* TAKE ACTION! Montana Seeks Public Comments on Wild Buffalo
This new BFC logo by Timm Kurtz says it all! Let them roam! Click image for larger view.
The state of Montana is accepting public comments on their Draft Joint Environmental Assessment Adaptive Management Adjustments to the Interagency Bison Management Plan. Sound like a bureaucratic mouthful? It is a proposal to intensify livestock-model management of the last continuously wild population of American buffalo, within the Gardiner Basin, north of Yellowstone National Park. Montana is touting their plan as a step towards more tolerance and habitat for wild buffalo in Montana, however, BFC's initial review of the draft Environmental Assessment reveals that mismanagement techniques - including capture, confinement, dangerous vaccination, artificial feeding, test-and-slaughter, quarantine, scientific research, and increased hunting - would be profoundly escalated.
Learn more and please TAKE ACTION NOW! Comments are due by January 13, 2012.
* Update from the Field
Photo by Mark Genito. Click photo for larger view.
Over the first week of the Winter Holidays, four buffalo were killed in two separate incidents. One bull was killed by a state hunter and three cow buffalo were killed by Confederated Salish-Kootenai tribal members hunting under treaty right. It is unclear if the three cows had calves. If so, we hope that the rest of the family group will care for them. In this particular incident BFC patrols documented the hunters using snowmobiles to reach the buffalo in areas of Gallatin National Forest that are closed to the machines in order to protect sensitive riparian habitat. These protected areas have helped to save numerous buffalo in recent years. Although BFC reported the violation we are unsure what actions the game wardens will take.
Before the hunters arrived last week a few family groups of wild buffalo were browsing just on the western edge of Yellowstone National Park. Naturally, they migrated west seeking winter range on Gallatin National Forest and in just a couple of days word got out that buffalo had crossed the line. Hunters soon arrived and four buffalo were killed. The remainder of the group vacated Montana and are, for now, safe. BFC volunteers have been seeing this behavior more and more; groups of buffalo migrate into areas where hunting is allowed, one or more are taken by hunters, and the rest of the group moves away from harm. While buffalo embody the gift of abundance, they are nobody's fools.
The cards are heavily stacked against wild buffalo with all the management schemes that the state and federal government have set up against them. It is no small task that BFC undertakes in advocating for their right to roam and lasting protection, but, with your continued support we will press on as long as it takes.
* NEW! Endangered Buffalo Fact of the Week
A winter glance. Photo by Larry Broder. Click photo for larger image.
FACT: The bison's historic range spanned 1/3 of North America's land mass, more than two billion acres, and the wildlife species evolved in over twenty distinct ecosystems. Scientists estimate that today the American bison occupies less than 1% of their historic range. (Sanderson; Geist)
Published paper can be downloaded and reviewed from here.
Have a fact you'd like to share with us? Email it to us.
* Other Actions to Take for Wild Buffalo
1. Stop Federal Livestock Overseer from Harming Wild Buffalo!
2. Urge Congress to Pass Public Lands Grazing Bill!
3. Make a year-end donation to keep BFC strong and effective in the field and at every level of the policy arena. Donations are tax-deductible and go directly to BFC's critical program work.
4. Volunteer with BFC! Field volunteers are needed now through June. BFC provides room, board, gear and training. Please consider joining us on the front lines to work in defense of America's last wild buffalo! Learn more and apply here and then contact our volunteer coordinators.
Thank you so much for taking these important actions! Please spread the word by passing these alerts on through all your networks of friends and colleagues!
* Wildlife Database Software Used by BFC Available to You!
For the past eleven years BFC volunteers have been recording sightings of buffalo and other sensitive, vulnerable, or significant wildlife as part of our daily field patrols. In that time BFC patrols have recorded close to 8,000 sightings of buffalo, 1,200 sightings of bald eagles, 500 sightings of moose, and hundreds of sightings of rare birds. BFC volunteers have logged over 640 days when bison have been present on Horse Butte peninsula in the last ten years. There can be no doubt that Horse Butte is buffalo habitat. All of this data is now available online for viewing here. The data has yet to undergo a comprehensive analysis and could make a excellent project for a biology or ecology student.
For the last five years BFC has been using specially developed database software for recording and analyzing wildlife sightings. That software, called Wildlife-Database is now available for anyone to use. If you would like to use the software for your own project it is available for free here.
BFC Volunteer and Creator of Wildlife-Database Software
* Start 2012 with a Wild Bison Calendar!
BFC's Wild Bison 2012 calendars make terrific gifts, so if you're still looking for that perfect something for someone, please consider a Wild Bison 2012 Calendar, the gift that celebrates wild buffalo every single day of the year!
Order Your Wild Bison 2012 Calendars Now!
* BFC Wish List 2012
There are many ways for you to make a difference for wild buffalo. BFC's Wish List is one way to visualize the breadth of Buffalo Field Campaign's reach and capacity to work in defense of wild buffalo year-round. It's also a great way to match your interests with our day-to-day needs, prayers and wishes. Thank you so very much for all of the donations you have been sending us!
BFC Wish List 2012
* By the Numbers
AMERICAN BUFFALO ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S. The last wild population is currently estimated at fewer than 3,700 individual buffalo. Wild bison are currently ecologically extinct throughout their native range in North America.
2011-2012 Total Buffalo Killed: 8
2011-2012 Government Capture:
2011-2012 Government Slaughter:
2011-2012 Held for Government Experiment:
2011-2012 Died In Government Trap:
2011-2012 Miscarriage in Government Trap:
2011-2012 State & Treaty Hunts: 8
2011-2012 Shot by Agents:
2011-2012 Killed by Angry Residents:
2011-2012 Highway Mortality:
2010-2011 Total: 227
2009-2010 Total: 7
2008-2009 Total: 22
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
* Total Since 2000: 3,980*
*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine/experiments, hunts, highway mortality
* Last Words ~ Jeffrey St. Clair
"Since 1985, the federal government, working in concert with Montana cattle barons, has killed more than 6,800 bison that have migrated out of Yellowstone National Park. The slaughter is rationalized on the specious grounds of preventing the spread of brucellosis from bison to local cows. The Buffalo Field Campaign has exposed this dreadful bloodbath as a political hoax. Their volunteers courageously place themselves between the bison and their would-be killers. They spend all day, from sunrise until sunset, watching and documenting actions taken against the buffalo. They run patrols from cars, skis and snowshoes to protect buffalo outside the park. Their tactics range from video documentation to nonviolent civil disobedience."
~ Jeffrey St. Clair, from his recent article "Ten Small Green Groups that Make a Big Difference," appearing in CounterPunch. Read the full article here. Thank you so much Jeffrey!!
Do you have submissions for Last Words? Send them to bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org. Thank you for all the poems, songs, quotes and stories you have been sending! Keep them coming!