* TAKE ACTION! Urge Congress to Support H.R. 3432
Photo by BFC supporter John Clark. Click photo for larger image.
We have some good news that we need you to act upon! On Wednesday, November 16, H.R. 3432, the Rural Economic Vitalization Act (REVA), was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. This important legislation will allow for the voluntary retirement of public lands grazing leases. The goal of REVA is to help wildlife and wild lands, while also helping family farmers, ranchers, and U.S. taxpayers. Passage of REVA would directly benefit wild buffalo because so many of the actions conducted against them are directly related to protecting cattle grazing interests on public lands in Yellowstone country. Passage of H.R. 3432 would help to finally and permanently address many of these conflicts, remove cattle from public lands and open habitat for wild buffalo to roam.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Visit the link above to learn more and to write your House Representative and your Senators, urging them to, respectively, support H.R. 3432 and introduce companion legislation in the Senate. H.R. 3432 was introduced by Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA-9th), so if he is your representative, please take a moment to thank him for taking this important action.
For more information you may also contact BFC's Policy Coordinator Josh Osher. Please pass this alert on through all your networks of friends and colleagues! Thank you!
* Update from the Field ~ Buffalo Killed on Opening Day
Photo of bull buffalo by BFC supporter Valorie Mendelson. Click photo for larger image.
On Tuesday, the first day of Montana's buffalo "hunt," a bull buffalo was killed by a state hunter. Montana has issued forty-four either sex tags (bulls, cows or calves) to hunters, with the option of issuing an additional 100 cow/calf tags if sixty or more buffalo migrate into Montana across Yellowstone's north or west boundaries. This demonstrates how Montana uses this "hunt" as a buffalo extermination program, aiming to kill however many buffalo step across the arbitrary borderline. While this number of tags may not seem significant, it is is light of the fact that there are fewer than 3,700 wild buffalo in existence. All of these animals are forced by cattle industry politics to live exclusively in Yellowstone country. At least three First Nations will also conduct their own buffalo hunts, under Treaty right, while the threat of hazing, capture and slaughter is ever-present during and after the state and Treaty hunts. Denied year-round habitat outside of Yellowstone National Park, the wild American buffalo is ecologically extinct throughout their native range.
BFC is currently running full patrols along Yellowstone's north and western boundaries and we could definitely use your help. If you are interested in volunteering with us, please contact our Volunteer Coordinators. We will be monitoring and documenting the hunt and hazing activities, educating hunters regarding the extreme mismanagement of the Yellowstone bison population, and bolstering support for bison conservation in Montana and elsewhere. BFC calls on Montana to provide substantial habitat throughout the state, allowing bison to establish a viable resident population. BFC also calls for stripping the Montana Department of Livestock - the agency that authorizes the state's wild bison hunt - of any and all bison management authority. You can help accomplish these goals by contacting Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Director Joe Maurier, and also by talking to hunters wherever you live, urging them to take a real stand for wild buffalo in Montana, and calling for an end to Montana's extremely premature buffalo "hunt." If you are a hunter yourself, your voice must be heard in this debate.
* BFC Wish List ~ Long Johns, Socks, Woolies Needed!
One of the most crucial aspects to BFC's field presence through Montana's frigid winters is having the proper gear. Since we experience a kind of cold here that most people are not accustomed to, we try to keep a supply of warm clothing available to our volunteers who might need an extra layer or a warm pair of socks. In preparation for the coming season, we've cleaned up and organized our storage space and noticed a few things we're running low on. For our supporters who would like to help us stay warm in the field, we've compiled a short wish list of things we could really use:
* thermal bottoms, all sizes (polypropelyne or capilene, no cotton please)
* wool socks
*wool pants, all sizes (military style like you might find at a surplus store is best)
You can visit BFC's Wish List to browse through other items that we are always in need of. Donations are tax deductible. Thank you so much for your support!
With the Buffalo,
* BFC Hosts Listening Session in Gardiner, Montana
Buffalo family group enjoying some time in the Gardiner Basin last spring, and gaining more community support in the places where they want to roam. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
On Wednesday, November 16th, Buffalo Field Campaign hosted a listening session in Gardiner, Montana to provide an opportunity for members of the community to meet BFC staff and volunteers, exchange ideas, and talk about all things buffalo. The listening session was organized by a long-time Gardiner resident who, horrified and outraged by the massive buffalo slaughter in the winter of 2007-2008, subsequently joined ranks with BFC.
BFC co-founder Mike Mease, along with four BFC volunteers, met with over a dozen residents of the Gardiner Basin. Long-time Gardiner residents were joined by a number of folks who recently moved to the area and were looking to learn more about buffalo issues and ways to get involved.
Many present commented on how good it felt to be among a group who shared positive feelings for the buffalo and held high hopes for better relations between bison and Montanans. Community members shared their bison experiences, expressed concerns, and discussed ways to foster greater tolerance for bison in the Gardiner Basin. Many of the suggestions centered on addressing how to live with the gentle giants, promoting bison awareness, and educating the wider community on the realities of co-existence. One community member mentioned the importance of having a buffalo-positive presence in local schools to inspire the next generation's involvement, an opinion echoed by many others.
As a direct result of the evening's event, Mike will be taking a number of Gardiner residents on a guided tour of bison hot spots in and around the Gardiner Basin. There was a general sense that pro-bison sentiment is on the rise in Gardiner. BFC wishes to extend its warmest thanks to all who attended and looks forward to more opportunities to meet in the coming months.
* Hurry! Get Your 2012 Wild Bison Calendars!
Get BFC's 2012 Wild Bison Calendar - for yourself, for your friends and family - Order now!
While BFC is clearly not in the merchandise business, we cannot help but be proud of our Wild Bison Calendars, which celebrate wild buffalo 365 days a year and help us raise funds that are critical to our success. Our 2012 Wild Bison Calendar is loaded with stunning photos, inspiring quotations, educational facts, and beautiful artwork. These calendars make terrific gifts for the holiday season, and all proceeds go directly to BFC's front lines work. Giving these calendars to friends or colleagues who may not be aware of the challenges the buffalo face can help build a stronger constituency for these gentle giants, something they sorely need. And this is a wonderfully positive gift for yourself and others who are aware of the tragic reality that America's last wild buffalo face today.
Order your 2012 Wild Bison Calendar TODAY!
* 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: 1
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: 1
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: 3,972*
*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine/experiments, hunts, highway mortality
* Last Words
"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr
Do you have submissions for Last Words? Send them to Stephany. Thank you for all the poems, songs, quotes and stories you have been sending! Keep them coming!