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Volunteering at Camp
Mass action requires a mass of people!
Come defend the buffalo by joining us on the front lines.
We have had over 2400 volunteers from across the country and
around the world join us on the frontlines
to help save the Yellowstone buffalo.

The Buffalo Field Campaign is the only group living and working
in the Yellowstone Ecosystem full time. We are on patrol all day, everyday,
when buffalo are out of the park and in danger.
BFC patrols defend the buffalo on their critical,
native Montana habitat and document every move made against them.

Please consider becoming a BFC volunteer. The future of America's
last free-roaming herd depends on you!

Download our Volunteer Application
(Word Document, 36kb)


The Buffalo Field Campaign has seasonal openings for field volunteers. We have opportunities for every season, but are in great need of folks during the Winter when the buffalo migrate to lower elevation in search of forage, and especially the Spring months when the mothers venture to their traditional calving grounds outside the Park boundaries. Any buffalo within Montana's borders is in danger of being shot on sight, hazed, or captured and shipped to the slaughterhouse.

All volunteers are provided room, board, gear, and training. We respect vegan and vegetarian diets. We are located in a warm log cabin by beautiful Hebgen Lake, just a few miles outside of West Yellowstone, Montana.

Please contact us before you make your plans to volunteer. (Directions to Camp- West Yellowstone) When you arrive, you will be greeted by our volunteer coordinator who will help get you settled in. There will be a orientation and training period to familiarize you with camp and allow us to assess your abilities and where your skills can be used the most effectively to help save the buffalo. There are many jobs to choose from... patrols, cabin projects, educational projects, we have a long list. Patrols are either done from cars or on skis or showshoes. If you do not know how to ski or snowshoe, do not fret, we will teach you.

If you are flying or taking a bus into Bozeman and will need a ride to camp it is best to arrive on a Wednesday when we do our weekly town runs.

Please read our Volunteer Agreement.

Please read our Anti-Oppression and Conflict Resolution Agreement (Word Document)

Buffalo Field Campaign is dedicated to protecting Yellowstone’s bison 365 days a year. Each season brings its own unique weather, beauty and needs for BFC's base of operations near Hebgen Lake just outside West Yellowstone, Montana.

BFC is made possible by people like you. If you want to help create a legacy where the last wild buffalo roam free, please consider volunteering your time and energy with us.

Here’s a seasonal overview of camp opportunities and projects you can join us for:

FALL: Fall sees the end of the rut - the buffalo mating season! It is also when we prepare camp for the cold winter months just around the corner. Join us for Woodcut Weekend during the first weekend of October, when volunteers turn out to gather and cut a winter’s supply of firewood. Many thanks to past, present, and future volunteers for helping to keep us warm through the long cold season!

WINTER: Buffalo, led by the bulls, migrate to winter range in lower elevations surrounding Yellowstone National Park. Winter in Yellowstone can be harsh but is always extremely rewarding, and it’s a great time to get oriented with our daily patrols. Winter field patrols run sunup to sundown, November through February.

SPRING: Female buffalo journey together to their traditional Spring calving grounds during this budding time of year. Hundreds of buffalo leave the park to follow in their ancestors' footsteps, gracing the Madison River on their way to the Horse Butte Peninsula. Unfortunately, Spring’s birthing migration is marred by the DOL’s repeated hazing of pregnant and birthing buffalo. Sometimes newborn buffalo calves die as a result of being hazed by the DOL. Spring is a demanding time for the buffalo and BFC volunteers. The days are long, buffalo are everywhere in need of help and witnesses. Volunteers are *badly* needed at this time of year - please make every effort to join us if you can - and bring your friends! Spring patrols run from March to early June.

SUMMER: Buffalo begin migrating back to their summer ranges within the Park’s interior. While the buffalo are relatively safe inside the Park, BFC begins its extensive outreach and education campaign. BFC has limited opportunities for Summer volunteers who spend time in Yellowstone National Park and Jackson, Wyoming, to help educate park visitors about what happens to the buffalo during the Winter and Spring months. We continue to host groups and supporters visiting the area, and also organize road shows across the country, so we can take the buffalo’s message directly to the people.

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BFC volunteers live in the cabin here in West Yellowstone and are provided with meals. The log cabin is warm and cozy with plenty of sleeping lofts and floor space if it’s really crowded. The view from any direction is incredible - to the front is Hebgen Lake and the Madison Range of the Rocky Mountains.

The cabin backs up to beautiful Gallitin National Forest, where ravens, elk and coyote abound. It is a most rewarding place to call home (and explore!).

Volunteers are encouraged to solicit food donations from their communities and to bring food to the Campaign. We provide vegetarian and vegan cooking and meat (wild game), when available, for meat eaters.

(Learn more about how we feed our volunteers by reading news article

4/24/03- Earth Day heroes: Amani Hays)

There are many activities besides going on patrol that make Buffalo Field Campaign run. We need people to help cook, clean, chop wood, work on cars, and work in the office.

There’s always something to do that will fit your skills and talent. When you’ve got down time, there are plenty of books, cards and games and endless opportunities for wildlife watching, hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
Camp-life begins about an hour before sunrise to give volunteers time to wake up, get ready, and be in position in the field with the buffalo by first light.

Morning patrol volunteers arise during the dark of the morning, enjoy a hot breakfast and then head out to stand with the buffalo until mid-day. At that point, shift-change takes place, and afternoon patrols take over the posts standing watch over the buffalo.

Afternoon patrols stay out until dark. When they get home, a hot yummy dinner awaits the entire camp.

Once everyone is gathered together, we share a meal and have our nightly meeting. These meetings are used to go over the day’s events, and set up the next day’s patrols.

A Typical BFC Day (Times vary depending on time of year and length of day)
5:00 a.m. - Wake Up for Morning Patrols
5:00-6:00 - Patrol preparation and breakfast
6:00-6:30: Head out to patrol stations
6:30-12:00 - Stand with the buffalo
11:00-11:30: Afternoon patrols get ready to take over, and head out for shift change
11:30-12:00 - Shift change takes place
12:00-Sunset - Stand with the buffalo
Nightly Meeting & Strategy

During the day while patrols are out, volunteers remaining in the cabin help with clean-up, cooking, radios, office work, buffalo advocacy & art, splitting wood, mending gear, video editing, writing, and countless other tasks that - directly or indirectly - benefit the buffalo.

Everyone shares the daily chores. It works out incredibly well and we are glad to say that BFC volunteers end up forming bonds that will never be broken. Amazing how the buffalo bring us together, and keep us together. It is for them that we are here, and it is through them that we gain our strength to carry on the crucial work in their defense.
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Volunteers are asked to go on an average of five to six patrols a week, depending on how many buffalo are out of the park, how many volunteers we have in camp, and how many patrols we have in the field.

Each patrol is equipped with a two-way radio and a video camera. If the Department of Livestock comes to kill or harrass buffalo we are in position and ready to document everything they do so the American people will see for themselves on local, national and international media what really goes on out here.

The Buffalo Field Campaign is committed to nonviolent principles and does not support or condone violence of any sort.
If you are from a warmer area (you probably are) and are not equipped to dress for one of the coldest spots in the country, don't fret, we have equipment that you can borrow while you are here. Please remember that out here when you’re on patrol COTTON KILLS - we strongly advise you to bring wool, wool, and more wool clothing. Synthetic fibers also work well. Bring cotton for when you’re hanging out in the cabin, if that’s what you’re comfortable in.

• Sleeping bag
• long underwear (No cotton!!! bring polypropylene or wool long underwear!)
• wool (socks, sweaters, pants, etc.)
• boots (water-proof)
• a day pack (for snacks, water, and gear)
• warm hat & gloves or mittens
• polar fleece or insulated ski pants (wool pants work just as well and are cheaper)
• personal first aid kit (if you can)
• flash light or headlamp
• MOST IMPORTANT: desire to save the buffalo!!

If you are low on cash and not able to bring all of these things please don't let that stop you from coming out. We have a lot of gear that is available for you to check out during your stay.
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There might be stores in your area that would like to donate to the campaign. It always helps when we have more food, winter gear, cross country skis etc.. We are a nonprofit and their donations are tax deductible.

You also might want to contact local media and let them know you are coming to Montana to save the buffalo. Encourage them to do a story on you and your time with the Buffalo Field Campaign. Contact us at bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org if you need pictures, video footage, or help in contacting your local media.

We strongly recommend that volunteers stay a minimum of two weeks. We ask this because we've found it gives us time to train you and gives you time to get acclimated.

BFC has a No New Dog Policy. Because of past problems and landlord conflicts, as well as respecting the wildlife that lives near us, we cannot let new volunteers bring their dogs. We love dogs here and have no personal problems with dogs, but we have no choice. This cabin is the only home we have and if we lose it we have no place to go. If you come here with your dog you will be asked to leave.

Directions to Camp
Maps of the Area

If you are flying or taking a bus into Bozeman and will need a ride to camp it is best to arrive on a Wednesday when we do our weekly town runs.

Warning- Do Not Come Bustable- by Scott Frasier, Sundance Leader
Buffalo Field Campaign promotes an alcohol and drug-free environment. We care about our work and feel that in order to perform in this climate and in a manner that honors the buffalo, our minds need to be clear. If you have any questions or worries, please feel free to write, call or e-mail any time.
Please join us whenever you can, for however long you can. Some folks stay a weekend, a week, a month, or even a season.

Come if you can - we can only make a difference for the buffalo with your help! Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 406-646-0070 or volunteer"at"buffalofieldcampaign.org if you can join us, have questions about volunteering, or would like more information.

If you plan on coming, just let us know ahead of time so we’re ready for your arrival.

We can’t wait to meet you. The buffalo await your help; see you soon!

Download our Volunteer Application
(Word Document, 36kb)
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It costs us about $10 per person a week to feed our volunteers.

Please consider making a donation of this amount to keep our patrols in the field!

Volunteers Needed | Camp-Cabin Life | Day in Life of Camp Volunteers | About Field Patrols
What to bring | Before you come | Travel Information | Substance Free Environment |

Buffalo Field Campaign West Yellowstone Montana
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PO Box 957 West Yellowstone, Montana 59758
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