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Weekly Update from the Field May 29, 2003
* Update from the Field
* Summer Campaign begins Monday, June 2nd
* 25-foot Buffalo Roams West Coast!
* Last Words

* Update from the Field
Buffalo Supporters,
Last week's massive hazing operation by the Montana Department of
Livestock (DOL) and their allied agencies ended with bison scattered all
over this valley, both inside and outside of the Park, as the
responsible agents packed up their things and went home for their 3-day
weekend. In their absence, visitors flocked to the area for the
official start of the summer tourism season. Boats roared across Lake
Hebgen, RV's lumbered down the highway and motorbikes tore across the
hardening soil. Bison watched it all from the safety of the woods along
the Madison and the slopes of Horse Butte, seeming to understand that
the DOL would not be back until the visitor level dropped again and
their actions would not be quite so public.

Like clockwork, the agents returned Tuesday morning, ready to find more
bison to push around. For the most part, bison seem to have relocated
to the park for the summer, though there were a few animals on the
public lands surrounding Yellowstone when the agents arrived. Several
agents on horseback began to push a small group of mothers and calves.
At some point during the haze, one of the calves was injured, possibly
when the group was pushed through a barbed wire fence. The calf, which
sustained injuries to its side, back and knee, was unable to continue
walking. The small reddish calf lay beneath a tree while the mother
stood guard and licked its wounds.

Yesterday, 8 agents returned to Horse Butte intending, in their words,
to "haze, shoot or leave the two alone." The government agents parked
their vehicles between the bison and their water supply, and a tense
standoff began. Four women who volunteer with BFC locked arms and
formed a human chain between the livestock agents and the bison family.
They sang songs to the agents as they approached and continued to sing
loudly as a Forest Service agent addressed them. In the end, the women,
human and bison alike, were triumphant, and the good old boys had to
once again pack up their things and leave. It was a peaceful act of
civil disobedience and music, and as I write this, that mother and calf
are still resting and healing in the shade on the land that is their

On a more personal note, this week marks the end of our spring campaign,
and the terminus of my coordinating position with BFC Media. The email
updates will continue, though they may become a bit sparse during the
summer tabling campaign. I want to thank all of you who receive this
update each week and stay in touch with the bison from afar. Your
support and honest questions and responses to these weekly postings have
been invaluable to us here in the field. It has been my pleasure to
write these updates, and to be involved in conversation with so many of
you over the past eight months. On behalf of Ted and myself, I wish you
each a bountiful and free-roaming summer, and I look forward to
reconnecting with you this fall.

For the buffalo,
Jonas Ehudin
BFC Media

* Summer Campaign begins Monday, June 2nd

Just a reminder that Monday marks the beginning of BFC's 7th annual
summer campaign, which focuses mainly on outreach and education as we
table in Yellowstone. A dedicated core of campaigners will remain in
the cabin this summer, and for the first time since BFC began, we are
asking that new volunteers please wait to visit until fall campaign
begins in October.

Our open volunteer season runs through fall, winter and spring
(approximately October through May) and these are the times when field
volunteers are needed most.

Previous volunteers and supporters who would like to plan a visit this
summer should contact our summer campaign coordinator at (406) 646-0070
or buffaloatwildrockies.org

* 25-foot Buffalo Roams West Coast!
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MT- An enormous balloon in the shape of a buffalo bull
is making preparations to tour the west coast this summer, say sources
at the Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC). The massive inflatable will
accompany BFC co-founder Mike Mease and others as they journey down the
coast to educate individuals and groups about the crisis faced by the
Yellowstone bison herd. The tour is scheduled to begin in mid-August
and continue through mid-September.

The "Ballooffalo," as it is affectionately called, will stand guard near
bison presentations this summer. The presentations, which will blend
BFC's exclusive footage with commentary and discussion, are perfect for
informed bison advocates and curious browsers alike.
BFC is requesting that individuals and groups who would like to help
schedule a stop for the Ballooffalo please contact Mike Mease at
mease"at"wildrockies.org or (406) 646-0070.

Response to last week's initial posting regarding this "dirigible
stampede" has been impressive, and BFC is hoping to add venues to the
tour. Especially important is information regarding local farmers'
markets and fairs in which BFC could set up the balloon and an
information table.

To see a picture of the Ballooffalo in Washington, DC, check out:

Let the vinyl bison roam free!

* Last Words
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our
lives. If we only see the worst, it destroys our capacity to do
something. If we remember those times and places - and there are so
many - where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy
to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a
world in a different direction
- Howard Zinn

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