Buffalo Field Campaign Update. July 24, 2008

I’ve haven’t posted a BFC update for a while, and it’s time.


Update: related. State vet: Brucellosis came from elk. By Jennifer McKee. Helena Independent Review State Bureau
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Buffalo Field Campaign
Yellowstone Bison
Update from the Field

July 24, 2008



In this issue:
* Update from the Field
* Bonnie Raitt BFC Benefit Tickets ~ Only 7 Tickets Left!
* Comment! Lousy Land Deal for Wild Buffalo
* Call 307-344-2002! Suzanne Lewis Caters to Cowboys, Betrays Buffalo & Native Buffalo Cultures
* Spread the Word: Emergency Action Alert from Global Response to Save the Last Wild Buffalo!
* Join BFC for WoodCut Week August 28 – September 3
* Last Words
* Kill Tally

* Update from the Field

Dear Buffalo Friends,

Lip-service land deals, wildlife vaccination plans, confinement, hazing, quarantine, capture-and-slaughter, canned hunts; these are the “management” tools that the government – including Yellowstone National Park – intend to carry out in order to cater to the economic interests and unfounded fears of Montana cattle producers.  These invasive and deadly plans erroneously ignore feasible solutions as well as the millions of people who call for respecting the cultural and spiritual significance, wild integrity, ecological health, and evolutionary potential of America’s last wild buffalo.

You can take three actions take right now to help to help defend the buffalo against further destruction from these entities.  Bison – and now elk – need your participation, your voice, your steadfast support to help ease them into a future where they are not hunted down, trapped, orphaned, and slaughtered, but respected and protected and free to roam.  We strongly encourage you to pass these alert items around and get everyone you know to take action for the last wild buffalo!

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for ~ if we don’t help the buffalo, who will?  It is up to us.  The future of wild buffalo shall not be the cattle industry’s to decide!

Roam Free!

* Bonnie Raitt BFC Benefit Tickets ~ Only 7 Tickets Left!

Enjoy incredible music by the beautiful and talented Bonnie Raitt while helping keep Buffalo Field Campaign on the front lines with the last wild buffalo! The Guacamole Fund and Bonnie Raitt have generously offered Buffalo Field Campaign 20 tickets to Bonnie’s concert coming to Big Sky, MT on August 27, 2008.  Tickets are $200 each and include an aftershow backstage visit with Bonnie!  Ticket purchases go directly to Buffalo Field Campaign.

Only 7 tickets are left!  Get yours now!

* Comment! RTR Purchase is a Lousy Land Deal for Wild Buffalo

Your public comments are needed on the so-called land deal  – a 30-year lease of grazing rights from the Royal Teton Ranch – between state and federal agencies, some conservation groups, and the Church Universal & Triumphant (CUT).  If this land lease goes through, CUT will receive more millions for leasing their land for a mere 30 years so that a handful of captured, tested, and tagged bison could temporarily occupy portions of their native range outside Yellowstone’s north boundary.  Over the years, thousands of wild bison have been slaughtered for even looking in the direction of these lands.  Back in 1998-99, $13 million U.S. tax dollars were spent to allow wild bison and other migratory wildlife safe passage through this critical corridor, but to date, bison have been repeatedly harassed and killed for attempting to access these lands.  Now, the agencies involved are touting it as a huge step forward, when, in reality, only 25 buffalo would have temporary access to it and only after being run through the typical buffalo torture gauntlet.

This deal is in its “scoping” phase, meaning the entities are looking at the very beginnings of the process, getting all the details in order before submitting a plan or proposal for further public comment and consideration.  While BFC opposes the land deal, we have prepared some key questions for the agencies to answer prior to proceeding with the deal.

Comments are being accepted through August 11.  Buffalo Field Campaign has already submitted comments, and we have provided talking points below to help you craft yours.  Send your comments to:

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Attn: RTR Grazing Rights Purchase
1420 East Sixth Avenue
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, MT  59620-0701
email:  RTRgrazing@mt.gov


~ The notice is deficient and lacking key information for the public to make substantive comments.  We request that this be rectified by re-issuing a public notice and providing additional time for the public to review new information requested herein and contribute comments on the proposed action by the State of Montana and U.S. Forest Service.

~ Ask the agencies to provide factual information on the specific locations and extent of fencing proposed, what type of fencing will be installed, whether the new fencing will be permanently installed or used temporarily, and the duration.

~ As the fencing will be located in a known wildlife corridor, ask the agencies to provide baseline information on how migratory species including elk, bighorn sheep, mule deer, pronghorn antelope and buffalo could be impacted.  Ask them to also provide information on how grizzly bears, gray wolves and eagles may be impacted by the proposed fencing and its impact on ungulate migration.

~ Ask the agencies to provide a map of elk, bighorn sheep, mule deer, pronghorn antelope and buffalo habitat and migrations for the project area. Thomas Lemke, a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist mapped this area as part of the 1999 Royal Teton Ranch land agreement.

~ Ask the agencies to address and explain how the fencing impacts critical wildlife habitat purchased and conserved with taxpayer money in the $13,000,000 Royal Teton Ranch land agreement reached in 1999.

~ Ask the agencies to provide factual information on the terms of the 30-year agreement, and the sources of funding secured, pledged or otherwise sought.

~ Ask the agencies to provide information on whether the proposed 30-year lease is a stand-alone agreement, or is in part or whole the “Bison Management Plan” as called for in the Royal Teton Ranch land agreement and the Record of Decision for the Interagency Bison Management Plan.

~ Ask the agencies to provide information on how the 30-year lease will be managed “to preserve, restore and enhance the bison that utilize the Property and their habitat.”

~ Ask the agencies to provide information on the status, location, and consideration of locating another buffalo trap on Gallatin National Forest lands that may be constructed as part of the lease agreement and/or the IBMP in the project area.

THANK YOU for taking action for the buffalo!  Please contact Darrell, BFC’s Habitat Coordinator at z@wildrockies.org with questions.

*Yellowstone Superintendent Caters to Cowboys, Betrays Buffalo & Native Cultures

Call 307-344-2002!

On July 21, Suzanne Lewis, Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, took time out of her busy schedule to travel to Helena, Montana and attend a Montana Board of Livestock meeting.  Her statement to the Board was carefully prepared and tailored to her audience.  It was thick with compromise and lacked the courage and integrity necessary to defend the wild species in her care.

She spoke of the “common heritage” of those in the room, the commonality of “rangers, ranchers, conservationists, and sportsmen” yet not once did she mention the First Nations buffalo cultures, or address any Native American concerns or interests and how the destruction of the wild buffalo is affecting anyone other than the livestock industry.  How is it that Ms. Lewis was able to make the four-hour trek to Helena to listen to the concerns of cowboys, but could not find the time to attend her own Park’s annual so-called consultation meeting with Native American tribes in early June?  A meeting where the tribes waxed powerful and eloquent, condemning the Park’s status quo and demanding that their voices have at least equal footing as that of the livestock industry.

With the aid of Montana, Yellowstone Superintendent Lewis was responsible this past winter and spring for the largest wild buffalo slaughter since the 1800’s.  Her words and actions betray the buffalo and Native American buffalo cultures.  Under her leadership, Yellowstone continues to ignore all entities that hold no ties to the livestock industry.  She is in charge of protecting America’s natural, native heritage – not Montana’s livestock interests –  and she must be held accountable.

Read Superintendent Lewis’ entire statement to the Montana Board of Livestock:

And please call her at 307-344-2002 to remind her that she is supposed to be protecting the bison and other wild creatures of Yellowstone, not the livestock of Montana.

* Spread the Word!  Emergency Action Alert from Global Response to Save the Last Wild Buffalo!

At the request of Buffalo Field Campaign, 7th Generation Fund~Tatanka Oyate Project, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Honor the Earth, the powerful Global Response environmental action and education network, with members in over 92 countries, has organized an urgent international letter campaign to help the last wild population of bison (buffalo) in the United States.


Please help by taking action yourself, spreading the word, and posting this alert and link every place you can think of!   Global Response does not stop until there is success!  Their campaigns have been strikingly successful in mitigating a wide variety of environmental threats on all continents, and we are grateful to have their help for the buffalo!  Please learn more about Global Response.

Thank you, Global Response, for helping the last wild buffalo!

* Join BFC for WoodCut Week, August 28 – September 3

Come to beautiful West Yellowstone, campaign headquarters of Buffalo Field Campaign, and help us gather, cut, and stack the firewood that will keep our field volunteers warm (and alive!) through Montana’s long, harsh winter.  Come for a day, a few days or the whole week.  We need and appreciate your help!  Bring friends!!

Please RSVP with barb at buffalo@wildrockies.org or 406-646-0070.

* Last Words

“Past experience has repeatedly shown that once the agencies collectively choose a brucellosis management direction, our field staffs work together smoothly and professionally to get the job done.”

~ Yellowstone Superintendent Suzanne Lewis, in a statement to the Montana Board of Livestock, July 21, 2008.  Read the entire statement.

* Kill Tally

AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2007-2008 Total: 1,613
2007-2008 Slaughter: 1,447
2007-2008 Hunt: 166
2007-2008 Quarantine: 112

Total Since 2000:  3,678*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts


Media & Outreach
Buffalo Field Campaign
P.O. Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT  59758

BFC is the only group working in the field every day
in defense of the last wild buffalo population in the U.S.

Stay informed!  Get our weekly email Updates from the Field:
Send your email address to bfc-media@wildrockies.org

* View BFC Video Footage

* NEW VIDEO! To Protect the Wild Bison

* Why are they killing the last wild buffalo?

* NEW! Buffalo Field Campaign Blog

* Protect Horse Butte for Wild Buffalo!

* BOYCOTT BEEF!  It’s what’s killing wild buffalo

* Speak Out! Contact politicians and involved agencies today

* Write a Letter to the Editor of key newspapers

* Help the buffalo by recycling your used cell phones & printer cartridges.
It’s free and easy.






  1. kim kaiser Avatar

    stop by Mike, I have some donation from bison print and big hole beer sales for you,, its not much, but just wanted to let you know,,

  2. Jim Macdonald Avatar

    The story in the Billings Gazette was a bit funny if it weren’t so sad. Look at Zaluski give so many of the talking points over why the buffalo slaughter has made no sense – a rare moment of truth as he bends over backwards to finger elk for this.

  3. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    I note from Matthew Brown’s story on this issue that the Montana FWP is going to seek an independent assessment of the DNA report. This suggests that FWP is suspicious of Zaluski’s claim.

  4. kim kaiser Avatar

    Jim, Didnt you get a letter from the vet that pretty mcuh said that Mt was simply not going to allow bison, private land or not,,seems you posted a copy several months ago,, was this the same vet


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Ralph Maughan