* Update from the Field: Idaho Stops Wild Bison Dead in His Tracks
A gentle bull buffalo naps in summer grass accompanied by little birds. Photo by Barbara Magnusun and Larry Kimball, used with permission. Click photo for larger image.
This morning a bull buffalo that had migrated from the Yellowstone region into Island Park, Idaho was shot and killed. BFC patrols responded to the scene only to learn that the bull had been killed moments before we arrived by an Idaho Department of Agriculture official and the Fremont County sheriff's office. The Nature Conservancy, who owns a ranch and grazes cattle in the area where the buffalo was killed--and at least one other resident--contacted the State of Idaho to notify them of the bull's presence. According to what BFC learned, the Fremont County sheriff said they called Montana and Yellowstone National Park, neither of whom wanted the bull buffalo returned. The sheriff further claimed that the bull was a "danger" to campers in Idaho and posed a brucellosis "threat" to cattle, neither of which is true. Buffalo are gentle giants and have very clear ways of communicating, making it extremely easy to co-exist with them. Further, no wild buffalo has ever transmitted brucellosis back to the cattle they got it from, and it is basically impossible for a bull bison to transmit brucellosis. Idaho demonstrated this by leaving his guts and reproductive organs in the field after they killed him. BFC patrols responded that wild elk - who also carry brucellosis - roam freely throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and the sheriff's response was that elk "bring in revenue."
This bull buffalo was a perfect example of natural restoration that wild buffalo will undertake if humans will only learn to relax their coveted control over all things wild and free, learn to co-exist, and welcome the rightful roamers of North America back on their native habitat.
BFC file photo by Darrell Geist. Click photo for larger image.
Wild is the Way ~ Roam Free!
* BIG NEWS! Montana Considers Year-Round Habitat for Wild Buffalo
All wild buffalo - not just bulls - are in dire need of year-round habitat outside of Yellowstone National Park, lands critical for their winter range and calving grounds. Access to important habitat will help alleviate harsh and unnecessary management actions and will help enable the survival and evolutionary potential of this currently ecologically extinct native wildlife species. BFC file photo by Chuck Irestone. Click photo for larger image.
Your participation is needed! The state of Montana announced this week that a public scoping process has been initiated to consider year-round habitat for wild bison in the Hebgen and Gardiner Basins, west and north of Yellowstone National Park. BFC is in the process of thoroughly reviewing the scoping document. What we know now is that Montana is considering access to year-round habitat on "portions" of Gallatin National Forest, with the possibility that mainly bull buffalo - and not the cow/calf mixed groups - would be granted year-round access to important habitat. While this scoping process has been crafted by those who have a history of catering to livestock interests, it is nonetheless a terrific opportunity for us to put forth our vision for wild bison in southwest Montana.
There are public meetings coming up, and there is also opportunity to submit written comments, which we strongly encourage you to engage in. After BFC has had a chance to thoroughly review the document, we will offer our perspectives and suggestions on how you - the strongest advocates for wild buffalo in the world - can make your voice heard for the last wild herds. Please spread the word about this news and engage in as much of this process as you can!
West Yellowstone: August 20, 6-8 p.m. at the Holiday Inn
Gardiner: August 21, 6-8 p.m. at the Gardiner High School Theater
PUBLIC COMMENTS and questions may be sent to:
Bison Habitat EA
Montana, Fish, Wildlife & Parks
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620
COPIES of the scoping document can be found here
Read recent news articles
Thank you! You may choose to go ahead and send in your comments now, or wait until you hear from Buffalo Field Campaign after we have reviewed the details in the document.
* World Peace Prayer Pole Finds Home at BFC Headquarters
World Peace and Prayer Day 2012 ceremonies begin at the Sacred Site of Bear's Lodge, known by many bear-related and other meaninful names to many Plains tribes, commonly known in the U.S. as "Devil's Tower." Photo courtesy of Jules, organizer of World Peace & Prayer Day. Click photo for larger image.
It was four days before opening the "Life Fire of the Bison" for Grand Teton World Peace and Prayer Day 2012, where we were joined by the sacred Fire-Keeper and began our journey to Devil's Tower, Wyoming. "Devil's Tower" so-named by Europeans, is known to the many Plains tribes who hold it sacred as "Bear's" Lodge, Lair, Tipi, Butte, and other meaningful names.
Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, and founder of World Peace and Prayer Day. Click photo for larger image.
We headed out to meet up with World Peace & Prayer Day founder Chief Arvol Looking Horse, with two Peace Poles gifted by donors and created by spirit woodworks of Jackson, Wyoming. Once at the Sacred Site we gathered for ceremony, participated in the ancient ways of the people who have come before us, and gave thanks for all that is. We gathered under special permission in Devil's Tower National Monument and were greeted by the National Park Service with open hearts. We were joined by Chief Williams from the north and were honored by the words of these two Buffalo Medicine Keepers. Once all song and prayer were complete, all who attended gave a offering to the message on the pole.
We had begun our journey. We now had one more peace pole to carry back through the Sacred Site of the Big Horn Medicine Wheel, with a caravan of many people who were en route to the Grand Teton World Peace and Prayer Day. When we arrived under the Tetons we started the sacred fire; this was the center of World Peace & Prayer Day 2012. With the opening of World Peace & Prayer Day, we called out to the people to come and honor and give thanks to the Sacred Bison and the fire we kept. Over the next four days, many people had come and on the fourth day we brought the Peace Pole into the Center for all who gave their prayers and energy to bring awareness to the Bison and put their energy on the pole.
The Prayer Pole finds its home at Buffalo Field Campaign. The pole reads Wolakhota Akan Makoce - May Peace Prevail on Earth! BFC file photo by Don Spates. Click photo for larger image.
That pole now resides at the headquarters of Buffalo Field Campaign. All Nations, All Faiths in One Prayer are represented in that pole. Forever we will be in gratitude for the teachings of the Bison and for the life that we share.
All of this was done in the spirit of giving and thanks, we have done this work in honor of the "wild and free bison." If you find it in your heart to give a donation to be our partner in our continued work and to help bring these messages forward you can participate
May Peace Prevail on Earth,
World Peace & Prayer Day 2012
* HOT OFF THE PRESS! Newsletters & Wild Bison 2013 Calendars
Hot off the press! BFC's 2012-2013 newsletter is complete and on it's way to you! If you want to be sure that you receive yours, please contact our office coordinator, Kasi, to ensure we have your correct mailing address. And if you are able to place newsletters around your community to help spread the word, please let Kasi know how many you would like and where to mail them. Thank you!
BFC is proud to present our 2013 "Yellowstone Country Wild Bison Calendar." This is our third year of producing these amazing calendars, and this year's is our most thrilling and inspiring version yet! Loaded with amazing new photos, artwork, poetry and wild buffalo facts, this calendar is a must have. Great for your home or office, and a wonderful gift idea. Celebrate wild buffalo 365 days a year with BFC's 2013 Wild Bison calendars!
* Wanted: Summer Outreach Volunteers
Buffalo Field Campaign is a presence inside Yellowstone National Park every summer, and we are looking for passionate, articulate folks who can help run our information table, discuss the buffalo with park visitors, and help build support for wild buffalo. BFC provides food, lodging, and transportation to and from our table in the Park. We ask for at least a two week commitment in order to accommodate training and orientation. This is a great opportunity to get involved and advocate for America's last wild buffalo! Please contact Demmi for more information.
* Join BFC for Wood Cut Week at BFC September 10-15, 2012
Mark your calendars and come to BFC! The week of September 10th through the 15th is BFC's Annual Wood Cut Week! We will be gathering, cutting and stacking wood for the coming winter field season. Bring your chain saw if you have one, and bring lots of friends! Room and board provided, and there's also plenty of camping space available. Please contact Mike Mease for more info at email@example.com or call 406-646-0070.
* Wish List: BFC Needs a Laptop!
Having had the honor of spending nine years working by the side of BFC's Campaign Coordinator Mike Mease, I get to hear him typing emails to you, our beloved wild buffalo supporters, and it cracks me up because Mike is not the fastest typist in the world. Using one finger of each hand, he sounds like a chicken pecking grain. He puts a lot of time and effort into staying in touch. We have good laughs about it, to be sure. Mike is travelling a lot more these days, and putting out videos more frequently, to the point where he is in need of a new laptop that he can take with him on the road, and also produce all the footage from the field that we share with the world. If you can help, our Campaign Coordinator specifically needs one of these two Mac Book Pro makes:
15-inch: 2.6 GHz Retina display
* An awesome monitor $600 more that uses flash hard drive
15-inch: 2.6 GHz
* Just as fast with a solid state hard drive more suitable for video production
If you can help fulfill this wish, please contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 406-646-0070. More about the computer he's in need of can be found right here. Thank you!!
* Bay Area/SF Supporters: BFC Needs Help with the John Trudell Event!
If you live around San Francisco or the Bay Area, BFC is looking for folks who can help us with a very exciting BFC Road Show event with John Trudell. If you are able to lend a hand, please contact Mike Mease at email@example.com or 406-646-0070. Thank you!
* 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: 32
2011-2012 Government Capture: 10
2011-2012 Buffalo Released from Capture: 7
2011-2012 Government Slaughter:
2011-2012 Held for Government Experiment: 3
2011-2012 Died In Government Trap:
2011-2012 Miscarriage in Government Trap:
2011-2012 State & Treaty Hunts: 28
2011-2012 Shot by Agents: 2
2011-2012 Killed by Angry Residents:
2011-2012 Highway Mortality: 2
2010-2011 Total: 227
2009-2010 Total: 7
2008-2009 Total: 22
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
* Total Since 2000: 4,007*
*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine/experiments, hunts, highway mortality
* Last Words
A Lakota legend of Mato Tipila, Bear's Lodge:
Long ago, there was a brave warrior who often went alone into the wilderness where he would fast and worship the Great Spirit in solitude. Being alone helped him to strengthen his courage so that in the future he could carry out his plans.
One day this warrior took his buffalo skull and went along into the wilderness to worship. Standing at the base of Mato Tipila after he had worshipped for two days he suddenly found himself on top of this high rock. He was very much frightened as he did not know how he would get down. After appealing to the Great Spirit he went to sleep. When he awoke he was very glad to find that he was again at the base of this high rock.
He saw that he was standing at the door of a big bear's lodge as there was foot prints of a very big bear there. He could tell that the cracks in the big rock were made by the big bear's claws. So he knew that all the time he had been on top of this big rock he had been standing on a big bear's lodge.
From this time on his nation called this big high rock Mato Tipila and they went there often to worship. The buffalo skull is still on top of this big high rock and can be seen on the highest point.
~ This legend told to Dick Stone by Short Bull, who lived a short distance west of Ogalala, South Dakota, on July 31, 1932. Mark Running Eagle, Interpreter.
Do you have submissions for Last Words? Send them to us! Thank you for all the poems, songs, quotes and stories you have been sending! Keep them coming!