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           Weekly Update from the Field November 28, 2013
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We Give Thanks
* Update from the Field: Prepare for Difficult Times
* NEW VIDEO from BFC: Rosalie Little Thunder
* Volunteers Needed! Join BFC on the Front Lines!
* The "Grazing Entrenchment Act"
* Gift Ideas! This Holiday Season, Support BFC with a Unique Purchase
* By the Numbers
* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration ~ Granville Stewart

* We Give Thanks

Photo by Jon Clark. Click for larger image.

We give thanks that there are still wild buffalo walking the Earth. Buffalo that still follow their migratory instincts and carry the integral wisdom of the ancients that does not bend or bow to human fences, boundaries, or prejudice. We give thanks for the wild buffalo's instincts to simply place one foot in front of the other and walk the land, regardless of government plans; a drive so deeply rooted in their time before time that man's shallow greed has not yet taken this from them. We give thanks that buffalo still roam, confounding certain humans' selfishly inflicted consequences. We give thanks for the last remaining buffalo that found shelter in Yellowstone's remote Pelican Valley barely 150 years ago; the twenty-three that were all that was left of tens of millions, who ensured the survival and wild integrity of their prehistoric kind. We give thanks that buffalo have biologically withstood diseases brought by invasive cattle, their blood building resistance to the dark gifts from these bovine invaders. We give thanks that it is still possible to look into the eyes of a wild buffalo and remember a time we forgot we once knew, and dream of its return. We give thanks that the land cries out for the return of wild buffalo, welcoming their homecoming when the hearts of humans open to the drumming of the buffalos' foot steps, and the land is again shared, healed and whole with the presence of wild buffalo.

We give thanks for the abundance of snow that will come, snow that brings the life giving waters when the sun waxes and the rivers run fast and deep through the veins of the mountains and out to the sea. Bittersweet this gift, as the buffalo will also flow with the deepening snow, and this is as it should be, and though we know harm awaits them, we celebrate their life force and give thanks that they continue in their wild ways despite the obstacles. We give thanks for the persistence, resistance, and endurance of wild buffalo.

We give thanks for those who hear the call of the buffalo. We are grateful for the volunteers who come from around the globe to defend the buffalo, joining us for the first time, or coming back again year after year, or returning after an absence. We give thanks for everyone everywhere who cares about wild buffalo and celebrates their wildness and takes action for their right to roam. We give thanks to all of you who make it possible for us to be here standing with the last wild buffalo, bearing witness, sharing their story. We give thanks for the realization that long-term perseverance and passion-turned-action will bring the necessary change we all seek. We give thanks that the status quo that harms the buffalo and the land is an unsustainable and temporary thing in the grand theater of life on earth. We give thanks that there is still time to act, though the time is short, and act we must. We give thanks for the elders who guide us with experience and wisdom and for the flame of passion that burns within the hearts and minds of the youth; for the combined energy and power we hold in our hands to save us from ourselves, and learn to be more like the buffalo. We give thanks for the lessons the buffalo teach us about family, solidarity, fearlessness, abundance, resolve, stamina, gentle strength, coexistence, following our instincts without compromise, non-violence and the simplicity of the solutions right before our eyes. We give thanks for the hope and vision of a life for buffalo in which they thrive within their inherent wildness, for a world in which buffalo and all other native wildlife are given precedence on the landscape which they cannot be separated from, and that buffalo herds will flourish as self-regulating sustainable populations, a rich and viable source for their future evolutionary potential and ambassador for the sovereignty of the land.

We give thanks ~ everyday ~ for the wild buffalo that remain and for each and everyone of you who cares about buffalo and makes the work of Buffalo Field Campaign possible.

Thank you from Buffalo Field Campaign!

Wild is the Way ~ Roam Free!

* Update from the Field: Prepare for Difficult Times

Photo by Tim Springer. Click image for larger view.

As Buffalo Field Campaign volunteers, coordinators, and supporters embark upon our 17th season in the field, so much has already happened. Fifty-four wild buffalo have been killed by treaty and state hunters. Though they may not realize it, they are serving as the snipers for the state of Montana. More than half the buffalo that had migrated into Montana earlier this fall have been killed.

BFC learned shocking news at last week's IBMP meeting, news we never thought possible: Yellowstone National Park has contracted with the federally chartered InterTribal Buffalo Council (ITBC) and the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) to transfer captured buffalo to these tribes for shipment to slaughter at tribal facilities. Broken hearts and heavy confusion has set in with the advent of this unthinkable news. Through BFC's investigation, which is still ongoing, we discovered that Yellowstone officials have been actively soliciting tribes, encouraging them to enter into such incongruent and odious agreements. The Nez Perce have stood strong by rejecting these reprehensible contracts. Yellowstone National Park has become a more active and willing participant in the harassment and slaughter of America's last wild bison, and this latest arrangement was craftily devised by Yellowstone in order to shift the blame for slaughtering buffalo by the hundreds (and in some cases by the thousands) away from themselves.

We also learned that the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) intends to capture wild buffalo in the Hebgen Basin, west of Yellowstone National Park, directly following the end of Montana's state bison "hunt," which closes at sunset on February 15. The DOL plans to capture and vaccinate wild buffalo with RB51, an ineffective, experimental cattle vaccine that has not been approved for use in wild bison. First they will have to blood test them for exposure to brucellosis, and adult females will be violated to determine if they are pregnant. As you know, blood tests do not determine if a buffalo has brucellosis or resistance to it, but the DOL will no doubt slaughter buffalo that test blood-positive, killing the ones who have the antibodies. The USDA-Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (the federal equivalent of the DOL) was the only IBMP partner to support this proposal, and will be using your tax dollars to fund the DOL's treachery. Discussions among the IBMP partners were extremely heated, and all other agencies and tribal representatives joined with the public in expressing strong opposition.

We realize this is intense and oppressive news to get during the holidays, but we also know you want to know. Look for a Special Alert from us very soon with more details and actions you can take. Rest assured that BFC will not stand by idly. We -- and the buffalo -- need you now more than ever. For now, take a deep breath, strengthen your resolve, and share with us in Giving Thanks for the ability to be here fighting for wild buffalo!

Wild is the Way ~ Roam Free!

* NEW VIDEO from BFC: Rosalie Little Thunder

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Buffalo Field Campaign 11/27/13

Give Thanks Rosalie
On November 2, 2013 the first ever National Bison Day (White Buffalo Day) was celebrated in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Buffalo Field Campaign's co-Founders gave presentations and were honored. The following is part of BFC's co-Founder Rosalie Little Thunder's talk about the beginnings of the campaign.


On November 2, 2013, the first ever National Bison Day (also called White Buffalo Day) was celebrated in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Buffalo Field Campaign's co-founders Mike Mease and Lakota elder Rosalie Little Thunder gave presentations and were honored at the inaugural event. This video is part of Rosalie Little Thunder's talk about the beginnings of the campaign. Watch and share!

* Volunteers Needed! Join BFC on the Front Lines!

With so many buffalo under the gun, and news from the agencies that capture and slaughter are imminent, it is very unfortunate that we only have two volunteers currently at camp, in addition to our crew of seasonal coordinators. We are in great need of volunteers to help document the killing and provide outreach and education to hunters. We especially need help from now until the first couple weeks of December. With coordinators having so many responsibilities around our headquarters it has been very hard to keep patrols filled.

Please, if you have even a week or two to spare, we would be so grateful for your help. We have a great crew, and the small numbers create a fun, close-knit spirit. We also have our awesome Harvest feast and celebration to look forward to at the end of November.

If you feel you can help out, please email or call our volunteer coordinators ASAP: volunteer@buffalofieldcampaign.org or 406-646-0070.

* The "Grazing Entrenchment Act"

Thank you for your efforts in trying to stop the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee from passing the misnamed "Grazing Improvement Act" (GIA). Unfortunately, this bill to further entrench one of the most destructive and pervasive activities on federal public land did pass out of the Committee on a voice vote. While the bill was modified at the last minute to remove some of the worst provisions, the GIA still allows the agencies to issue 20 year permits and makes environmental review more or less optional and subject to the whims or agendas of local land managers. The only bright spot was the inclusion of a provision to permanently retire waived grazing permits, however, it was severely limited to only two states on only 25 permits per year in each state. Although the GIA has made it out of the Senate Committee, it still has a long way to go before becoming law. BFC along with other conservation and environmental advocates will continue to work together to stop this bill and other associated efforts to limit environmental review and public participation in the decision making process for our public lands. Thanks again for your support and we will keep you updated about this very important issue for wild buffalo and western public lands.

* This Holiday Season, Support BFC with a Unique Purchase

We are very excited to offer such a wide range of items this year. From stainless steel water bottles, pint cups and stylish tee shirts and stickers proclaiming "Wild is the Way," to beautiful and artistic notecards, to entertaining and informative books and beyond, we truly have something for every wild bison lover in your life. For details or to purchase just click on the images below or browse our full store here. To get the most buffalo protection bang for your buck, send a tax-deductible contribution. Either way you'll be helping us fulfill our mission of protecting America's last wild buffalo. We can't do it without you.



*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: 54
Government Capture:
Buffalo Released from Capture:
Government Slaughter:
Held for Government Experiment:
Died In Government Trap:
Miscarriage in Government Trap:
State Hunt: 3
Treaty Hunts: 51
Unknown Hunts:
Shot by Agents:
Highway Mortality:
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: 4,310

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

*Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration

"In 1880, Montana was practically uninhabited. One could travel for miles without seeing so much as a traveler's bivouac. Thousands of buffalo darkened the rolling plains. There were deer, elk, wolves and coyotes on every hill and in every ravine and thicket. In the fall of 1883, there was not a buffalo remaining on the range and the antelope, elk, and deer were indeed scarce. There were 600,000 head of cattle on the range."

~ Granville Stuart

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
P.O. Box 957
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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