This episode of Muse Ecology is the first in this four part series beginning to explore humankind’s relation to the bison in the Great Plains of North America. This buffalo series features diverse voices of folks involved in the bison’s return that Alison and I met on our buffalo investigation journey in February 2018. While the next three episodes feature entrepreneurs (Tanka Bar) and ranchers (777 Bison Ranch and Wild Idea Buffalo Company) who are working to restore bison to the landscape, this first episode features voices of wildlife advocates who see the buffalo as a wild elder whose right to roam long precedes our recent human constructs.
The first visit on our buffalo journey was with the Buffalo Field Campaign, a volunteer-run organization that exists to defend the dignity and freedom of the last continuously wild herd of buffalo in North America, in Yellowstone National Park. Founded over 20 years ago by Lakota Grandmother Rosalie Littlethunder and videographer Mike Mease, through documentation and advocacy, the BFC seeks to promote awareness of the story and management of the Yellowstone bison, and to influence policy to allow them to roam free like the other wild ones.
At just over two and a half hours this episode ended up a bit long, but felt like one story to be released together, so I divided it up into chapters like an audio book or radio play, and created a table of contents with minute and second, to make it easy to restart if you have to take a break.
Buffalo Field Campaign Table of Contents
00:00:52 Introduction to the Buffalo Series
00:09:17 Arrival at BFC
00:09:46 Chapter 1: The Rosalie Littlethunder Memorial Walk
00:15:44 Rosalie Memorial Circle
00:29:27 Chapter 2: Buffalo Awareness in Bozeman
00:29:31 More Words From Karen Littlethunder and Cheryl Angel
00:35:04 Awareness Rally Grooves
00:38:53 Chapter 3: Ski Patrol and Share Frog
00:38:55 A Daily Meeting
00:45:55 Buffalo Patrol
00:52:96 A Wild Lullaby for Share Frog
00:57:05 Chapter 4: Jimmy Brings an Important Message
01:09:46 Chapter 5: A Conversation with Stephany Seay
(I mispronounce her last name in this episode, FYI. It’s pronouced “sea”.)
01:11:24 Conversation with Stephany
01:35:14 Chapter 6: A Conversation with Mike Mease
01:36:05 Details about the March webinar
01:36:46 Conversation with Mike
02:36:11 Closing Rumination and Introduction of Tanka Bar Episode
You can connect with the Buffalo Field Campaign, to follow their work or arrange to volunteer for a while, at www.buffalofieldcampaign.org
Michael DiGiorgio recorded the banjo-bird jams I’m using in the intro and ending. You can find his amazing nature art at https://www.mdigiorgio.com. Mike says that if you’d like to buy the album of his nature-banjo jams, you can find his email on his website and he can mail you a CD.
Here’s some photos about the content of this epsisode: