Tuesday, September 28, 2010

October 2 and 3: Buffalo Field Campaign, Santa Cruz and San Jose Events

October 2, Saturday
6-9pm, Santa Cruz, CA
Louden Nelson Center
301 Center Street
Contacts: Crysta and Sampson 831-338-7390

October 3, Sunday
2pm to 6pm, San Jose, CA
Center for Training & Careers
749 Story Road
Sampson 408-590-1347

What are the BFC Road Shows?

Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization focused on protecting America's last wild buffalopopulation. BFC lives and works in the lands where wild buffalo still roam, in southwestern Montana, and has become the leading source of news and information about them. BFC volunteers embark on daily field patrols, monitoring wild bison migration and document all actions made against them in an effort to raise awareness and gain permanent protection for this sacred, iconic species. BFC's Road Show is one way we can bring the buffalo's story to you and build a strong advocacy for their defense.

The Yellowstone buffalo population is the last one to remain free of cattle-genes, to still follow their migratory instincts, and the only buffalo to have continuously lived on their historic habitat since prehistoric times. Once roaming free in the tens of millions across North America, today, fewer than 4,000 wild buffalo are left in existence; these few are confined to Yellowstone and are under constant attack by livestock interests.

Montana's voracious cattle industry, overseen by the Montana Department of Livestock, holds a "zero tolerance" policy against buffalo, harming, harassing and killing them for following their natural, migratory instincts that bring them to habitat in the state. Since 1985 nearly 7,000 wild buffalo have been senselessly killed. Montana and the federal government agencies supporting them claim that these actions are taken to prevent the spread of a livestock disease, brucellosis, from wild bison to cattle. In the centuries of cattle invading North America, wild bison have never transmitted this disease to the livestock they got it from. Other wildlife - such as elk, deer, and even domestic dogs - also carry brucellosis. Only wild buffalo are targeted, which demonstrates a deeper issue other than disease: grass. The cattle industry fears the return of wild buffalo because they want to hoard grassland habitat for their cattle.

With our country's shameful history of mass buffalo slaughter it is a bitter irony that 130 years later history repeats itself. Adding insult to injury, Montana's livestock industry has a unlikely partner in these crimes against buffalo: Yellowstone National Park. Amazingly, the agency that is in charge of protecting this sacred species, and that uses the buffalo as their very symbol fully participates in their harassment and slaughter. During the winter of 2008, Yellowstone National Park helped livestock interests kill over 1,600 wild American buffalo, becoming responsible for the largest buffalo slaughter since the 19th century.

In addition to our daily field patrols, and using our decades of experience, BFC is working to gain wild buffalo permanent protection under the Endangered Species Act; we are working with Congress for legislative support, working with First Nations that help honor the sacred nature of the buffalo, and we have joined with other bison advocates to take legal action against the governments that harm them. These buffalo are an American treasure, belonging to themselves and the land they have roamed since prehistoric times. America's last wild buffalo need all of our help to ensure their survival.

BFC co-founder Mike Mease, along with BFC volunteer and coordinator Noah will be traveling out West visiting communities, events and Farmers Markets sharing stories, music, poetry, video and discussion about the last wild buffalo. We are honored to have family members and friends GoodShield of 7th Generation Rise, and Phoenix AfterBuffalo back again this year joining us for the entire West Coast Road Show in 2010!

Click here to view the schedule of BFC's 2010 West Coast Roadshow.

For more information on the West Coast tours,
email bfc-media@wildrockies.org or call (406) 646-0070.

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