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           Weekly Update from the Field July 10, 2014
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America No Land of the Free for Native Bison‏
* Update from the Field
* Interior Department "Restoration" Plan Proposes More Harm to Wild Buffalo
* They're Here! 2015 Wild Bison Calendars & BFC's Annual Newsletter
* BFC's Buffaloon Roams 4th of July Parade
* VIDEO: Bison Calf at Play ~ The Sweetest Thing
* Interview with BFC on Power Plant Body
* Sign Petition Requesting National Academy of Sciences Review of Brucellosis Policies
* TAKE ACTION! Keep the Pressure on Montana's Governor
* Keep it Wild with the Buffalo & BFC This Summer!
* BFC Wish List: Pavilion and Tents Needed!
* By the Numbers
* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration ~ Kim Stanley Robinson

"Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

* Update from the Field

Artwork by Judith Dragonette. Click for larger image.

While many Americans were gearing up to celebrate Independence Day, freedom wasn't ringing for a small family group of America's last wild buffalo. Just west of Yellowstone National Park, near the South Fork of the Madison River, the most American of all creatures were being subjected to the tyranny of an unjust government.

Over a course of two days, BFC documented Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) stock inspectors hazing around thirty wild buffalo moms and calves off of their habitat, chasing them through the cattle-free public lands of Gallatin National Forest, and pushing them into the interior of Yellowstone National Park, using federal tax dollars to do this unnecessary dirty work. With no justification whatsoever for the maltreatment of this American icon, the DOL has formed a very bad habit over the last two decades: they are simply addicted to abusing wild buffalo. You can help BFC help them kick the habit.

Below we have included a variety of things you can do to take action, educate yourself and others, celebrate wild buffalo, keep BFC on the front lines, and join the growing tens of thousands who are dedicated to protecting the wild bison (video).


* Interior Department "Restoration" Plan Proposes More Harm to Wild Buffalo

The Department of Interior (DOI) recently announced that they intend to "restore" bison to various portions of the landscape, but there is madness to their method. From a buffalo's perspective--one shared by BFC--restoration happens naturally, simply through walking; freely migrating onto the lands that wild buffalo have been absent from for nearly two hundred years. Wild buffalo attempt to restore themselves year after year, and would succeed with no interference from humans, no plans or funding is necessary. Yet they are repeatedly blocked by politics masquerading as science.

The DOI wants to use America's last wild buffalo -- the Yellowstone herds -- as "seed stock" to safeguard genetics and artificially place bison on specific landscapes in the country. Their main tool would be quarantine, which involves capture and years of confinement and domestication for wild buffalo in order to create docile, brucellosis-free animals that would be placed on landscapes surrounded by fences. The DOI's false platform is that Yellowstone holds "surplus" buffalo, "extra" animals that must be removed from an already dangerously tiny and vulnerable population. This is absolutely false: there are no "surplus" buffalo; this remnant population of fewer than 4,200 animals is ecologically extinct. Yellowstone National Park's own carrying capacity study determined that lands within the Park itself can sustain upwards of 6,200 wild buffalo, and with hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands surrounding the Park, many thousands more could flourish. Reducing the world's most significant bison herds to "seed stock" misses the entire point of restoring a keystone wildlife species and placates livestock interests. Wild buffalo are so much more than their genetics. Their wild integrity is in their behavior, their character, their very spirit, which the DOI plan would kill.

Please contact Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and remind her that true restoration does not include capture, domestication through quarantine, transport via livestock trucks, fencing, becoming mere "genetic seed stock," culling, or any other livestock model management scheme. True restoration is simple: Let buffalo be buffalo to walk the earth, roam, migrate, and return to the lands that are their birthright. Self-willed and wild are the ways of the buffalo. The DOI's plan with all its intensive intervention, that is the way of cattle.

* They're Here! 2015 Wild Bison Calendars & BFC's Annual Newsletter!

Click the image to order your 2015 Wild Bison of Yellowstone Country calendar now!

We are very pleased to announce that BFC's 2015 Wild Bison of Yellowstone Country calendar is now available! As you have come to expect, this 2015 Wild Bison calendar is a joyous celebration of this awesome animal, with breathtaking photos, interesting facts, inspirational quotes and poetry, and beautiful artwork. We are thrilled to bring you more photos from some of the best photographers both familiar and new, including the incredible images you have come to love from Sandy Sisti, Pam Talasco, Ric Kessler and for the first time, largely featuring the fantastic photographs of Tom Mangelsen. Celebrate the Wild Buffalo of Yellowstone Country 365 days a year!

ORDER YOUR 2015 Calendar NOW!

Contact Tara to get stacks for distribution ~ help spread the word to save these herds!

Hot off the press! BFC's annual newsletter is now available. If you are on our postal mail list, you should be receiving your copy in the next couple weeks. If your address has changed recently, please let us know. BFC's annual newsletter is a terrific tool for outreach, containing a recap of the issue, news from the field season, accomplishments and challenges ahead, and take action items that allow you to be a strong voice for America's last wild buffalo. BFC newsletters provide a great way to introduce folks you know to the buffalo issue. We have scores of thousands of newsletters available and are happy to send you as many as you can place in and around your communities. Request a stack for coffee shops, libraries, community boards, special events, bookstores, friends, family and more. Please contact BFC's office coordinator, Tara, at buffalo@wildrockies.org to get your copies today.

* BFC's Buffaloon Roams 4th of July Parade

BFC and our Buffaloon roam the 4th of July parade in West Yellowstone with Mike Mease and his family. Photos courtesy of Mike's dad, Bud Mease. Click photos for larger images.

* VIDEO: Bison Calf at Play ~ The Sweetest Thing!

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Buffalo Field Campaign 7/10/14

Wild Bison Calf at Play ~
The Sweetest Thing!

A wild baby buffalo in Yellowstone National Park shows what life should be like for the gentle giants, wherever they roam. This little guy ran around for about four minutes, stopping momentarily, then would blast off again. Video by independent filmmaker and wild bison advocate, Keith Fialcowitz. Music by the legendary U2.

You need a break from the tragic images -- so here is something joyful to make you smile! A wild baby buffalo in Yellowstone National Park shows what life should be like, wherever they roam. This little guy ran around for about four minutes, stopping momentarily, before bounding off again. Video by independent filmmaker and wild bison advocate, Keith Fialcowitz.

* Interview with BFC on Power Plant Podcast

LISTEN to an interview with BFC's Stephany Seay on Power Plant Podcast, Episode 10. Many thanks to Taylor for the great discussion and for having BFC on your program! Next time, see you on the front lines!

*Sign Petition Requesting National Academy of Sciences Review Brucellosis

Help protect our wild bison and elk from politics and special interest slaughter. Please request the National Academy of Sciences conduct a review of wildlife brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area.

Click HERE to sign the petition now! We need 3,500 more signatures -- please share!

Many thanks to Kathryn QannaYahu of Enhancing Montana's Wildlife & Habitat for creating this petition!

* TAKE ACTION! Keep the Pressure on Montana's Governor

Don't let the state of Montana hold America's last wild buffalo hostage in Yellowstone! It is critical that everyone who cares about wild buffalo contact Montana Governor Steve Bullock and urge him to change the status quo of hazing, capture, and slaughter. Tell him to end Montana's intolerance, stop the livestock industry from hijacking the public process, and to champion the world's most important bison herds, the Yellowstone population.

Even if you've already contacted him, please do so now! Please also be sure to include a thank you for his new directive that forbids the Montana Department tof Livestock from hazing buffalo off of private property without permission from the property owners.

Click to take action now!

* This Summer Keep it Wild with the Buffalo & BFC!

BFC volunteer and summer coordinator, Comfrey, enjoying an awesome moment with the buffalo on the northwest Madison bluffs. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click for larger image.

We're excited to announce that we're gearing up for our Summer program (June 1st until Labor Day weekend) and have started accepting volunteer applications. This summer we'll be doing a variety of community and public outreach including tabling at our new Free Buffalo Information Center located inside the Buffalo Spirit Trading Post in the town of West Yellowstone, camping and tabling inside Yellowstone National Park, and attending festivals in the area with our giant inflatable buffaloon and spreading the word about the herds. If you're interested in coming out for the summer we ask for at least a two week commitment. If you have any questions or would like to apply feel free to give us a call at 406-646-0070 or shoot us an email at volunteersummer@buffalofieldcampaign.org

* BFC Wish List: Pavillion and Tents Needed!

We have updated our Wish List with a couple of items that will help us in our summer outreach and tabling programs:
-- an easy-up pavilion
-- four-season camping tents, 2-4 person
-- a quiet gas-powered generator

If you are able to help with these Wish List items, please contact Mike Mease, or Pat and Comfrey, our Summer Volunteer Coordinators. Review BFC's complete Wish List. All in-kind and monetary donations are tax deductible.

Thank you!

*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: 652
Government Capture: 359
Buffalo Released from Capture: 41
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: 291
Unknown Hunts:
Poached in Yellowstone: 3
Sent to Quarantine:
Sent to APHIS Research Facility: 60
Shot by Agents:
Shot by Landowner: 1
Highway Mortality: 8
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: 4,890

*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 ~ Kim Stanley Robinson

"The bison were there.... beautiful creatures, as always, their close tan fur only a little darker than lions' fur, their hairy heads the brown nearest black; all moving slowly together, chewing their cuds, the sunlight diving right into their bodies, so that they glowed with their weight, floated on the snow of the meadow like visitors from a denser world. Dream creatures, walking through the waking world."

~ Kim Stanley Robinson, from his book, "Shaman"

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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