* OPPOSE QUARANTINE! Submit Your Comments to Yellowstone National Park
Submit Your Comments to Yellowstone National Park !
QUARANTINE DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL FEBRUARY 29: Stand in solidarity against the domestication, commercialization, and slaughter of wild Yellowstone buffalo! Yellowstone National Park has released an Environmental Assessment (EA) for a fifty-year quarantine program which threatens America’s last wild, migratory bison. Even the “no action” alternative maintains the Park’s ongoing capture-for-slaughter program. The Park Service is going against even their own science in proposing this plan, which fails to consider the cumulative negative impacts of quarantine combined with current hazing and capture-for-slaughter management schemes.
Comments are due by midnight MST on February 29.
Please click the button on the left or visit our Take Action Alert to learn more and send your comments. We have provided a sample letter, but please write in your own words to make the most powerful impact. Speak from your heart, with what you know, to address the impacts of quarantining wild bison and continuing Yellowstone's capture for slaughter operations. Don’t allow Yellowstone National Park to domesticate wild, migratory bison! Thank you for taking this important action!
Buffalo Field Campaign’s official comments can be found HERE.
* Update from the Field: Yellowstone Captures Wild Bison!
Twenty-four wild buffalo are being held captive in Yellowstone National Park's Stephens Creek buffalo trap. They are the tiny dots behind the white fence, very difficult to see due to the size of the closure around the trap, and the distance the public is kept at. Photo by Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign. Click photo for larger view.
On Saturday, BFC patrols witnessed the capture of twenty-four of America’s last wild buffalo in Yellowstone’s Stephens Creek trap. As of Thursday morning, these buffalo are still in the outer “catch pens." According to the Park Service, these twenty-four will continue to be held through the weekend and will not be processed or shipped to slaughter this week. There is a chance that they could be released and we must increase the pressure to urge Yellowstone to do the right thing! There are approximately 250 buffalo south of the trap in the Gardiner Basin, inside Yellowstone’s boundaries. We are watching the trap and monitoring the buffalo very closely. Please help the buffalo by contacting Yellowstone National Park today and demanding that they release the buffalo and end plans to capture more. There is absolutely no justification for their capture or slaughter as these actions are being carried out for the sole purpose of appeasing the intolerance of Montana’s livestock interests. Contact Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk at 307-344-2002 or email@example.com.
More than four-hundred of America's last wild buffalo have been killed, and many locals remain silent; treaty hunters take fifty-five elk, and an emergency community meeting is called. Buffalo Field Campaign photo. Click photo for larger image.
With an early spell of warm weather, and Yellowstone initiating capture-for-slaughter operations, there are no buffalo in the hunt zone for hunters to kill. The state hunting season ended February 15, but there are still a few tribes hunting under treaty rights. With no buffalo available on the landscape, treaty hunters — who hold rights to hunt, gather, and fish any plants and animals they choose — are turning to elk, many of which are grazing throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The taking of elk, so coveted by Montana’s hunting constituency, has certain individuals in the Gardiner community up in arms. On Monday night a town meeting was called by Bill and Pat Hoppe, two locals who are known for their anti-wildlife sentiments. They were a frightening lot to behold, embodying the centuries-old mentality that has always been a threat to the wild and indigenous. More than seventy people attended, including BFC, who was the only voice to speak in support of the buffalo, the tribes, and treaty rights. Attendees even went so far as to question the legality of treaty rights, suggested breaking or amending them, and some made extremely racist comments towards the tribes. In all fairness--as we've reported-- some of the hunting in the Gardiner Basin has been brutal, unethical, and dangerous. Though every individual is responsible for their actions, in the bigger picture, the “problem” is definitely not the treaties or the hunters who are being manipulated; the problem is the management plan and the intolerance against wild, migratory buffalo. It is imperative to understand that this situation has been set up by the government and anti-buffalo interests to play out exactly as it has been. Now that sights have been turned on a few elk, some locals are suddenly crying foul.
More than four hundred wild buffalo have been killed by hunters this winter, and none of these folks complaining about a few elk being killed have raised any fuss about it. They want buffalo dead and they don’t care how it’s done or who does it. Elk, however, bring in big bucks, and more than a few hunting outfitters were in attendance. What it really boils down to is that treaty hunters taking elk are hurting business.
Those complaining about elk being hunted are the same people whose intolerance is driving the Interagency Bison Management Plan. The mentality expressed by the majority of people who spoke at this meeting is the reason the buffalo still have so very little room to roam, and why they are being gunned down, hazed, slaughtered, killed, and abused at the Park boundary. It seems none of these folks care if hundreds or thousands of wild buffalo—vulnerable to global extinction and innocent in the brucellosis argument—are killed, but take a few elk (who have been implicated in transmitting brucellosis to livestock) out of a teeming population, and you begin to see the deeply rooted prejudice against the buffalo. BFC stood alone in speaking up for the buffalo, and in solidarity with tribes and their treaty rights. We should also give credit to FWP Region 3 Director Sam Sheppard, who was very just in his communications with the angry mob. We documented the meeting and will have some video to share with you next week.
It always bears repeating that the livestock industry’s intolerance is directly responsible for the buffalo’s current brush with extinction. We must put an end to livestock industry control over wild buffalo, and to do so we must repeal or amend the law — MCA 81-2-120 — that places them in charge. As evidenced by his decision to grant year-round habitat on Horse Butte, Governor Steve Bullock is listening, but the livestock industry is trying to undermine his citizen-supported decision. He must hear from each of us, often. Please contact Governor Bullock today, thank him for granting year-round habitat on Horse Butte, and urge him to help repeal or amend MCA 81-2-120. With endless pressure, endlessly applied, we can end livestock industry control and help regain wild buffalo their rightful, ancestral place on the landscape.
Thank you so very much for being with us for wild buffalo!
Wild is the Way ~ Roam Free!
* Thank You for a Very Successful Week of Action!
We are thrilled to report that we had our best Week of Action in BFC history! We can’t thank everyone enough who traveled hundreds of miles from every direction to join us in solidarity for wild, migratory buffalo! Buffalo advocates and Native allies stood in strong solidarity, building and strengthening existing friendships and creating new ones. From Bozeman to Yellowstone’s headquarters, to Helena, West Yellowstone, and Big Sky, Montana, we represented! The feedback from the public was amazingly positive (only one angry rancher lady, photo below), a wonderful testament that allies for wild buffalo are growing. National Call-in Day was also a huge success, with so many of you reporting that you were getting busy signals, full mail boxes, and phone receptionists who brought up the buffalo before you even had a chance to speak. Well done, everyone! We feel so much love and gratitude and we will take these powerful relationships and build upon them in the name of freeing the buffalo and re-wilding ourselves! Below are a few photos from the week’s events and you can see many more by checking out our Week of Action 2016 photo album on our Facebook page.
* MONTANA RESIDENTS: Attend Meetings to Ask U.S. Forest Service to Manage Habitat for Wild, Migratory Bison
The Custer-Gallatin National Forest is revising its forest plan which has historically neglected to include standards for managing habitat for native wild, migratory bison. To start Phase 1 of the public involvement process, the Forest Service has scheduled a series of public meetings, most of which will be held in Montana. BFC encourages everyone who can to attend one or more of these meetings to do so, in order to help ensure that the Forest Service does not neglect this crucial keystone species.
Information about the public meetings and the planning process can be found here.
Here are a few talking points to consider:
- Tell the Custer-Gallatin National Forest that you want them to adopt a standard to manage habitat on the National Forests for viable populations of migratory buffalo. Ask them to modify what is being proposed so buffalo are included in the planning effort. Please keep in mind jurisdiction: the Forest Service manages the habitat while the State manages the species.
- Phase I – Assessment "involves an evaluation of relevant information including existing ecological, economic, and social conditions and trends across the broader landscape that will help inform the need to change the 1985 Forest Plan."
- Yes, it’s time for the Forest Service to update its long-term habitat plan to include an important wildlife species that has made its presence known on our National Forests: America’s last wild buffalo.
- Urge the Forest to use the best available science on buffalo and support a habitat standard or viability standard to ensure a place for them on America’s National Forests.
* TAKE ACTION! Endless Pressure, Endlessly Applied
The killing of the buffalo, whether it’s through “hunting” or slaughter, is all part of the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP), which was crafted for the benefit of livestock interests, not buffalo. Even those hunting under treaty rights are being used by Montana's livestock interests, and consequently, the IBMP, to facilitate the destruction of the buffalo and to prevent them from restoring themselves in Montana and elsewhere. Whether the excuse for these fatal tactics is brucellosis or population control, neither is based on reality and they only serve a political agenda. The IBMP exists because Montana livestock interests sued Yellowstone for “allowing" wild bison to migrate into Montana, and because of a law crafted by the livestock industry — MCA 81-2-120 — which places the Montana Department of Livestock in charge of managing wild bison. One industry’s intolerance is driving a national treasure towards the brink of extinction. We know you care deeply about wild bison, and one of the single most important things you can do is to help repeal this law.
Contact Governor Steve Bullock today, and please take these other actions, even if you have already. Don’t stop until the buffalo are free to roam!
1. Montana Governor Steve Bullock needs to feel the pressure from everyone who cares about wild, migratory buffalo, enough pressure that he has no other choice than to help repeal MCA 81-2-120, the law that is driving the nefarious actions against America's last wild buffalo. Please contact Governor Bullock today, and everyday, demanding he change the status quo for wild bison in Montana by repealing MCA 81-2-120 and rejecting the government's alternatives in the newly proposed Montana-Yellowstone Bison Management Plan.
2. Help change the status quo for wild buffalo by urging your members of Congress to support BFC’s alternative to “Manage Wild Bison Like Wild Elk in Montana."
3. Submit Letters to the Editor in support of BFC's alternative to “Manage Wild Bison Like Wild Elk in Montana,” the only alternative that respects wild buffalo and their right to roam their home.
* WANTED: Photos & Artwork for 2017 Wild Bison of Yellowstone Country Calendar
Order BFC's 2016 Wild Bison of Yellowstone Country calendars!
It’s that exciting time of year when we give a shout out to all the awesome photographers and artists out there! We are on track to create our 2017 Wild Bison of Yellowstone Country calendar and we want your Yellowstone buffalo images! Our calendar project is a true celebration of the wild buffalo of Yellowstone country, America’s last wild herds. Your generous and amazing contributions have made this an amazing buffalo exploration stunning photos, incredible artwork, interesting facts, beautiful poetry, and inspired quotations. Please contact Stephany at firstname.lastname@example.org for details or to submit your images.
We still have a few 2016 Wild Bison calendars left. It’s never too late to celebrate wild buffalo every day of the year! All proceeds go directly to BFC’s front lines work in defense of America’s last wild buffalo. Fall in love with the buffalo and strengthen your resolve to help protect them! ORDER HERE!
* Support BFC With Buffalo Track Socks from Backdrop
Buffalo Field Campaign is partnering with Bakdrop to provide our supporters with stylish socks featuring BFC's new logo and tiny buffalo prints. These limited edition machine washable socks are made in the US of 100% high quality polyester so they are soft and durable and they come in two sizes to fit all the feet in your family. Proceeds received by BFC for each pair sold will directly fund our frontlines work to protect America's last wild buffalo. These sweet socks are only available until March 3, 2016 so order yours today!
Order yours: https://www.bakdrop.com/campaigns/buffalofield/
* Buffalo in the News
Photo by Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign. Click photo for larger view.
The bison round-up the government wants to hide
New York Times (Christopher Ketcham)
A living symbol of American West as Yellowstone bison cull begins
Globe and Mail
Bison advocates hold candlelight vigil
Bison advocates honor governor for expanding habitat, but call for more
Helena Independent Record helena event
Mike Mease on the bison slaughter the government doesn’t want you to know about
Not Just a Paleo
Goodshield Shares with Raven Redbone
Make No Bones About It
* In Memory & Honor of Wild Buffalo Advocates
Sherry Schlueter in honor of Shelly Schlueter
Julie Parker in memory of All the bison who have been wrongfully killed
Yolanda Ochoa in memory of Lilly Ochoa
Victor Carmichael in memory of Jim Carmichael
Jentry Lee in honor of Jason Hull
Lynne Eggers in honor of Eric Newton
Millicent Green in honor of the Calanchini-Carter family
Yana Selezneva in memory of All Buffalo
Cheryl Waitkevich in memory of Edna, who taught me to love animals
Barbara Van Duren in memory of John Hagerman
Carlo Popolizio in honor of Steve Mars
Linda Petrulius in memory of Sandra Rooklin Paillon
Barbara Trypaluk in honor of John Trypaluk
Grace Jeffers in honor of Ellen LaNicca
Carol Halberstadt in honor of All the Diné of Dzil Yijiin (Black Mesa) and their ashkedaa' dibe'--The Real Sheep, The Old
Ones and in memory of Tazhii (wild turkey in Diné Bikeyah
Rebecca Vitale Mandich in honor of Native Americans
Rebecca Bickel in memory of Daniel H Beard
Lyndly Martin in memory of David R Turnbough
* By the Numbers
The last wild, migratory buffalo populations are currently estimated at fewer than 4,500 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: 420
Government Capture: 24
Buffalo Released from Capture:
Tribal - ITBC & CSKT Slaughter:
Died in Government Trap:
Died in Government Research Facility**:
Miscarriage in Government Trap:
State Hunt: 28
State “Damage" Hunts:
Treaty Hunts: 340
Wounded & Shot by FWP or NPS or Died: 50
Poached in Yellowstone:
Sent to Quarantine:
Sent to APHIS Research Facility:
Shot by Agents:
Shot by Landowner:
Shot by Idaho:
Highway Mortality: 2
Cause of Death Unknown:
Elk shot under treaty right: 55
Total Killed in Previous Years*
Total Killed Since 2000: 6,055
* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration ~ John Trudell
“When I look at America now, going back to the treaty, this American generation, they don’t look at the treaty as having any validity. Alright, well, I’m going to say that that was an agreement made between their ancestors and my ancestors, and when they break that treaty like that, they’re telling me they have no spiritual connection to their past, no respect for their past."
~ John Trudell
Please keep sending quotes, poems and other words of buffalo wisdom. You'll see them here!