Hello Buffalo Community,
It has been a fast-paced, hectic time since the last On the Buffalo Trail. The Campaign is full of energy and activity as we dive into the field season, solicit for year-end donations, and get our messaging out to the world. As our Habitat Coordinator, Darrell Geist, is fond of saying “Buffalo are powerful. They create a lot of movement and energy around them.” I agree with Darrell. Because of that overwhelming amount of action and process, it is imperative we continue to stand with wild, Yellowstone buffalo. We must stay at the forefront of wild buffalo policy, management, and public relations. We will continue to act to Save the Yellowstone Buffalo.
Photo by Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign.
The month of November began with my participation in the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) Native Service’s Virtual Teen Summit. This virtual summit hosted over 900 teens from across the country. The theme Be There was created by the BGCA’s Native Services Youth Advisory Committee, known kindly as the Jedi Council. I gave a short presentation on how I choose to Be There, following my passion. I discussed my history of community involvement, environmental advocacy, and natural resource stewardship. Most importantly, I discussed the needs of wild, Yellowstone buffalo. This event is a wonderful example of how the Campaign seeks to engage youth. I continue to work on creating and implementing a Youth Program, that brings regional youth to Campaign headquarters.
National Bison Day came with a lot of fanfare. Unfortunately, the spotlight often glorified the status quo governance of Yellowstone buffalo. This is unacceptable. As America celebrated our National Mammal, we continued to press for bison-friendly policies. We must re-wild the Yellowstone Ecosystem by letting buffalo roam. Only by supporting this keystone species will we be doing our part.
During the week of Veterans Day, I participated in the National Congress of American Indians’ 77th Convention & Marketplace. Participating in this event gave the Campaign great exposure to tribal leaders from across the country. We provided a strong message to the assembly. As the only organization continuously in the field, we see the atrocities of existing management. We know more can be done to support wild, Yellowstone buffalo. No other ungulate wildlife species are managed as domesticated cattle. We must honor our National Mammal as a wild species. Many tribes are benefiting from the Ft. Peck Program that siphons sacred Yellowstone buffalo away to support their buffalo restoration efforts. So far, those tribal efforts have not improved the viability of Yellowstone buffalo. Coincidentally, tribes benefiting from the Ft. Peck Program are silent when we discuss opening up the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to buffalo. The Campaign called on tribes to more vocally support buffalo-friendly management. Thus far, only a few tribes have taken that bold step forward in speaking for Yellowstone buffalo. The Nez Perce (Nimiipuu) Tribe has been among the most vocal buffalo advocates, demanding more habitat and a much larger population in the Yellowstone ecosystem. We look forward to more tribes stepping forward in this way. It is the Campaign’s belief that a holistic management scheme benefiting buffalo does not detract from the Ft. Peck Program’s goals.
Buffalo Field Campaign image. Click to take action!
Thanks to the expert finesse of our Social Media Coordinator Chuck Irestone, we have a viral video on Facebook! In honor of National Mammal Week, we released a video clip of this year’s Yellowstone bison rut. The video shot by our Co-founder Mike Mease, has traveled around the world and now has 1.4 million views. This viral footage highlights the global awareness of wild, Yellowstone buffalo. The world is unified in our shared fondness for Brother Buffalo. I am still amazed at the interest generated by our video. I feel our connection to humanity, and I am grateful for our competent staff. The Campaign will continue to build on this great work for our wonderful supporters. You are the force that makes this magic happen. To watch the viral clip, you can find it on Facebook or YouTube.
Buffalo Field Campaign’s advocacy is vital in giving wild buffalo a voice. Approximately 15% of Yellowstone buffalo are slated to be slaughtered this field season. 700 is the target number for buffalo to be needlessly killed, possibly even as many as 900. Save the Yellowstone Buffalo! Your donations and support matter. Your voice in calling for a change in management, that honors our National Mammal, is more important than ever. Join us as we continue to engage with legislators, tribal leaders, and the public, in calling for change. Your donations fuel our spirits, and are the wind beneath our wings.
Thank you for your ongoing support. Buffalo Field Campaign cannot do this without you. As we continue to advocate for Brother Buffalo, we beseech you to continue using your voice as well. Together, we will keep the pressure on. From the depths of my heart, I am grateful for you. I give thanks for you, our Wonderful Buffalo Family. Happy Thanksgiving!
For the Buffalo,
James Holt, Sr.
Executive Director, Buffalo Field Campaign
“The Earth and I are of One Mind.”- Chief Joseph, Nimiipuu (Nez Perce)