Dear Buffalo Supporters,
Hello from Nimiipuu Country. I hope my words find you warm and healthy on this late winter’s day. Things are cold, but running smoothly at our Camp in the Hebgen Basin. February is the month we memorialize to keep alive the memory of our honored co-founder Rosalie Little Thunder. Meanwhile things have heated up in the legislative halls in Helena, Montana, and I am eagerly awaiting a clearer view of President Biden’s leadership direction for Yellowstone bison. There are important items to discuss.
Rosalie Little Thunder and a buffalo calf on Horse Butte. Photo by Darrell Geist, Buffalo Field Campaign.
This is an auspicious time for our Campaign Family as we memorialize our respected co-founder Rosalie Little Thunder. Had it not been for covid-19 restrictions, Sunday, February 14 would have been the 4th Annual Rosalie Little Thunder Memorial Walk. Instead of walking in her footsteps, we spent the day sharing our memories and events to honor Rosalie and the path she forged for us all. The legacy of our elder’s commitment to honor, grace, and courage, as she advocated for Yellowstone bison inspires us to this day. On Sunday, I meditated on the legacy of our elder. The positive impact Rosalie has had on my family and me is significant. Considering Rosalie’s influence on so many lives, I am revitalizing my efforts to implement a tribal intern program that brings young, tribal scholars to Camp for hands-on learning experiences. Further, I look forward to hosting tribal leaders at Camp as they access the Yellowstone Ecosystem to meet or practice cultural, spiritual, and ceremonial lifeways. The Campaign has increased our cultural competency significantly, and there is much more to learn and do. Media Coordinator Stephany Seay and I will continue to build a meaningful program that provides for these important program services.
Legislative activity in the Capitol building in Helena, Montana has us quickly responding to bills that would negatively impact wild, Yellowstone bison including HB 318 and HB 302 (take action!) that will be heard Tuesday Feb. 16 at 3PM (MST) in the House Agriculture Committee.
Young, wild bull buffalo spar on a glorious February afternoon. Photo by Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign.
Under HB 318, no wild buffalo would now or ever be recognized as wild: extinction by legal definition. HB 302 hands a board of county commissioners veto authority over any state decision to reintroduce wild buffalo, undermining the people’s constitutional right to participate in what is a decision belonging to all people. Please send comments against HB 318 and HB 302. Our Buffalo Bill Tracker page is ready to help you participate however you can.
Campaign ‘take action’ requests are opportunities for our supporters to stand with wild bison in a real way. Send comments, watch proceedings live, read our submitted testimony, and participate wherever you are. Thank you for supporting these critical public participation opportunities by visiting our website to support our Campaign Initiatives.
We are eagerly awaiting the leadership priorities of President Biden regarding our public trust wildlife and the federal lands of the Yellowstone Ecosystem. The Campaign continues to circulate our recommendations to President Biden. Our recommendations center wild, Yellowstone bison and the Yellowstone Ecosystem in policy, funding, and management. The Campaign has requested a holistic, science-based, inclusive process be adopted that prioritizes rewilding the Yellowstone Ecosystem driven by the flourishing diversity of life wild bison provide as a keystone species. Building collaboration and fostering unity is founded on a co-created, equitable process honoring all the diverse peoples in the region rather than the elitist few. The time for inclusive change that protects and respects wild bison is now.
As we reflect on the legacy of our co-founder and the importance of our work, we honor Rosalie with our continuity of action. With our staunch supporters we have created a vast network that spans the globe. We are united in our love and respect for wild bison, and coexisting for the sake of all living beings. Our solidarity showcases the potential for collaborative, grassroots empowerment across culture and landscapes. Thank you for that my dear people. You are the wind beneath our wings as we honor our past, and continue to strive for the future of wild, Yellowstone bison.
For the Buffalo,
James Holt, Sr.
Executive Director, Buffalo Field Campaign
“The Earth and I are of One Mind.”- Chief Joseph, Nimiipuu (Nez Perce)