Dedicated volunteers are the lifeblood of BFC, allowing us to send patrols into the field whenever and wherever wild buffalo are in danger.
These dedicated buffalo defenders also attend public meetings, legislative hearings, and other forums where government decisions affecting wild bison are made. Volunteers help organize rallies and protests, and some individuals have engaged in non-violent direct action to stop the slaughter and raise awareness of the cruel harassment of the buffalo. After completing our application process, selected volunteers receive training, room and board, and the use of winter gear, clothing, and equipment during their time in the field with the buffalo. Since 1997, more than 5,000 people, of all ages, backgrounds and from all around the globe, have joined BFC as volunteers: serving from one weekend to multiple full seasons.
Every winter, BFC hires a crew of committed seasonal coordinators who are responsible for key tasks arising from our most busy field season—from approximately November 15 to May 30. It is during this time of year when bison are most likely to migrate outside of Yellowstone and face harassment, shooting, and slaughter.
Each winter BFC employs seasonal coordinators to oversee our kitchen and prepare meals; to recruit and train volunteers; and to maintain vehicles and structures. A full season as a volunteer is required to be considered for one of these coordinator positions.
The buffalo are also fortunate to be able to count on the support of a few extraordinary people.
Darrell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from South Dakota State University. In addition to playing a role in BFC’s founding, he brings BFC many years of experience as an environmental and human rights advocate, researcher, lobbyist, and organizer. He is also a certified paralegal. Darrell’s buffalo experience dates back to the early 1990s when he worked with Cold Mountain, Cold Rivers and long time friend & videographer Mike Mease to publicize Montana’s slaughter of these majestic wild animals. Before migrating to Montana, a habitat he dearly loves, Darrell worked with a broad base of grassroots groups in his home state of South Dakota including Dakota Rural Action; Surface Mining Initiative Fund; Sierra Club Black Hills Chapter; Action for the Environment; South Dakota Resources Coalition; and WEB Watchers Committee. Habitat is the way.
Web Development Coordinator
Chuck earned a B.A. in Marketing at Western Michigan University and brings deep experience in web and business administration. He first volunteered with BFC in 1997 as part of Patagonia's employee environmental grants program. He worked for two years as Environmental Liaison at The Patagonia Outlet - Dillon, coordinating grants and networking with Northern Rockies environmental groups. Chuck is a co-founder of the Sustainable Business Council-Missoula, and has volunteered hundreds of hours with Bitterroot Selway Grizzly Search; Cold Mountain, Cold Rivers; Raptor View Research Institute; Great Burn Study Group: and many others. In 2006, Chuck secured Audubon's Important Bird Area status for the Hebgen Lake wintering Trumpeter Swans which are disturbed by bison hazing operations.
I was born in Lewiston, Idaho and raised in Lapwai, Idaho on the Nez Perce Reservation, where I reside today. My family lifestyle is one of tradition. I was taught to hunt and fish early on, to be a provider. I also helped pick berries, dig roots, and harvest the leaves of various shrubs for spiritual and subsistence purposes. I was given the belief that my relationship with the natural world is sacred, and I treat it as such.
My paternal grandpa and my dad sparked the love of the outdoors in me. My grandpa was a renowned fisherman and knowledge keeper, while my dad is a great hunter, statesman, and naturalist. Together they taught me what I know about the ways of the rivers and mountains. I was given the responsibility of being a warrior for Mother Earth, to speak for her and her children.
I have a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Idaho. Further, I have a Certificate in Diversity and Stratification, also from the University of Idaho. This educational background has complimented my childhood teaching, as well as my political experience. I will strive to share my cultural wisdom and knowledge and 23 years of environmental public policy experience to strengthen the Campaign’s vision and help bring our mission to fruition.
My wife Feather, and I share a blended family with our combined children. Our children are Vic, River, Isaac, Sistina, Joseph, Quintana, James Jr., Alina, and Shanda. We love to volunteer as a family, often assisting with local food drives, public awareness events, and subsistence fishing and hunting to support tribal families. In our free time you will find us in the mountains or on a river having fun. We also travel extensively to BFC Headquarters, referred to our kids as the Buffalo Home. Our kids have been on patrol in West Yellowstone during the cold of winter, walked in honor of our late co-founder, and fostered awareness in our community regarding the plight of wild, Yellowstone buffalo. We will continue to do our part.
I have served two terms on the Nez Perce Tribe’s Fish & Wildlife Commission, and one term on the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee (NPTEC), the tribe’s governing body. This policy background has allowed me to understand the inter-governmental relationships that drive natural resources management. Further, while serving in these capacities I had the opportunity to research the history and context of the Nez Perce and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. It was an honor to support the reunification of the Nez Perce Tribe and the Buffalo, retying a sacred relationship back to our Circle. In addition, my managerial and executive experience includes serving as Director of the Nez Perce Tribe’s Water Resources Division, and Executive Director of Confluence Environmental Center located in Portland, Oregon.
As the Executive Director I serve as the primary representative regarding policy communications, legal actions, and support the Board of Directors in guiding the organization. My priorities have included strengthening our relationship with Buffalo Tribes, expanding our support base, diversifying our funding sources, and developing Camp programs that bring the public to our headquarters. I strive to engage with our supporters in an open and concise fashion, facilitating transparency and dialogue. I look forward to building relationships as I continue this good work.
In addition to my work with Buffalo Field Campaign, I have served on the leadership committees of numerous nonprofit organizations that compliment my professional experience.
- Friends of the Clearwater, Board Member
- Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Chairman
- Inter-Tribal Bison Cooperative, Treasurer
- Spirit of the Salmon Foundation, President
- Wolf Education and Research Center, Board Member
- EPA Region 10, Tribal Operations Committee, Idaho Alternate Member
A motto that resonates with me, and that I want to share with the BFC community, is a quote from the great Nez Perce chief of the Wallowa Band, Chief Joseph, “The Earth and I are of one mind.” This is how I see my brief existence: I am child of the Earth, and I will respect, honor, and protect my Mother.
My involvement with BFC is rooted in my advocacy and feelings of personal responsibility to Mother Earth’s children, and to my people. As a warrior, I take my sacred relationship with all sentient beings seriously. To honor you, our supporters, I will give my all in standing with Brother Buffalo.
Mike is a co-Founder of BFC and a founding Board Member. He earned a B.A. in Radio/Television and Psychology from the University of Montana, and has produced more than 20 video documentaries on human rights and environmental issues. Mike’s videography work has received awards from the Best of the Northwest Film Festival, the Hometown Video Festival, and the International Wildlife Film Festival. He has worked as an undercover videographer for Greenpeace, Native Forest Network, and BearWatch. His footage has been broadcast on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, A&E, the Discovery Channel, as well as French and German Television. Mike is co-founder of Cold Mountain, Cold River, and an environmental organizer and activist with more than two decades of experience. His long history of on-the-ground activism along with his passion and skill in creating compelling short films about bison behavior and management are some of BFC’s greatest organizational assets. Mike leadership in the field has been crucial to BFC’s success. Leading BFC together since 1997, Mike and Dan remain the principal organizers of BFC. They have literally trained hundreds of volunteers on every aspect of BFC’s work—and helped launch thousands of activists out into the world after experiencing the effectiveness and empowerment of BFC.