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           Weekly Update from the Field March 3, 2016
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More Buffalo Captured, None Slaughtered Yet‏
* Update from the Field: More Buffalo Captured, None Yet Slaughtered
* VIDEO: Goodshield Calls Quarantine a Trap
* MT Residents: Attend Meetings to Ask US Forest Service to Manage Habitat for Wild, Migratory Bison
* TAKE ACTION and Help BFC Protect Wild Buffalo
* Wanted! Photos & Artwork for 2017 Wild Bison of Yellowstone Country Calendar
* Last Chance! Support BFC with Buffalo Socks from Backdrop
* By the Numbers
* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration ~ Billy Angus: Letter to Yellowstone

* Update from the Field: More Buffalo Captured, None Slaughtered Yet

Buffalo calf in a sorting pen, inside Yellowstone's Stephens Creek bison trap. Photo by Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign. Click photo for larger image.

There are now approximately seventy-five wild buffalo inside Yellowstone National Park’s Stephens Creek bison trap. Since capture operations started on February 20, no buffalo have yet been sent to slaughter, but Yellowstone spokespeople tell us that this is likely to occur next week. It is also probable that Yellowstone will conduct one of the two media tours they promised. Buffalo Field Campaign will be in attendance. It is going to be extremely difficult for us to see what these buffalo suffer as they are run through this gauntlet of torture, but it is critical that the public know what Yellowstone is doing — on behalf of livestock interests — to the buffalo whom they are mandated to protect. This particular media tour will allow the public, for the first time in over a decade, to witness a very brief glimpse of buffalo being “processed” inside the trap, something Yellowstone really doesn’t want the public to see. BFC’s media coordinator, Stephany Seay, and the acclaimed journalist Christopher Ketcham, represented by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, have filed a lawsuit against Yellowstone National Park in an attempt to gain full access to the trap for the public and media during the times when bison operations are being conducted.

Why does Yellowstone want to kill America’s last wild buffalo? There is no justification for it, no matter what the Park Service tells you. Wild bison are not overpopulated, and the so-called brucellosis threat is a livestock industry smokescreen being used to kill wild buffalo and prevent them from being naturally restored on the landscape.

Please continue to call and email Yellowstone National Park’s Superintendent Dan Wenk and demand that he cease catering to livestock industry intolerance, release the captured buffalo, and end plans to slaughter: dan_wenk@nps.gov / yell_superintendent@nps.gov / 307-344-2002.

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!

* VIDEO: Goodshield Calls Quarantine a Trap

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Goodshield Aguilar: Quarantine is a Trap

March 1, 2016
Buffalo Field Campaign spokesperson Goodshield Aguilar calls for more tribal voices in defending the country's last wild buffalo. A nephew of BFC co-founder and Lakota elder Rosalie Little Thunder, Goodshield speaks about the sacred nature of the buffalo, Yellowstone's ongoing capture-for-slaughter and quarantine plan, and urges more Tribal people to help the buffalo. This interview was conducted last Thursday, in the windy Gardiner Basin, overlooking Yellowstone's bison capture facility.

We also want to thank you for submitting comments on Yellowstone’s 50-year buffalo quarantine environmental assessment. The comment period ended at midnight on Monday. We hope that everyone had a chance to review BFC’s official comments, and we also wanted to share with you some really powerful comments submitted by Western Watersheds Project, one of the only other groups besides Buffalo Field Campaign who spoke out against the domestication and commercialization of America’s last wild buffalo. The next steps in the process are for Yellowstone to conduct an analysis of all the public comments, then they will prepare a decision document including responses to your comments, and, lastly, they will release their decision notice. It is unclear what the timeline is for these next steps, but we will keep you posted.

* MT 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 bfc-media@wildrockies.org for details or to submit your images.

* Last Chance! Support BFC With Buffalo Track Socks from Backdrop

ORDER BY MIDNIGHT TONIGHT! 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 by midnight tonight: https://www.bakdrop.com/campaigns/buffalofield/

* 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: 75
Buffalo Released from Capture:
Government Slaughter:
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
Unknown Hunts:
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*
2014-2015: 740
2013-2014: 653
2012-2013: 261
2011-2012: 33
2010-2011: 227
2009-2010: 7
2008-2009: 22
2007-2008: 1,631
Total Killed Since 2000: 6,055

* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration ~ Billy Angus

Letter to Yellowstone National Park

"We, The People, demand that you and your henchmen
end the senseless hazing, trapping, and senseless slaughtering
of our wild buffalo IMMEDIATELY!!

The so-called "disease" (known as brucellosis)
was brought on by man, NOT BY BUFFALO!!
And so, quit lying to the people and

Our buffalo were here first long before man even existed
and our indigenous tribes revere them very sacred!

Let me ask you this:

What gives you the right to play God?

What gives you the right to violate the
spiritual rights of our indigenous tribes?

AND what gives you the right to limit and/or suppress citizens'
First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful assembly
by keeping us "confined" to a tiny spot
with 6 inches of snow on the ground
in the cold elements, denying me and my faithful
warriors the right to march throughout the park
and raise awareness to the public that
what you are doing is wrong?

It's clear that you have something to hide!!
Not only you violated our constitutional rights
and spiritual rights of our Native American/First Nations brethren,
but also obstructed justice by covering up
the crimes you're committing!!!

What you're doing is not only crimes against Nature
and felony animal cruelty, but also a flagrant act
of treason against the American people and the nation,
and YOU and your henchmen shall be held criminally accountable!!

It seems like the U.S. Constitution doesn't apply to you...
And adding insult to injury, violating "your own" law by harassing
our buffalo (and other wildlife) and it is YOU and your henchmen
who are in violation of the law and it is YOU and all your redneck
Bundy wannabe buddies who should be severely punished!!

Just because that you wear a badge does not give you
the right to be above the law!!

Yellowstone National Park and its sacred
wonders of Nature (including wolves and buffalo)
belong to the vast majority of the American public,
NOT to a mere handful of brainless government bureaucrats and
drunken redneck ranchers from the DOL
(along their ruthless wild-west mentality)!!

WE, THE PEOPLE, are disgusted at what you
are doing to our wild buffalo!!

And WE, THE PEOPLE are gonna continue speaking
out against your unlawful activity until the senseless
persecution of our wild buffalo is stopped or until
this old Earth is blown to Kingdom Come,
whichever comes first!!

Not only the whole world is watching,

Let this be known that the pain you've
inflicted upon Great Spirit's creations,
IS THE PAIN YOU (and your henchmen)

For what I say unto to you is a prophecy and a curse!!

You can either change your ways and let our buffalo roam free
or face the ultimate consequences when the Creator implements
His final Judgment!!

Just remember that if our wildlife becomes extinct,
so shall mankind suffer the same fate!!"

~ Billy "The WiZaRd” Angus, wildlife advocate from Hamilton, Montana

Please keep sending quotes, poems and other words of buffalo wisdom. You'll see them here!

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Media & Outreach
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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