* Update from the Field
One of Buffalo Field Campaign's new supporter-created logos! This beautiful artwork is by Laura Ladendorf of Asheville, North Carolina. Click logo for larger image.
For fifteen long years I have stood on the front lines of the buffalo issue. Watching all of our tax dollars fly out the window as inept Federal and Montana state Government agencies find more and more ways to kill the last wild buffalo. These agencies are intent upon making sure buffalo will never be wild and free again.
We have watched the Interagency Bison Management Plan fail in its mission of keeping brucellosis out of Montana's holy cattle. The brucellosis issue has shown everyone that the government only cares that buffalo have been infected with the disease and must die, while elk can transmit the same disease to cattle with no consequences, and still roam free in Montana. All too often we forget that Grand Teton National Park's brucellosis-exposed buffalo have lived and intermingled with cattle for half a century without ever transmitting the disease. Even as all the recent infections among livestock are blamed on elk, buffalo must bear the burden, demonstrating a deep prejudice. The government's latest plan is to keep the last wild buffalo population always at or below 3,000 animals, a number derived from politics rather than science.
At the same time the government has recognized the treaty rights of four different First Nations to come to ancestral hunting grounds to harvest buffalo to feed their people. Other tribes are starting to look to their treaty rights as well. The government-directed population caps will ensure there are never enough buffalo to feed even one tribe. With state and tribal hunters all trying to kill the same small handful of buffalo that dare to walk out of the Park, the stage is set for conflict and disaster.
It is time for a change and it must start with cleaning house of all the players in the management team we have now. The government has failed in their mission. We need the First Nations people - who have the the knowledge and desire - to bring back the buffalo. For it is the buffalo that need help rather than the overpopulated cows that are not native to this country. The concern should be that 20 to 40 million buffalo have been reduced to less than 3,700 individuals.
Stephany and I traveled to meet with the Nez Perce (Nimi'ipuu, "Real People") this week and I am here to tell you that they, like us and so many others whose voices are ignored, want the buffalo back in large numbers. They want more than to just hunt them, but to have them back in their lives. Their relationship with the buffalo, as all buffalo culture First Nations, is that of relatives. They lived together for thousands of years and helped each other survive. It is time again to let First Nations manage (or bring back) the buffalo. We will continue to work together with First Nations to help make this happen.
With the Buffalo,
* Special Thanks to Nez Perce Fish & Wildlife Commission!
Buffalo Field Campaign would like to express our deepest thanks to the Nez Perce (Nimi'ipuu) Fish & Wildlife Commission for welcoming us to your country to meet and talk with you. It was an extremely great honor for us, and we look forward to a growing relationship as we build our efforts in working together to help qoq'a lx, the buffalo. BFC gives special thanks to our friend James Holt, Nimi'ipuu Fish & Wildlife Commission Chairman, who opened his home and heart to us. It was a blessing to make this journey. Thank you for your generous hospitality and welcoming! ~ Mike & Stephany
* Volunteers Needed!
Noah on patrol inside Yellowstone National Park last winter, checking on a buffalo far in the distance, obscured by snow and willows. BFC file photo by Stephany. Click photo for larger image.
BFC is in need of field volunteers. With the Winter Holidays approaching, a lot of our volunteers are heading home to spend time with family and friends. It looks like we will be a little short handed over the next few weeks. The end of the year is an absolutely gorgeous time here in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the snow is flying, ski conditions are improving, and we are running daily patrols. Please contact one of our Volunteer Coordinators (Tony, Peet, Sweeney, or Rain) at volunteer"at"buffalofieldcampaign.org for information. Come spend time with one of the most endangered and majestic mammals on the North American continent. They need you.
With the Buffalo,
BFC Volunteer Coordinator
* NEW! Endangered Buffalo Fact of the Week
Photo by the talented Kim Kaiser. Click photo for larger image.
BFC is introducing a new feature to highlight information regarding the status of wild American buffalo in North America. You can use these facts to empower yourself and help educate your friends and colleagues, decision-makers and the media in our collective efforts to bring lasting protection to America's last wild buffalo population! When possible, we will link to further information about a particular fact.
FACT: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has Red Listed the American bison as near threatened with extinction. A link to the IUCN report can be found HERE.
Have a fact you'd like to share with us? Email it to Stephany.
TAKE ACTION! Wild Buffalo Need Your Voice!
1. Stop Federal Livestock Overseer from Harming Wild Buffalo!
2. Urge Congress to Pass Public Lands Grazing Bill!
Thank you so much for taking these important actions! Please spread the word by passing these alerts on through all your networks of friends and colleagues!
NOTE: Thank you for forwarding responses you are receiving, please keep them coming. From what you've sent us, it is clear the agencies are ignoring your concerns and hiding behind tiresome rhetoric. PLEASE write them back or call them to let them know you expect them to address the issues you raise with a real response, and send a copy to your Members of Congress as well. Thank you!
3. Make a year-end donation to keep BFC strong and effective in the field and at every level of the policy arena. Donations are tax-deductible and go directly to BFC's critical program work.
* Awesome Gift Idea: Wild Bison 2012 Calendars
Click the calendar image or the link below for a larger view and to order BFC's Wild Bison 2012 calendars!
BFC's Wild Bison 2012 calendars make terrific gifts, so if you're still looking for that perfect something for someone, please consider a Wild Bison 2012 Calendar, the gift that celebrates wild buffalo every single day of the year!
Order Your Wild Bison 2012 Calendars Now!
* BFC Wish List 2012
There are many ways for you to make a difference for wild buffalo. BFC's Wish List is one way to visualize the breadth of Buffalo Field Campaign's reach and capacity to work in defense of wild buffalo year-round. It's also a great way to match your interests with our day-to-day needs, prayers and wishes.
BFC Wish List 2012
* Mike Mease Heading to Arizona in April!
Buffalo Field Campaign co-founder Mike Mease will be giving a presentation at the University of Arizona. He would also like to organize an event or two for the community. He is available for presentations on April 3-6. Please contact him if you are willing to help set up an event. Mike can be reached via email or by calling 406-646-0070. Thanks and see you in the spring!
* 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: 4
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: 4
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: 3,976*
*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine/experiments, hunts, highway mortality
* Last Words
"We are mending our Circle, slowly but surely. Our relationships with salmon, bison, or anything, isn't only spiritual, it is practical as well."
~ James Holt, Nez Perce (Nimi'ipuu) Tribe
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!