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           Weekly Update from the Field March 31, 2016
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Bison on Road! Help Make Migration Safe!‏
* Update from the Field: Bison on Road! Help BFC Purchase New Road Signs
* VIDEO: Buffalo Signs ~ Help Make Migration Safe!
* NEW! Take Action for Wildlife Safe Passage
* More Actions to Take: Help BFC Protect Wild Buffalo
* Wanted: Photos & Artwork for 2017 Wild Bison of Yellowstone Country
* LAST CHANCE! Purchase a Deeply Discounted 2016 Calendar
* By the Numbers
* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration ~ Safe Passage


* Update from the Field: Bison on Road! Help BFC Purchase New Road Signs

Pregnant buffalo attempt to cross the highway in the Madison River migration corridor. Photo by Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign. Click photo for larger image.

The buffalo’s spring migration is underway west of Yellowstone’s boundary. Hundreds of matriarch-led buffalo families are making their way toward Horse Butte, the favored calving grounds of the central herd. In order to reach these birthing areas they must first negotiate the dangerous US Highway 191/287, which cuts right through their migration corridor between Yellowstone National Park and Horse Butte. This time of year is very difficult for the buffalo. Their fat stores, which aided them through the long, harsh winter, have been depleted. Most of the adult females are heavy with calves, with yearlings at their sides, still requiring mother’s milk — these buffalo moms are having to survive for more than themselves. This time between deep winter and late spring is an enormous challenge; numerous buffalo will not make it. South-facing places and banks along rivers and creeks are the only places where buffalo can find any food. A thick layer of ice sits beneath the hard-packed snow, which still covers most of the ground, making it nearly impossible for buffalo to crater through to find life-giving grass. During this time of year, one of the only other places they are able to find food is along the receding snowbanks of the plowed highway.

Please watch this informative BFC video and then consider making a donation to help us purchase new road signs. Thank you!

One of the most direct ways we are able to save buffalo lives is by warning motorists along US Highway 191/287 to the presence of buffalo by placing our hot pink warning signs when buffalo are on or near the highway. Because we put the signs up only when buffalo are actually present, people pay attention when they see them. It is a critical community service we perform to help buffalo make it safely across the road and to also prevent motorists from being injured. We even have the support of law enforcement! The signs we use have been with us since 2007, when many of you generously answered our call to purchase them. After nearly ten years of intense use, these signs are beginning to fall apart. Without them, we cannot be nearly as safe or effective. We are appealing to you today to help us purchase a few new signs so we may continue to provide this service. These signs are expensive (approximately $500 each) yet they are also priceless in the benefits they provide. Please consider making a secure online donation and specify “highway signs” in the comments section.

Safe passage saves lives!

BFC patrols have been extremely busy from dawn into the dark hours of night trying to help both buffalo and motorists avoid collisions. We have been hugely successful, yet there are sometimes people who choose not to heed the warnings, especially at night when buffalo are hard to see. In the past two weeks, five buffalo have been struck and killed. For the volunteers who are on those shifts, it is extremely difficult, because it’s very easy for us to blame ourselves. While BFC’s road signs make a huge and positive impact, more needs to be done. One of the most important things that can help mitigate buffalo-vehicle collisions is the implementation of safe passage infrastructure, which involves constructing bridges or underpasses that buffalo and other wildlife, like wolves, grizzly bears, moose, elk and others, can use to cross the dangerous road without ever having to step foot on the asphalt. Examples of the enormous success safe passage has for wildlife are growing in the U.S., Canada, and other countries around the world (Youtube). What better place for wildlife safe passage than on the edge of Yellowstone National Park? Please join us in urging the state of Montana to provide wildlife safe passage in this key migration corridor.

We were thrilled to spend some quality time with these magnificent bull buffalo near Eagle Creek. Photo by Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign. Click photo for larger image.

In the Gardiner Basin, along Yellowstone’s northern boundary, buffalo are beginning to head south, deeper into the park and away from the danger of Yellowstone’s capture facility. The peril is not over until close of business today, when Yellowstone will end bison capture operations for the remainder of the year. Fifty-seven orphaned buffalo calves remain in the trap, their fate — death or life in prison — has yet to be determined by the Park Service. Yellowstone National Park’s decision-makers are failing wild buffalo by catering to the whims and threats of Montana’s livestock industry. Their actions against the world’s most important bison population are unforgivable and completely unnecessary. Their excuses are wearing thin, and, thanks to your incredible dedication, we are getting closer to ending this war against wild buffalo.

Wild is the Way ~ Roam Free!
~ Stephany

* VIDEO: Buffalo Road Signs ~ Help Make Migration Safe!

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Buffalo Field Campaign 4/23/15

Buffalo Signs
Creating new Buffalo-safe habitat with our "Buffalo Safe Zone" signs. Also saving Buffalo and people on the highways with our "Buffalo on Road" signs. Buffalo Field Campaign does much more than just document harassment.

One of the most direct ways we are able to save buffalo lives is by our presence along US Highway 191/287, using our hot pink warning signs to warn motorists of buffalo on or near the highway. Because our signs only go up when buffalo are actually present, people pay attention when they see them. It is a critical community service that we carry out to help buffalo make it safely across the road and to also prevent motorists from getting hurt. We even have support from law enforcement! The signs we use have been with us since 2007, when many of you generously answered our call to purchase them. After nearly ten years of intense use, these signs are beginning to fall apart. Without them we cannot be nearly as safe or effective on the highways. We are appealing to you today to help us purchase a few new signs so we may continue to provide this service. These signs are expensive (approximately $500 each) yet they are also priceless in the benefit they provide. Please consider making a secure online donation and specify “highway signs” in the comments.

*NEW! Take Action for Wildlife Safe Passage!

One of the most important things that can help mitigate buffalo-vehicle collisions is the implementation of safe passage infrastructure, which involves constructing bridges or underpasses that buffalo and other wildlife can use to cross the dangerous road without ever having to step foot on the asphalt. Examples of the enormous success safe passage has for wildlife are growing in the U.S., Canada, and other countries around the world. What better place for wildlife safe passage than on the edge of Yellowstone National Park? Please join us in urging the state of Montana to provide wildlife safe passage in this key migration corridor. TAKE ACTION NOW!

* More Actions to Take! 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

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 4,300 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: 586
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: 9
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: 6,221

* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration ~ Safe Passage for Wildlife

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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