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           Weekly Update from the Field March 24, 2016
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Buffalo Escape Capture! Spring Migration Begins‏
* VIDEO: 102 Buffalo Escape Capture!
* NEW TAKE ACTION! Help BFC Protect Wild Buffalo
* WANTED! Photos & Artwork for 2017 Wild Bison of Yellowstone Country
* LAST CHANCE! Purchase a Deeply Discounted 2016 Calendar and Contribute to 2017!
* By the Numbers
* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration ~ BFC’s Mike Mease


* VIDEO: Not This Time, Park Service: 102 Buffalo Escape Capture

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Buffalo Escape Capture

March 23, 2016
On March 10 and 11, 2016, just days after sending 100 wild Yellowstone bison to slaughter, the National Park Service attempted to capture 102 more bison. The bison had other ideas and eluded the rangers.

 

It gives us great pleasure to share some incredibly positive news with you. Two days after the heartbreaking media tour (video) of Yellowstone’s Stephens Creek capture facility, where one hundred and fifty wild buffalo were “processed” and shipped to slaughter or otherwise condemned, the bulk of the trap was empty and Yellowstone was hungry to capture more bison. Haunted by what we had witnessed there, our hearts sank as large groups of buffalo approached the trap. As expected, Yellowstone park wranglers — those who work at the trap — attempted to capture these buffalo families. First they went after a group of seventy-two buffalo, then another group of thirty. But in a beautiful twist of fate, the buffalo sensed the danger and were determined to save themselves from slaughter. Watch this video to see what happens.

Buffalo head south, away from Yellowstone's dangerous trap. Photo by Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign. Click photo for larger image.

As of this writing, there have been no other captures at Stephens Creek. Fifty-seven orphaned calves and yearlings remain captive, with Yellowstone telling us they don’t know how long they will be held or what their fate will be. There are currently no other buffalo near the trap, though the Park Service intends to keep it open through the end of March. Thankfully, the majority of buffalo have left the Gardiner Basin.

BFC patrols are busy day and night, in every kind of weather, helping buffalo and motorists stay safe on the highway as spring migration brings the buffalo to their traditional calving grounds. Photo by Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign. Click photo for larger image.

West of Yellowstone, in the Hebgen Basin, spring migration is beginning. BFC patrols have been extremely busy from early in the morning through late at night, warning traffic of buffalo along the highways. They are attempting to migrate to their favored, traditional calving grounds on Horse Butte, but there is still a lot of snow to negotiate. We’ve had some very warm days and extremely cold nights, so the snow is like concrete and difficult for the buffalo to navigate or forage through. Their best chances for food are along the south-facing slopes and the river and creek beds, where grass is slowly starting to become exposed. It’s a very difficult time for the buffalo and all wildlife, having survived one of the harshest winters in the lower-48 states and having all their fat stores used up and with the Earth providing very little nutrition as of yet. But buffalo are strong survivors and they will come, bringing the next generation. Wild buffalo should be safe on Horse Butte, thanks to Governor Steve Bullock’s decision to grant some year-round habitat. But, we will not know for sure until the decision is accepted or not at the next Interagency Bison Management Plan meeting on April 6, in West Yellowstone and until we see how the Department of Livestock interprets the decision.

Food choices in the early spring are slim, but this pregnant mama makes due. Photo by Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign. Click photo for larger image.

The buffalo and BFC need you right now. Many of the volunteers who have been with us all winter will be leaving soon due to spring commitments. We are losing a fair number of people just as our busy season begins. If you have the time and desire, please consider volunteering with us. BFC provides room, board, gear, and training to our volunteers — all you need to do is get here. Please check out our volunteer page to learn more. We hope to see you on the front lines in the land of the last wild buffalo!

Wild is the Way ~ Roam Free!
~ Stephany

* NEW 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 manipulated 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 the state, 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. Please take the following actions to help us help wild buffalo! Thank you!

1. NEW! Urge the Custer-Gallatin National Forest to to manage habitat for wild buffalo in its Forest Plan revision. The Custer-Gallatin National Forest is revising its forest plan to guide how the agency makes decisions affecting the forest. The old plan has been in effect for 29 years and makes no mention of buffalo. Under the outdated plan, the Gallatin National Forest permitted the Montana Department of Livestock to set up traps on the forest to capture hundreds of buffalo that were shipped to slaughter. It’s time for decision makers to serve the needs of this iconic native species that has naturally returned to lands that are their birthright.

2. 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 but 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.

3. 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."

4. 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

Click here to 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 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 with 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! Purchase a Deeply Discounted 2016 Calendar and Contribute to 2017!

2016 Wild Bison Calendars On Sale

Already nearly a quarter of the way through 2016, we still have some calendars left. In order to share the buffalove and get them into your hands, we are offering all remaining calendars at just $2.20 each! Please order yours today!

2017 Calendar Submissions Sought

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 contributions have made this an amazing buffalo exploration featuring 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.

* By the Numbers

The last wild, migratory buffalo populations are currently estimated at fewer than 4,400 individual animals, living in and around Yellowstone National Park. Wild, migratory bison are ecologically extinct throughout their native range in North America.

2015-2016
Total Buffalo Killed: 582
Government Capture: 150
Held for Quarantine or Slaughter: 50
Buffalo Released from Capture:
Government Slaughter:
Tribal - ITBC & CSKT Slaughter: 100
Died in Government Trap:
Died in Government Research Facility**:
Miscarriage in Government Trap:
State Hunt: 28
State “Damage" Hunts:
Treaty Hunts: 349
Unknown Hunts:
Wounded by Hunters & Shot by FWP/NPS or Died in Park: 50
Poached in Yellowstone:
Sent to Quarantine:
Sent to APHIS Research Facility:
Shot by Agents:
Shot by Landowner:
Shot by Idaho:
Highway Mortality: 5
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: 6,217

* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration ~ Mike Mease

"Save the Buffalo," is a great radio interview with BFC co-founder Mike Mease, aired on CBS Boston's NightSide with Dan Rea.

LISTEN

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
406-646-0070
bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org
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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