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           Weekly Update from the Field March 13, 2013
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BFC Update from the Field & Exclusive Video of Comfrey Jacobs‏
* Update from the Field
* Video: BFC Volunteer Shuts Down Bison Trap!
* Update from the Courts: Win for Wild Buffalo Sustained!
* LISTEN: BFC's Mike Mease & Goodshield Radio Interviews
* The Buffalo Need You. Volunteer or Donate Today
* Last Call for Wild Bison Calendar Submissions!
* Participate in BFC's Summer Program!
* By the Numbers
* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration ~ Celebrating the Memory of barb abramo

* Update from the Field

In just over a month from now, wild buffalo calving season will begin. Adult female buffalo - most of them pregnant - have been the hardest hit with slaughter and hunting this year, and while slaughter has ended, treaty hunting continues. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.

The day after BFC volunteer Comfrey Jacobs blocked the road to Yellowstone's Stephens Creek buffalo trap, the Park Service issued their first and only bison operations press release, announcing that the trap was empty and capture operations had ceased for the season.

Treaty hunting continues in the Gardiner Basin, outside of Yellowstone's northern boundary. Another twenty-four buffalo were killed by hunters since we last wrote. Five of these buffalo were adult cows, likely pregnant, and already caring for a yearling.

Buffalo running. BFC file photo. Click for larger image.

Hundreds of buffalo have migrated south, heading deeper into Yellowstone and away from danger. Their troubles are far from over. We have had a significant winter this year, with heavy amounts of snow. Temperatures have grown unseasonably warm for March, which means the snow has been melting in the daytime and freezing hard during the night, making it very difficult for buffalo to travel or crater through to the grasses below. Consequently, we anticipate winter-kills this year to be high.

BFC file photo by Stephany. Click for larger view.

Weather alone is a formidable challenger, but buffalo have evolved and thrived through ice ages. But they continue to pay a heavy price for the intolerance and misunderstandings of the human race. Unless we change, they may not survive. With incredible patience and seeming forgiveness, they press on in grace with persistence to live wild and free, resistance to oppression, and an uncanny endurance to carry on.


* Video: BFC Volunteer Shuts Down Bison Trap!

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Buffalo Field Campaign 3/12/14

Man Blocks Road to Yellowstone Bison Trap 2014
Twenty-one year old Buffalo Field Campaign volunteer Comfrey Jacobs sacrificed his freedom to free wild buffalo. On March 6, 2014, Comfrey took individual and direct action and blocked access to Yellowstone's Stephens Creek buffalo trap, in an attempt to prevent more wild buffalo from being shipped to slaughter. This is BFC's exclusive footage and interview with this brave man.

Here's the video you have all been waiting for: BFC footage of Comfrey Jacobs during his blockade of the access road to Yellowstone's Stephens Creek bison trap. This video includes an exclusive interview with Comfrey shot the day before his arraignment.

On Tuesday, Comfrey appeared in court where he was offered a plea bargain, which he did not accept. He has a second arraignment scheduled for April 2nd. Comfrey will have significant restitution and court fines to pay, and sincerely appreciates all of the offers many of you have made to help with these costs.

Read a March 11, 2014, BFC Press Release: Comfrey Jacobs vs U.S. Government and an EcoWatch story.
Help Comfrey with his legal fees and any fines through GoFundMe. PayPal option coming soon!

* Update from the Courts: Win for Wild Buffalo Sustained!

The Montana Supreme Court issued an opinion Wednesday afternoon, upholding Judge Phillips' ruling in the Gardiner Basin bison case, which Park County had appealed: wild buffalo get to access the habitat that BFC, Earthjustice and other bison advocates and even the State of Montana argued for them to roam in the Gardiner Basin. The court concluded that Park County could not raise on appeal a claim they did not raise initially. Park County's appeal was dismissed and this case is over!

The Gardiner-area habitat expansion is not a solution to the serious challenges wild bison face in Montana, nor does it stop the slaughter. Mature bull bison will benefit. Mixed cow-calf family groups are not afforded the same tolerance. The new habitat available is seasonal, allowing bison to use portions of the Gardiner Basin for a few months. Hunting pressures have increased with this expanded habitat, and hazing of all wild bison in the Gardiner Basin will resume every spring. Because this is a state case, it does not stop Yellowstone National Park's capture and slaughter plans. Indeed, wild buffalo have barely been able to use the 75,000 acres of habitat that they have been granted, due to the Park's buffalo capture and slaughter operations, and hunting just outside of Yellowstone's boundary. Had any of Park County's claims survived, conditions would be far worse for any wild buffalo in Montana, as there would be none at all with the court's sanction.

Thank you attorneys Summer Nelson and Ted Fellman, and BFC's habitat coordinator Darrell Geist for your persistence in representing wild buffalo in this case! Thanks also to all of the pro-buffalo local residents, among them Fred Baker and Scott Hoeninghausen. Your voices were an important antidote to the complaints of the vocal anti-buffalo minority.

This decision is a cause and reason to press on until wild bison are roaming free throughout their native Montana again.

* LISTEN! BFC's Mike Mease & Goodshield Radio Interviews

Listen to Buffalo Field Campaign co-founder Mike Mease's interview with Raven Redbone on "Make No Bones About It," March 9, 2014, or listen here.

Listen to Buffalo Field Campaign Show podcast interview with Goodshield, March 6, 2014, or listen here.


CONTACT MONTANA GOVERNMENT: Contact Montana Governor Steve Bullock and urge him to champion wild buffalo in Montana by increasing access to habitat and ending the Montana Department of Livestock's authority over wild buffalo!

Visit our page to contact other decision-makers who need to hear from you and please share the links to these take action alerts on Facebook and other social media outlets. And please consider joining us on the front lines. See below for details. Thank you!

* The Buffalo Need You. Volunteer or Donate Today.

If you have ever dreamed of standing with buffalo and fighting for their rights to be wild, NOW IS THAT TIME! BFC is in need of caring people to make this sacred sacrifice to help the buffalo. Buffalo Field Campaign invites you to join us on the front lines, here on the edge of the world's first national park, to defend America's last wild, migratory buffalo. State, federal, and tribal governments are in the process of capturing and killing hundreds of wild bison. They aim to reduce the already vulnerable population of America's last wild, migratory buffalo to a mere 3,000 animals.

We need more people to stand with us and protect the buffalo. Please, if you have ever thought about coming out we need help from now until the end of May. BFC provides room, board, gear, and training while the wildlife and wild lands provide incredible inspiration. Please visit our volunteer page to fill out an application or email our volunteer coordinators or 406-646-0070. Bring your passion and your ideas. See you on the front lines!

If you can not join us in person we could still use your help. Please use the DONATE NOW button below to make a tax-deductible contribution to our important work for the buffalo.

Thanks for giving us the honor of standing with these sacred beings and please come experience it for yourselves, it will change your life.

Mike Mease

* Last Call for Wild Bison Calendar Submissions

LAST CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR 2015! Help others fall in love with wild buffalo so that we have a chance to save them from extinction! If you have high resolution photos, artwork, poetry, quotes, or interesting natural facts about wild buffalo, please contact Stephany for details.

Don't miss out on BFC's 2014 Wild Bison of Yellowstone Country Calendar! This is likely our best calendar yet, with absolutely stunning photos of wild buffalo in their native habitat, incredible artwork, and inspiring quotes, facts, and poetry. ORDER NOW

Thank you to everyone who has made our Wild Bison calendars such a huge success! This is one of our favorite projects as it allows all of us to celebrate wild buffalo 365 days a year!

* Participate in BFC's Summer Program!

BFC is looking for at least six people to help us spread the word to save the herds this Summer. BFC is looking for help from June until the first week of September. The positions would entail working in our Buffalo Museum in West Yellowstone, Montana, tabling and camping inside Yellowstone National Park, and going to music festivals and Summer events. Each week we will have you do a different job so you would not be stuck doing one thing the whole Summer. If spending your Summer in the Yellowstone ecosystem and helping save the buffalo is something that interests you please contact Mike. I promise this will be a summer you will never forget.

*By the Numbers

The last wild, migratory buffalo populations are currently estimated at fewer than 4,000 individual animals, living in and around Yellowstone National Park. Wild, migratory bison are ecologically extinct throughout their native range in North America.

Total Buffalo Killed: 606
Government Capture: 450 (+/-)
Buffalo Released from Capture: unknown
Government Slaughter:
Tribal - ITBC Slaughter: 157
Tribal - CSKT Slaughter: 101
Tribal - Nez Perce Slaughter: 0
Died in Government Trap:
Died in Government Research Facility**: 1
Miscarriage in Government Trap:
State Hunt: 31
Treaty Hunts: 287
Unknown Hunts:
Sent to Quarantine:
Sent to APHIS Research Facility: 60
Shot by Agents:
Highway Mortality: 1
Cause of Death Unknown:

Total Killed in Previous Years*
2012-2013: 261
2011-2012: 33
2010-2011: 227
2009-2010: 7
2008-2009: 22
2007-2008: 1,631
Total Killed Since 2000: 4,844

*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine/experiments, hunts, and highway deaths
**bison stolen from the wild and placed in APHIS research facilities (such as for GonaCon) have already been counted as being "eliminated from the population" so bison that have died in a government research facility are not reflected in the total.

*Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration ~ Celebrating the Memory of barb abramo

Photo art by Rosie Patnode. Click for larger image.

It's hard to believe that today marks the third anniversary of barb abramo's passing. I can still see us all gathered around her ailing form at the hospital, looking up, and seeing that she had a herd of buffalo - her herd - enveloping her with love. And I will never forget Peter calling on the following day to tell us, after he and eight others stayed with her through the night, that she had passed on. Around the time of her death, Alex and I were surrounded by 150 buffalo, dancing in the warming spring sunlight. A little while later, Peter's call came while Alex and I were following MT Department of Livestock agents up Travertine Road in Gardiner. Though I wanted to be with her when she left this world, she would have wanted us to be with the buffalo. Later that day Goodshield helped us and honored barb with a beautiful ceremony and we saw two ravens fly in such a way that we knew she was with her beloved partner, Phil. We miss her terribly. She was our matriarch and she lead with a very strong will and incredible passion for the buffalo. We will never forget her. ~ Stephany

Her heart beats now with Buffalos' sound,

They are as one-their Spirits bound.

The love she feels in past and now,

Gives extra strength, you hear her call?


As hooves like thunder give the word,

She joins to help---the call is heard.

She follows now, along with hooves,

Protecting those---she cannot lose.


She gave her heart, her love, and life,

To help each Buffalo, out of strife.

And when you see---- the Buffalo run,

You know she's there---her job is done.


We miss her voice, her work, her ways,

But know she's there!-and there she stays.

You'll hear her voice, as Buffalo run,

A time of hope------------now has begun.

~ Dakota Wallace, for barb with love

WATCH "barb Talks" interview
WATCH "Interview With barb"

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
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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.

Buffalo Field Campaign West Yellowstone Montana
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