2020 11 19 01 001 Update 1 BFC Jaedin Medicine Elk photo

Moose! A mama moose and her calf dash into the forest after being spotted by patrols. Photo by Jaedin Medicine Elk, Buffalo Field Campaign.

It is currently very quiet here on the front lines. Patrols are going out each morning and afternoon, monitoring buffalo migration corridors. So far the only gentle giants we have seen recently have been seen through a spotting scope, deep inside Yellowstone National Park. Montana’s buffalo hunt opened on the 15th, so state hunters have been seen in the area, but they are finding no buffalo to kill. Though buffalo are absent, we have had the pleasure of seeing a mama moose and her enormous calf, which is always a treat.

2020 11 19 01 002 Img Banner v4.2

Help protect our National Mammal! Contact Yellowstone to oppose their slaughter plans and urge Congress to strengthen the National Bison Legacy Act! Image by Buffalo Field Campaign.

You would think that buffalo inside Yellowstone National Park are safe from human threats, but such is not the case, especially in Gardiner along the park’s northern boundary. Inside Yellowstone is the Stephens Creek buffalo capture facility, where thousands of wild buffalo have been captured and shipped to slaughter over the years. This year may prove no different; Yellowstone conducted their bison population estimate stating that there are approximately 4,700 buffalo (1,200 of which are from the imperiled Central herd) and they intend to kill upwards of 900 buffalo this year. Our National Mammal, killed by Yellowstone National Park. Want to contact the park to let them know what you think about that? Good idea! Contact Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly at 307-344-2013 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also go further to protect our National Mammal by contacting your members of Congress and urge them to strengthen the National Bison Legacy Act.

2020 11 19 01 003 Update 3 BFC Stephany Seay photo

New BFC volunteer, Anders, glasses out across the Madison River, looking for buffalo. Photo by Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign.

Though our numbers are very few due to Covid, we have some quality folks here who are really enthusiastic about being in the field and learning all they can. It’s been great getting to know these folks whom the buffalo have called. Everyone is anxious to start skiing, but the weather is playing a few tricks on us right now. After a nice cold snap that brought just under a foot of snow, temperatures have risen and as I write this it is “snraining" outside, melting much of the snow. That is not so unusual for November here in the Hebgen Basin, but warming trends are rising. It is predicted by scientists that if the climate continues to warm, our Ice Age friends the buffalo could shrink in size by half within the next fifty years. Fifty years is too short a time for them to be able to adapt to such a dramatic change. The irony here is that buffalo, as native grazers who create and benefit healthy plant communities, are carbon sequesters. This means that they can not only help heal the wounded land, but by doing so, can also stem rising temperatures. In a nutshell, more buffalo on a larger landscape are excellent for the planet, as we know, and obviously good for the buffalo themselves. This is why we are fighting so hard to gain more ground for wild, migratory buffalo and to gain them federal protection under the Endangered Species Act as well as recognition as a Species of Conservation Concern by the National Forest. You are the reason we are able to do this important work, and we are so grateful to each and every one of you. Stay with us, keep raising your voice, and never give up on our shared vision of wild buffalo roaming freely all over the lands that are their birthright!


P.S. Don’t forget that TODAY from 9:30-11:30 MST, the National Forest will be discussing Species of Conservation Concern status for wild bison, something they intend to deny. You can listen in, and if you have filed objections, you can participate in this important conversation. Visit HERE to register and learn more.