My name is Stephan (Teff) Fleck. I was born and raised in Germany, moved to the U.S. in 1998. I am a Physicist and Process Engineer by training, however now I work as the CEO of an international manufacturing cooperation. Recently we moved our U.S. head office to Bozeman, MT.
The first few years in the U.S. I was living in northern Indiana where I got to meet Chief Dale (Strong Bull) Hyatt. Chief was of Lakota decent and he taught me the traditional way of life of his ancestors and he accepted me into his family. Getting to know this most admirable culture and the traditional way of life of the Lakota people changed my life. I now see the world through different eyes, and it transformed me into a person who tries to walk a path that is guided by the values and virtues that Chief taught me.
One day he said to me “you might want to look into the Buffalo issue in Yellowstone. As you know, the Buffalo are sacred to us…”. That was all he said. A few months later I packed my car and drove from Indiana to West Yellowstone to spend time with the BFC as a volunteer. Here I learned more about the Buffalo, and how to support them. I returned quite a few times over the years as a volunteer. During these times I learned how important it is to have the BFC in the area as a voice for the Buffalo. I also learned that the campaign is run by very special, great people, who put forward an incredible amount of dedication and selflessness every day to support the last wild Buffalo of the Nation.
During one of the winter patrols I had one of my most special, spiritual moments of my life. I connected with a Buffalo bull at “Houdini’s Meadow” south of Horse Butte, West Yellowstone. Because of that, and in order to have a stronger voice in the Buffalo case, I decided to move to Horse Butte to become a local resident.
It is a great honor to support the BFC, and ultimately the Buffalo, as a member of the advisory board. I hope that the skills and experience I bring to the table will help the BFC to reach as many people as possible, so they can learn about the atrocity that is done to the last wild and sacred Buffalo, and ultimately to us as people. I look forward to putting all my efforts towards supporting the design of a solution, or intermediate steps to one, with all the parties involved, in order to have as many wild Buffalo of the Yellowstone herd as possible roam the greater Yellowstone ecosystem and beyond.