Hello Buffalo Supporters,
Tac leheyn laatiwaama (Good day my friends). I hope this newsletter finds you well. This has been a busy time for me and the Campaign. The board recently met at Campaign headquarters and continues to build the organization’s capacity. The board’s leadership has the wisdom to adapt the focus of the organization to meet the needs of Yellowstone bison. With that stated, I am excited to let my wonderful readers know that our Board of Directors expanded their leadership, by voting for Lee Juan Tyler’s admission to the board. I am excited to welcome Lee Juan to the organization, and look forward to his leadership and guidance. Currently, Lee Juan is serving his seventh term on the Shoshone Bannock Business Council, the Tribe’s governing body. He is a strong advocate for the environment, his people’s cultural lifeways, and the protection of their treaty-reserved rights. Further, Lee Juan is a ceremonial leader and respected elder for his people. Lee Juan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding bison policy and the Yellowstone Ecosystem, as these are located within the Shoshone Bannock homelands. Indeed, a section of the historic Bannock Trail is located near our Campaign Headquarters at Hebgen Lake. It is very important for the Campaign to increase our cultural competency with tribes, and to facilitate tribal leadership within our organization. Welcome Lee Juan!
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes council member Lee Juan Tyler recently participated in a Tribal rally held in Yellowstone National Park to change historical names that are deemed inappropriate. Photo & caption courtesy of the Shoshone Bannock Tribes
Another recent development in my leadership efforts is the increased collaboration I am realizing regarding wildlife management in Montana. These are concerning trends for the future of wildlife populations across the West. Wild bison, grizzlies, and wolves are all being impacted by shortsighted policies catering to special interest groups. Ecosystem health and species viability are being negatively-impacted by current legislative efforts, hindering appropriate wildlife management on federal lands across western states. In these trying times, it is important to support other wildlife conservation efforts that impact shared ecosystems and outcomes. The Campaign looks forward to expanding the scope of our collaborative efforts, while staying true to our vision and mission. I will continue to outreach with our allies, regional tribes, and our supporters. More can and must be done to secure a viable future for important keystone and indicator species, such as bison, throughout the Yellowstone Ecosystem and the West.
While the Campaign continues to focus on our organizational capacity, we will also continue to advocate for systemic change in Yellowstone bison management. Our communications with President Biden’s Administration must continue. Holding managing agencies accountable for the travesty of mismanagement codified within the Interagency Bison Management Plan must continue. Fostering meaningful relationships with regional entities with shared goals for wildlife and the ecosystem must continue. To accomplish these important efforts, we will continue to lean on your support. You are, and will continue to be, the wind at our backs. You propel us forward as we walk this important path with wild, Yellowstone buffalo. Qeciyewyew for walking with us.
For the Buffalo,
James Holt Sr.
Executive Director, Buffalo Field Campaign