bay Area Alex and Jeremy thanks for everything. Karen Pickett and Faye Brown you both made our John Trudell event such a success. John you are an inspiration and your words always make me stronger and strengthen my commitment to the Buffalo; it is an honor to call you a friend. In Santa Cruz I was able to team up with my dear friend Sampson Wolfe, thanks. Annie Wilson thank you for bringing us back to Sacramento, we will return thanks to you and your making us feel like family. Truckee united us with long-time friends Madonna and Pablo. Our visit to Patagonia in Reno was, as usual, awesome. Thank you Kim for taking such good care of us and Ron for your never ending support. In south Lake Tahoe our friend Scott and his new partner Sienna took great care of us. Thanks for that and for organizing our talk to the Rotary club. Mignon thanks for getting us so involved in the Indigenous Peoples Days and for setting up the Stone House event. A very special thanks to Nikko Wu for feeding us and allowing us to have the event at the Stone House. Andrew thanks for putting me up my last night on the road.

I will miss you all but it is time to be home with the Buffalo. Thanks again and know you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Back with the Buffalo,

Mike Mease

* Take Action! Endless Pressure, Endlessly Applied

There are many ways you can use your voice to advocate for America's last continuously wild buffalo! One important way is to keep letting decision-makers hear from you, which you can do easily from BFC's Take Action page. Even if you have already taken these actions, the letters are editable, so you can refresh your message in defense of North America's largest land mammal!

Please also be sure to VOTE during this important election. If you are not sure where your candidates stand on wild bison, the restoration of this ecologically extinct native treasure, and the taxpayer waste of the harmful Interagency Bison Management Plan, please ask them.

* Wild is the Way! New Bison Goods Help Recognize BFC's 15 Years in the Field

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. 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, notecards, and 2013 calendars.

* 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.

Total Buffalo Killed: 33
Government Capture: 10
Buffalo Released from Capture: 7
Government Slaughter:
Held for Government Experiment: 3
Died In Government Trap:
Miscarriage in Government Trap:
State & Treaty Hunts: 28
Shot by Agents: 3
Killed by Angry Residents:
Highway Mortality: 2

Total Killed in Previous Years
2010-2011: 227
2009-2010: 7
2008-2009: 22
2007-2008: 1,631

Total Killed Since 2000: 4,008

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

* Last Words--Buffalo Inspiration

The eagle, he glides
over lands so vast and wide.
While the bison mother gives birth to the next generation.
The fish, she does move
through waters icy and smooth.
While the bison calves frolic with carefree youthful elation.
The bear, he ambles
between aspen and bramble.
While all bison eat well during the most ancient migration.
The skunk, she does dig
in the leaf litter and twigs.
While the bison live freely and without intimidation.
The wolf, he does sing
and through the basins it rings.
This is how it should be for the benefit of all nations.

May the plants, animals and all peoples live freely and without artificial borders -- of this we can dream.

~ J. Bahorich, 2012

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!


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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.

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