* BFC on TV! BFC's Mike Mease Appears on CNN Headline News Dec. 23, 7pm EST
TUNE IN YOUR TV to HEADLINE NEWS on Thursday, December 23 at 7pm EST. Buffalo Field Campaign's co-founder Mike Mease will appear on "ISSUES With Jane Velez-Mitchell" to talk about America's last wild buffalo and BFC's work to protect them. "ISSUES with Jane Valez-Mitchell" is an hour-long program covering many important topics and BFC could appear at any time during the show, so please stay tuned for the duration! Tune in to HEADLINE NEWS on December 23 at 7pm EST and click here to connect with the show. Have a Headline News party/gathering, or if you're planning to be at a public place with a TV, encourage the proprietor to tune in to Headline News at 7pm EST on Thursday, December 23.
* Update from the Field
This grazing gentle giant could become victim of hunt or haze. BFC file photo by Stephany.
Rifle shots crack the crisp cold winter air. The sharp sounds echo the mournful deaths of twelve more wild buffalo. Twenty-two wild buffalo have now been killed in the hunt.
Every day volunteers venture out into the frozen fields and mountains from sunup to sundown, monitoring the buffalo's migration, keeping watchful eyes on those in danger. BFC is currently running full-time camps in both West Yellowstone and Gardiner, we have two ongoing lawsuits to protect the bison, and we are working with members of Congress to end the senseless harassment and slaughter of America's only continuously wild bison population. These efforts are very costly, and we can not succeed without your help. Please donate today and keep us strong in the field and on all levels of the policy front.
It is hard to bear witness to the hunt, more difficult to gather the necessary courage and rise above our pain as we convey the trouble the buffalo are in and attempt to build alliances with those who are hunting them. It is a bittersweet and heart-heavy journey, to at once celebrate the migration of this ancient animal we are so awestruck by and blessed to live with, yet fearful for them in their coming, knowing that a few short steps in a certain direction over imaginary lines will probably lead to their eminent harassment or demise.
This family group of buffalo was punished by Yellowstone National Park for following their natural migratory instincts. With the assistance of the MT Dept. of Livestock, government wranglers forced this family group off of their chosen ground back into the political confines of Yellowstone National Park. Hazing operations force buffalo to use up stored energy reserves that would otherwise enable them to more successfully survive the region's long, harsh winters. Hazing causes buffalo to slowly starve. BFC file photo by Stephany.
In the Gardiner Basin, along Yellowstone's northern boundary, wild buffalo have again been forced off of their winter range by Yellowstone National Park and the Montana Department of Livestock. Wild buffalo are not "park" animals belonging to or in Yellowstone, they belong to themselves and to the land that they roam.
This solitary bull was harming no one, grazing along the willowy banks of the Yellowstone River, land his ancestors have roamed for tens of thousands of years. But now this land is owned by the Church Universal & Triumphant who have no tolerance for wild buffalo. In an awesome display of resistance, this bull stood his ground against the agents for quite some time. Refusing to move, the agents resorted to driving a Park Service truck towards him, honking and blaring sirens. When this bull finally decided to bolt, he gave the four horsemen a great challenge. BFC file photo by Stephany.
Foolishly, millions of our tax dollars are wasted every year in efforts to appease livestock interests and prevent wild buffalo from accessing available habitat and restoring themselves to their native homelands. Buffalo are an integral part of the landscape; their restoration is needed to heal the land. The habitat is there, the buffalo only need to be able to access it. Your voice can help clear the way: please contact your Members of Congress and also President Obama on behalf of America's last wild buffalo.
* Wild Bison 2011 Calendars Invoke Joy, Inspiration, Hope
Just a few short weeks before it's time to put your Wild Bison 2011 Calendar up on the wall!
One of the things the bison have taught me is the importance of tears....... over 25 years I had suppressed my tears till it reached the breaking point and burst forth near the end of one of our long, hard winters. I'll guess that many of you have experienced this huge relief, as the water literally burst from my eyes, smacking the ground at my feet.
I returned home today from a long work week and a long sleepless night on the train. As I sat down with a grilled cheese sandwich, I picked up and read front to back the Wild Bison Calendar for the first time. When I hit the month of June, I read the words first, and as I looked up to the photo, broke into spontaneous and uncontrollable tears. Only this time, they were tears of JOY. I am so grateful to know this feeling now, too.
You truly do incredible work, I am blessed and honored to have you and many others who have helped along the way in my heart.
~Anonymous BFC family member
Order Wild Bison 2011 calendars for yourself, friends and family!
* Last Words
"You know, we had a pact with the buffalo. Our legends talk about the buffalo helping us to come out of the Earth, which was under the ground, and it was a safe place for us. We were very afraid of the surface world. And the buffalo was already there. When the buffalo observed us coming and going, you know, going back at night, coming up for a short time, the buffalo said: 'I will give you food, I will give you clothing so you can be warm, I will give you my flesh to eat and to survive, and when I am in need, then you must help me, too.'"
~ Rosalie Little Thunder, Sicangu Lakota elder, BFC co-founder.
Taken from an interview appearing in Buffalo Nation, a documenting produced by Martha Hawley, appearing on Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Many thanks to Martha Hawley sharing this.
Do you have submissions for Last Words? Send them to bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org. Thank you all for the poems, songs and stories you have been sending; you'll see them here!
* By the Numbers
AMERICAN BUFFALO ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2010-2011 Total: 22
2010-2011 Government Slaughter: 0
2010-2011 State & Treaty Hunts: 22
2010-2011 Quarantine: 0
2010-2011 Shot by Agents: 0
2010-2011 Highway Mortality: 0
2009-2010 Total: 7
2008-2009 Total: 22
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
Total Since 2000: 3,731*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts, highway mortality