Our new Executive Director, James Holt! He’s a buffalo; he does what he wants. Photo selfie by James Holt.
Dear Buffalo Supporters,
Hello from Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) Country! I recently returned home from attending the 2019 Tools Conference for Grassroots Activism hosted by Patagonia. This meaningful event was jampacked with useful information, powerful tools, and great people dedicated to the environment and the rights of all. I came home energized and focused on the tasks ahead. I look forward to sharing my journey with you.
Now that I am finding time to relax and settle in, I would like to introduce myself to you all as the newly hired Executive Director. I am an enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe. My wife Feather and our blended family reside in Lapwai, ID the headquarters of the tribal government. I have forged a personal relationship with Brother Buffalo beginning 23 years ago. In 2006, that relationship culminated in helping my people reunite with the Yellowstone buffalo after more than 140 years absence. Today, numerous regional tribes have realized revitalized treaty-reserved hunting rights and subsistence opportunities to foster food sovereignty, stemming from those efforts. I am honored my journey has led me back to Brother Buffalo in this powerful way.
James at the Patagonia Tools Conference, learning more about how to make it all better. Photo selfie by James Holt.
There are big things on the horizon for the buffalo and Buffalo Field Campaign. Recently, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service denied our 90-day petition to list Yellowstone bison as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. We will continue to pursue this protection, and your ongoing support is paramount to our work. I’ll also be working on implementing a newly emerging Tribal Projects Program. This program will seek to engage tribal leadership, educate tribal youth, and facilitate collaboration with tribes. Tribes, especially those with treaty-reserved rights to hunt bison, must be empowered to provide for the subsistence & spiritual needs of the people. The federal government must honor its fiduciary responsibility to those tribes by amending the bison management plan to be consistent with pertinent treaties. Lastly, we’ll continue to pursue our Freedom of Information Act requests from the leadership at Yellowstone National Park and the U.S. Department of the Interior. Upholding our rights to a transparent government must be honored. The faulty science supporting state and federal bison mismanagement must be exposed.
These are but a few priorities I’ll be addressing as I begin to build upon the great foundation provided by previous leadership, an engaged board of directors and a highly capable staff. The Buffalo Field Campaign Family stands with Brother Buffalo and speaks for those without a voice. I hope you will continue to stand with us as I do this great work. Please remember that my door is always open. Reach out to me and let me hear your voice on issues important to you. Qeciyewyew (thank you) for all of your support and action.
For the Buffalo,
James L. Holt Sr.