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A gift to Earthfire, this white buffalo calf symbolizes the hopes of a Nation

Summer 2012

Letter from the Director

I love the animals here profoundly; without reserve, with total commitment. There is no explanation I can give; no credit due, and I have no choice in the matter. It simply is. But to love profoundly, I believe, is to be given a great gift. It combines the exquisite beauty and pain of life into the bitter-sweetness that is life. I can’t really explain, either, how or why Earthfire seems to be taking hold in a beautiful way; a beacon of hope for many people (see the poignant quotes in this issue’s centerfold). I could explain the steps I have taken to start Earthfire but they don’t feel connected to what is happening. Though I am neither traditionally religious nor mystically inclined, it feels somehow out of my hands; I am just doing the practical work that is necessary. In my mind, true science means not dismissing things just because they don’t fit my world view, and there is something I don’t understand going on here. Nothing has been easy – in fact is has been extraordinarily difficult. It started with the absolute impossibility of finding funds to buy the land. Yet a wildly unexpected person stepped in to help in a most untraditional way. It continued with the even greater impossibility of getting permits in an area virulently hostile to the native animals we wanted to give homes to such as wolves, bears and cougars. Yet a wildly improbable person stepped in to make it possible after a four year struggle. It continued with a few improbably generous gifts that made it possible for us to start – gifts not even asked for. This continued with other wildly improbable gifts; large donations where the only obligation in accepting them was that we follow our hearts. Those gifts led to the web

with action-oriented thinkers, along with the Earthfire animals, to see if we can break through to a more effective model for conservation action. Harvey is co-founder of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and the idea of wildlife corridors that has now spread around the world. Along these lines we are seeking imaginative business leaders open to incorporating a larger sense of community into their decisions. One of those leaders will be joining us for our conservation think tank. We are again offering a residency program for students of the prestigious California Institute for the Arts, sharing the animal’s wisdom with the next generation. The lives and artwork of the students and the professor accompanying them have, in their words, been forever changed. The animals, those who are now in spirit form and those here physically, are always with us, making these profound impacts possible. We have been here twelve years now, against all odds. This is an interspecies endeavor. With the help of the animals we continue to carry their voices and wisdom out to the larger world; to carry out Earthfire’s Susan & wolf puppy by: Robert Winslow mission: to enlarge our sense of community to include missed, but who continue to enrich all living beings, beings worthy of Earthfire. Each is a profound story true consideration in our planning in themselves. New baby rescues and actions. To show how we are all who will grow in wisdom and grace richer because of the diversity of life over the years but meanwhile inject forms and intelligences that share the an overwhelming sense of the joy earth with us. With thanks to them, and and vibrancy of life. We are moving toward our goal of having world to you, our heart-full friends and leaders in conservation, art, earth- supporters. Without you this would based spirituality and business come not be possible, and you add your to have conversations with us in a own richness to the story. seminar/think tank format. The goal is to change the story of how we treat Cover photo by: Susan Eirich our earth. Harvey Locke will lead Susan & wolf puppy by: an exploratory session in October site; to the beginning of our ability to reach out to fellow humans, led to the retreats, and now, we hope, to webinars and teleseminars. If I had to try to explain it I would say it feels like we somehow swam into a current among many in the larger stream, life, one in which the flow is kindness, generosity and clarity of vision, and we are being carried along with the flow. In the beauty of the things that have happened here, with humans and with animals, there is a sense of the sacred somehow interwoven. So much news to share with you in a short newsletter. The passing of older animals, beloved; terribly

Robert Winslow Graphic Desiger: Amanda Head

The Sacred White Buffalo Calf

picture by : Earthfire Institute

~Ancient Wisdom~

We have had representatives from many of the world’s great religions come here, as well as healing practitioners with a strong earth-based spiritual practice. Last year we had a visit and teaching from Tibetan Buddhist Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche. And completely unexpected, a Native American pipe carrier in the Lakota Sioux tradition handed us a check and said “You need to have a sacred white buffalo calf on the land.” When we asked why, she replied, “She teaches the value of right relationship with the people; the land. The land here at Earthfire is ancient Indian ground. This is a way to honor the elders, the ancient ones who have come before us. Earthfire’s vision is to teach people how to come back into circle through animals. It all just fits.” “Nineteen generations ago the beautiful spirit we now refer to as White Buffalo Calf Woman brought the Sacred C’anupa (Sacred Pipe) to our People. Following the Way of this Sacred C’anupa, you will walk in a sacred way upon the Earth, for the Earth is your grandmother and your mother and she is sacred. . . White Buffalo Calf Woman told us her Spirit would return to help us one day in times of great hardship. . .”

-From White Buffalo Teachings Chief by Arvol Looking Horse

“I remember when the buffalo were returned to the Lakota land. Long grasses not seen in years by the elders retuned and grew. The mere weight of the animal’s hooves on the earth brought water to the surface. Creeks and streams came back. These returned the insects and the birds. A great restoration of the land began after the reintroduction of the bison.” - Linda Hogan

Excerpts from “This

Bias Against Bison”

I heard their spirit laughter: Breath of bounty breath of trusting spirit breath of knowing all their needs were met. These were chosen Bison trusting the People giving to the People in their time of need still thundering still breathing quietly amongst their kin the whole herd one big kin. These Bison are returning here as they once returned to the spirit world where I hear them now rustling, walking, breathing.

by Lyn Dalebout It takes us here to call them back, to welcome them home as history, in continual reversal, asserts itself again.

They are ready. They’ve wandered long enough beneath perfect skies. They want the earth again. They want the Earth beneath their feet again. They seek our help. They need our help to return to them to the Earth again. . . . . .They say they will forgive us. They would provide again these thundering nations.

For they are there. We need them here. They await our word.

Extending Earth

Quotes from around the wor “A bit of the strength of the mountain, the clarity

transpire through your stories and it does me good. It reminds me that real life is good.” - Doris

picture by : Earthfire Institute

Huckleberry Bear Bear’s Pillow

of the water & the cleansing of the air

“The animals participate in the healing of the land and the people that visit. Visiting Earthfire planted a seed in me. I support many more animal organizations now and try to vote with my dollars, as well as pressuring legislature to preserve open land for wildlife and to pass humane laws for the treatment of livestock. Now when I walk down the street and see an animal, I try to really SEE it. I am more aware of their presence and contribution. They are our companions on this Earth. I think I am a better person because of the animals I have known.” -Debbie Noyes

“Thank you for taking such good care of Cucumber as you do for all the animals . You give hope and a reason to trust humans again.” -Sam Coffman

“Your writing and stories about the residents and visitors of Earthfire draws me in so deeply that I feel as though I experience the tale in real time with you. What a rare gift you bring. “ - Isha “I can’t begin to express the feeling that I had when I came to realize that there are places like this in existence. It gives me hope.” -Julie Abraham “All it takes is someone who understands that every living thing has a right to be nurtured and helped.” - Donna “Earthfire is a complete inspiration . . . Thank You for caring as you do for our fellow Earthlings.” - Yvonne Troyer

Cucumber the timber Wolf

picture by : Earthfire Institute

“Thank you for always speaking the language of my own heart.” - Isha

arthfire’s Reach

Huckleberry Bear Bear’s Pillow

world through the Internet

picture by : Earthfire Institute

*Bluebell embodies so much love as does Jean. I admire that man so much! As for Firefly, I wonder how Jean even kept hold of her. She’s a living ricochet!” - Kotsu Morris Britt

*If the eyes are the window of the soul then we can see who Buffalo Girl really is. . . a gentle soul.” - Anita Daniels

picture by : Susan Michael

“Coming to your website is my church. My weekly dose of holiness, kindness, and sweet joy.”

“I believe that sharing is important because you never know who needs to just read the story and receive a message at a time that it is most relevant to them.”


- Sonara

Shomi the Porcupine

Great statistics from the web! w25, 549 people visited site last year w64% were first-time visitors! wAverage page views per visit: 3.39 wAverage time on site: 3:38 More than 3,500 people like Earthfire’s page which included people from 20 different countries Stats from the last year: w197,5oo views of Earthfire videos w1,300 people have “Liked” our videos w900 people shared us with others You can also find us on Twitter and Pinterest!

picture by: Maryland Paine

“My feelings toward coyotes have changed after reading this You are a master at telling it through their eyes.” - Lisa

Skitter the Coyote

The Animals Need Your Help! Bear Gardens The bears are pining for their gardens so they no longer have to share with the wolves, and can swim and root to their heart’s content. We have raised $8500 to date, $5000 as a matching grant. The sooner we raise the funds the sooner we can get started on the construction. From their point of view this is urgent! Summer has already started and by late fall they will be going to hibernation.

Bramble the Grizzly Bear

Have $8,500

Watch your donation increase by up to 50%! Look on the back cover to see how.

Infirmary- Hospice Barn

We have no place to house and care for sick, old or dying animals during our long and bitter winters. It is from the sick and dying that we have received some of our most profound insights and we want to give them opportunity for them to be heard; Pimpernel the Coyote to share their gifts before they leave the earth. In general, our philosophy is not to cut an animal’s life short but to let it go in its own time unless it is clearly suffering. Thus we would deeply appreciate funding towards a barn/ infirmary building. Have $10,500

picture by : Earthfire Institute

Any donation given by July 30th through the Tin Cup will be matched by up to 50%.

2012 Featured Retreats

July 9-20 California Institute of the Arts 3rd annual residency The goal is to produce powerful multi-media art projects, informed by science, on the new ways of seeing & practicing conservation. Supported by scholorship

be im at d, Re

September 27-30 A Walk on the Wildside: Answering the Call of the Wild w/ Rose DeDan. A unique event opportunity to meet respected wild Animal Ambassadors, participate in shamanic ceremonies & learn from them. *Waiting List Only*



October 6-7 Exploring the Human Nature Realtionship. What does Nature need from us? w/ Harvey Locke. Dialogue with innovative, actionoriented leaders in conservation, with the aim of changing how we see nature, & thus how we treat it.

June 22-24 Connecting with Wildlife Heart to Heart with Susan & Jean This retreat will offer time for truly meeting the animals, contemplation, storytelling by the campfire, deep conversation and celebration.

September 7-9 The Practice of Qigong: The Way of Animal Powers w/ Kenneth Cohen. Rare Taoist qigong exercises inspired by close observation of nature: Crane Walk for balance, Bear Walk for rooted strength, Deer Walk for grace, & many more.

July 20-22 Talking with Nature w/ Australian visionary Michael Roads You cannot talk with Nature & remain as the person you currently are. You have to grow, to expand in consciousness. The very act of listening to the silence of Nature is life changing.

Day long programs by reservation: Animal Connection – Wild Synergy w/ The Whole Hiking Experience; Journey to a sacred garden where man & animal meet with mutual respect for each other & the earth. You will then hike in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem with a stronger connection of the beings that live there. For our full retreat schedule or more information visit our website or call us at (208) 456-0926.

P.O. Box 368 Driggs, ID 83422

The Mission of Earthfire Institute is to awaken Ecological advocacy through human connection to the wild animals under its care Midnight, a Timber wolf

Your donation to Earthfire Institute will be matched by up to 50% through July 30! The Tin Cup Challenge, from the Community Foundation of Teton Valley helps local nonprofits raise funds by matching donations by up to 50%. If you donate $1000 we will get up to $1500.

A perfect way to see your contribution to us grow! Last year’s match was 52%! Donate online now Go to: Under Give click: Donate online now Follow the prompts and you are done

Or donate by phone: 208.354.0230 Deadline: July 30th at 5 pm MDT

Summer 2012 Newlsetter  

Earthfire Institute's bi-annual newsletter

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