Reporting from the front lines of wild buffalo advocacy, BFC's Director of Communications Tom Woodbury, provides you with in depth coverage of all the issues swirling around our national mammal and its natural habitat. From ecosystem restoration to biodiversity recovery, from climate recovery to tribal reparations, wild buffalo are the key to a regenerative future for the inhabitants of Turtle Island.
Every summer, more than 4 million people visit Yellowstone National Park. Undoubtedly, a highlight of the trip for many of them is the chance to see the wild bison there. The picture those visitors get is of America’s iconic large mammal grazing peacefully, protected within the country’s most famous national park.
The “tragedy of the commons” refers to the situation where several private parties are given equal access to a limited resource, the classic example being a public pasture surrounded by private ranches. Left to their own devices, each rancher will tend to maximize their share of forage, resulting in a competition that quickly desiccates the pasture to the detriment of all.
My name is Ei’se Hough’ne (Sun Wolf), and I am a United States citizen that is from the Suh’tai band of the “Tsistsistas” Nation (Cheyenne); the Oglala Lakota Oyate of the “Oceti Sakowin” Nation (Sioux); the Pine Martin Clan of the “Anishinaabe” Nation (Chippewa); and the “Tewa” of the Anasazi Peoples (Pueblo). My prisoner of war surname is “Carlisle;” and my U.S. citizen/Christian name is W. Patrick Kincaid.
Most Americans understand that the aggressive expansion and settlement of the West, especially in the wake of the Civil War, was based upon official government pogroms against Indigenous tribes and the buffalo. The trauma of that original culture, grounded as it was in ethnic genocide and ecological mayhem, still reverberates on tribal reservations and in the oppressive politics of the livestock industry towards wildlife. And it still shocks the conscience to look back at the U.S. Supreme Court’s legal rationale for the government’s policy of genocide.
In the early evening darkness of Wednesday, December 28, on a snow-packed two-lane highway, 13 wild bison mothers and yearlings met their unnatural fate at the hands of yet another semi-truck driver barreling down that stretch of U.S. Hwy 191 where bison-vehicle collisions have become all too frequent, thanks to Montana’s continuing refusal to lower the speed limit in accord with scientific recommenda-tions.
Winter Solstice is a time for reflection and strengthening our resolve. I recently agreed to become BFC’s Director of Communications, after having been mostly away from Montana for the last decade, and the situation I moved back into is remarkably different than the one that I remember.
There is something fatally wrong with the way humans have gone about protecting our home over the last several decades. This flawed approach is reflected in the distressing, exponential decline in the diversity of plants and animals that defines our notions of life on planet Earth...
Buffalo are asserting their territorial rights in advance of public meeting in West Yellowstone. Late last week, we learned from our friends in Gardiner that a gathering of about 150 wild buffalo have migrated out of Yellowstone National Park’s north entrance, near Gardner.
Buffalo Field Campaign supports the exercise of treaty rights by tribes, and honors the resumption of the relationship between tribes and the sacred buffalo. It is not for BFC or any other non-Indigenous group to instruct tribes in how they should or should not exercise their treaty rights.
Wild buffalo are not meant to die on our roads. It’s time for the world’s first wildlife bridge dedicated to safe passage of wild buffalo outside Yellowstone National Park, as Congress appropriates $350M for such infrastructure nationwide.