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           Weekly Update from the Field April 14, 2016
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Update from the Field: First Baby Buffalo Arrives on Horse Butte!
* Update from the Field: First Baby Buffalo Arrives on Horse Butte!
* VIDEO: Interview with Nikos Pastos of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes.
* Spend Summer in Yellowstone with Wild Buffalo: Summer Outreach Positions Available!
* TAKE ACTION: Help BFC Protect Wild Buffalo
* Donations Made in Memory & Honor of Wild Bison Advocates
* By the Numbers
* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration ~ Buffalo or Bison?

* Update from the Field: First Baby Buffalo Arrives on Horse Butte!

Photo by Deleana Baker, Buffalo Field Campaign. Click photo for larger image.

BFC patrols spotted the first baby buffalo of the season in the Hebgen Basin on Wednesday morning. The little one is doing well, as is mom. They are both safe from government harassment as they are on their newly granted year-round Horse Butte habitat!

Thank you! Buffalo Field Campaign photo. Click photo for larger image.

Our new highway signs have arrived! Thank you so much for making it possible for us to get them! They are huge, heavy-duty, reflective orange, and carry the most imminent message: "Buffalo on Road." Wednesday morning’s patrols were the first to use them in the field. Our well-worn hot pink signs will now be used mostly for night patrols, as transportation officials have declared the hot pink color for emergencies only, and wild bison on a high-speed highway in the dark of night most certainly qualifies. Unfortunately, a disgruntled local has vandalized two of these signs, but we are hopeful we can fix and continue to use them.

Our rove patrols continue to be extremely busy along US Hwy 191/287, sometimes twenty-four hours a day, helping to warn traffic. We are pleased to report that since our last Update, no vehicle collisions with buffalo have occurred. Warm days and rain have helped melt a lot of the snow, so buffalo are able to access much more grass than they were just a week ago. Close to two hundred buffalo are on or making their way towards Horse Butte, with many still heading this way, still needing safe passage infrastructure from Montana.

Two of the pregnant buffalo who visited us this week, being approached by Vitani, one of our family dogs, who we had to coax away from the buffalo with an egg roll. She eagerly complied. Photo by Don Spates, Buffalo Field Campaign. Click for larger image.

The other day we were gifted with the presence of four pregnant buffalo right in our yard. Before last week, these buffalo would have been in what the Interagency Bison Management Plan considered “zone 3,” or zero tolerance land. The Montana Department of Livestock has never dared to haze buffalo off of our place, but now the buffalo are allowed to be here. It’s a new awakening every day to see buffalo in places where once they would be targeted with cruel hazing, knowing that they should now be alright in these areas. Our main area of concern is along the Madison Arm Road, which leads to the South Fork of the Madison River and Denny Creek. This land has now been completely taken away from the buffalo, yet is important habitat that they greatly favor. There’s still a lot of snow in this area, so buffalo are not accessing it yet, but when they do we know the hazers will come to chase them away. The south side of the Madison is one more small but significant piece of ground that we must gain for wild buffalo.

Orphaned by Yellowstone's slaughter and in confinement for over a month, the fifty-seven young buffalo in Yellowstone's trap have lost their families and freedom forever. Buffalo Field Campaign photo. Click for larger image.

Meanwhile, in Gardiner, all but two mature bulls have left the Basin, moving onto their calving grounds in Yellowstone’s interior. With the Governor’s decision now in place, mature bull buffalo also have year-round access in the Gardiner Basin. There again, we have much work to do, in gaining the same rights for the matriarch-led family groups. And there are still 57 orphaned (by slaughter) calves and yearlings inside Yellowstone’s Stephens Creek trap, but no word yet as to what their fate will be. For these buffalo it is either slaughter or quarantine — though one thing is certain: they will never again be wild and free, never roam the lands where they were born, never see their families again. We pray for these baby buffalo every day as we continue our work to fight livestock models of bison management. We will forever defend wild, migratory buffalo and their right to freely roam their ancestral lands.

Wild is the Way ~ Roam Free!
~ Stephany

* VIDEO: Interview with Nikos Pastos of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes

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Interview with Nikos Pastos of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes

April 10, 2016
Nikos Pastos of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes discusses wild buffalo, treaty rights, and his opposition to Yellowstone's controversial quarantine plan. He calls quarantine "a manipulation of our treaty rights."


* Spend Summer in Yellowstone with Wild Buffalo: Summer Outreach Positions Available!

Buffalo Field Campaign is seeking a full time coordinator and volunteers for our summer outreach program. Volunteers get to spend five days a week camping in beautiful Yellowstone National Park. You'll spend your days enjoying all that the landscape has to offer, from relaxing in the Boiling River, to watching a mama black bear with her cubs. You'll have the amazing opportunity of seeing buffalo during the rut while helping to do outreach on their behalf. Educating park visitors on the plight of America's last wild bison is one of the most important parts of what we do here at Buffalo Field Campaign. While tabling you'll meet people from all over the world and bring the buffalo's story to them. During the five days in the Park, volunteers will share a tent at various camp grounds in and around Yellowstone. When volunteers are not tabling, adventuring in the park is one of the many benefits of summers in Yellowstone, with plenty of places to hike, swim, and enjoy nature. There are also two days a week when volunteers will be back at our main cabin to relax.

In addition to everything mentioned, the summer coordinator will be responsible for answering volunteer e-mails, screening potential volunteers, obtaining all necessary paperwork and permits for operating the BFC table, and getting to know new volunteers, making them feel welcome, and educating them on the issue. Please contact Mackenzie at summervolunteer@buffalofieldcampaign.org or call her at 406-646-0070.

* TAKE ACTION! Endless Pressure, Endlessly Applied

1. NEW! 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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."

5.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.


* Donations Made in Memory and in Honor of Wild Bison Advocates

Lorraine Phalen in honor of Anita Chittenden

Frederica Acora in honor of Kai Van Zandt

Rebecca Bickel in memory of Daniel H Beard

Gene Gantt in memory of Barbara Abrams

Delyth Kitch in memory of Walter Jones

Barbara Van Duren in memory of John Hagerman

Diana Kaye in memory of Lucy Neff

Karin Lease in memory of Limpy the Druid

Jenna Chikasuye in honor of All our animal friends of the Earth, and the Earth protectors and protectresses and in memory of Rosie

Marcia Mueller in memory of all the bison whose lives have been taken

Jean Hirsch in memory of Leonard E. Klue

Beverly Foster in memory of The Sixty Million who died at our hands

Medora Woods in memory of Rosalie Little Thunder

* 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.

Total Buffalo Killed: 587
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: 10
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: 6,222

* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration ~ Buffalo or Bison?

“I prefer the sound of the word “buffalo” and is more familiar usage in the American vernacular. I like the memories and dreams it stirs, its power to bring to life the days when millions roamed our prairies. I like the way the word rumbles from deep in the chest and rises from within, migrating through the body with a resonance like the bass beat of hooves on hard earth.”

~ Daniel Brister, In the Presence of Buffalo

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


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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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