Buffalo Field Campaign
The bison will be denied the habitat their ancestors roamed eons before time was measured by man. Instead of reaching those grass-rich valleys, following the faint traces laid down by hundreds of thousands of ancient buffalo generations, the buffalo will be met with rifles.
The steam of this buffalo's breath is a good indicator of the chilly temperature outside, but his wooly body is toasty warm.
Photo by the talented Sandy Sisti, Wild at Heart Images, used with permission.
As BFC's 15th field season begins, winter shows her hastening approach in the accumulating snow that gloriously crowns the mountains here in the Northern Rockies. As the days grow shorter and colder, the snow works its way down in elevation, soon to blanket everything as far as the eye can see, for months on end. Forecasters predict that similar weather patterns to last year will be visited upon us again. Heavy snowfall will force wild grazers to move down from Yellowstone country's high elevations to seek the forage they need to survive. The snow and ice that obscure their vital food sources drive the animals to move on as they have done for countless millennia.
The buffalo will not be given the chance to access these necessary, life-giving lands. They will be denied the habitat their ancestors roamed eons before time was measured by man. Instead of reaching those grass-rich valleys, following the faint traces laid down by hundreds of thousands of ancient buffalo generations, the buffalo will be met with rifles. As they cross the imaginary line separating Yellowstone National Park from the rest of the country - their country - they will be met with fatal opposition. On Tuesday, November 15, Montana's bison "hunt" begins again. A hunt designed by Montana livestock interests who's politics keep the land sterile with the absence of her native buffalo. Another year of hunting a wildlife species that is ecologically extinct. Fewer than 3,700 individuals remain in the last wild population.
BFC volunteers will set out on patrols in the frosty mornings to seek the buffalo, monitor their migration, and champion the buffalo's right to roam. We take on the extremely difficult task of trying to reach the hearts and minds of those who come to kill the buffalo, those who cannot see that they are being used by selfish livestock interests to keep buffalo out of Montana. Without question, most hunters accept the lies fed to them by the government; perhaps unknowingly they participate in the slow and deliberate annihilation of America's last wild buffalo.
Thankfully, other forces are also at work. Forces that will stop at nothing to reconnect the buffalo with their stolen ground. Bearing witness, being a constant presence in the field, documenting all actions against the buffalo, BFC field patrols gain first-hand experience that helps fuel a wide range of efforts to change the misguided and unjust laws and policies that bind wild buffalo to a man-made box. With the incredible legal help of Western Watersheds Project and our eloquent persistence in Washington, DC, BFC is a multi-faceted, unique, and powerful voice for the buffalo and our collective efforts on all levels are shaping the future.
As the dawn of our 15th season approaches, we appeal to each of you to stay the course with us, spread the word, and do whatever we must to protect the wild buffalo. Please CONTRIBUTE whatever you can afford to keep BFC strong and healthy in the field and at every level of the policy front.