Hello Buffalo Supporters,
I hope this newsletter finds you well. After taking a month off from on The Buffalo Trail, I’m back in the swing of things. I am excited to be sharing with you a few things that are captivating my attention this week. I will briefly discuss the status of the field season, the important actions we’ve taken during the Montana legislative session, and my thoughts about Earth Day and Yellowstone bison. It feels good to reach out to you all once again. The spring day is full of sunshine and chirping birds here in Nimiipuu Country. A beautiful day to be alive and sharing with our great members.
The 2020-2021 Field Season has shifted from monitoring the government’s winter operations to protecting bison near West Yellowstone from becoming highway fatalities. This is important work as the ailing Central Herd has never recovered from Yellowstone National Park’s slaughter operations and Montana’s intolerance for buffalo on the National Forest. The Central Herd was decimated by arbitrary population targets and maligned management priorities set by Montana and voluntarily agreed to by the federal government. When those slaughter operations happened years ago, we witnessed the crippling of the migratory wisdom of the Central Herd. The Central Herd of Yellowstone bison is unique, in that they have never lost contact with their traditional homelands. The only continuously-wild herd of bison in the lower 48 states, deserve to roam unmolested across the Yellowstone Ecosystem. We have much work to do.
The harmful legislation that we’ve been tracking in the Montana Legislature, HB 302 and HB 318, have captivated our attention. These bills severely diminish the capacity of wild, migratory bison to expand onto federal public trust lands in the state. We have opposed these bills with your strong support. Qeciyewyew laatiwaama (Thank you my friends)! I am very grateful for your support and responding to our calls to action on behalf of Yellowstone bison. These bills continue to advance to Governor Gianforte’s desk and our voices must continue to mass together in stopping these bills from becoming law. (Follow the bills on our Buffalo Bill Tracker page.)We are unifying against special interests, to stand with wild bison and the health of the Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Earth Day is another opportunity to unify and celebrate the continued existence of the imperiled Central Herd of Yellowstone bison. The United States and millions elsewhere are preparing to celebrate our shared Mother Earth, Earth’s children, and our place in the world. Buffalo Field Campaign will be doing what we can to publicize the government inflicted suffering of wild, migratory Yellowstone bison. It is with that spirit of collaboration that we have partnered with Matador Studios and Locks Media to produce the film Last Wild Bison, premiering this spring. (You can watch the trailer below.) This wonderful film hosted by the Redford Center, is a powerful testament as to the plight of Yellowstone bison. If you are able, please consider watching and sharing this great production.
As the seasons change with warmer weather on the way, I am reminded that life is change. The political conditions have dramatically shifted in the Montana legislature, and our collective voices are more important than ever. Our wonderful supporters and staunch allies alike are making a difference. Bison must have all of our collective voices, if we are to change how they are managed as our National Mammal, a keystone species, and a vital component to the health and resiliency of the Yellowstone Ecosystem. Qeciyewyew for all you do to stand with wild, Yellowstone Buffalo.
For the Buffalo, James Holt, Sr.
Executive Director, Buffalo Field Campaign
“The Earth and I are of One Mind.”- Chief Joseph, Nimiipuu (Nez Perce)