|Yellowstone Bison Slaughter
Update from the Field July 24, 2003
Amendment Narrowly Defeate
"Bison Almost Not Killed" -- News Story
* Development Update
* BFC Plans East Coast Roadshow, Seeks Help in Setting
* Last Words
Amendment Narrowly Defeated
Thank you all for your overwhelming response
to the last update. Hundreds of buffalo supporters made
calls and sent emails to Congressional Representatives
resulting in 199 lawmakers voting in favor of the Rahall
Amendment to the 2004 Interior Appropriations Bill. While
the amendment--which would have made it illegal for the
Park Service to kill Yellowstone buffalo--didn't pass,
the vote was extremely close. The final tally was 199
to 220. If you would like to read a transcript of the
House debate, it is available on our website: http://www.wildrockies.org/Buffalo/politico/rehall.html
While we are very disappointed that the Amendment didn't
pass, it is heartening to know that the Yellowstone buffalo
have so much support on Captiol Hill. We will continue
to inform lawmakers on the importance of the Yellowstone
herd until the buffalo are given the protection they deserve.
In the words of BFC supporter Brock Evans, who helped
write the Endangered Species Act, this will take "endless
pressure, endlessly applied." We need your help in
generating that pressure.
Use the links below to find out how your Representative
voted on the Rahall Amendment and either send them a thank
you or ask them to explain their position.
Find out how your Representative voted on the Rahall Amendment
by clicking on this link, http://clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe?year=2003&rollnumber=383
and let them know how you feel about their position and
the Yellowstone bison.
Make a phone call: Dial *202-225-3121* and ask to be transferred
to your member's office.
Not sure who your Rep is or how to contact them? Go to:
(where you can also send an email).
* "Bison Almost not Killed "
by Jed Gottlieb
The Missoula Independent 7/24/03
In the conservation community, sometimes close losses
are chalked up as victories. On July 18, the House of
Representatives narrowly voted down an amendment that
would have banned the use of federal dollars to kill bison.
But the 199-220 loss demonstrates to conservationists
that they're gaining ground.
"There was actually debate on the House floor of
the Yellowstone bison issues, so that's encouraging,"
says Dan Brister of the Buffalo Field Campaign. "I
think this is just the first step of many."
Executive Director of the Bozeman, Mont.-based Greater
Yellowstone Coalition Michael Scott agrees that the debate
and the 199 votes amount to unprecedented momentum.
"It was a remarkable showing and outpouring of support
for a new issue in Yellowstone," he says. "Many
in the Congress didn't know what they were voting for,
other than they were voting for the park, and they were
voting for the park's wildlife."
Sponsored by Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), the bison-protection
amendment would have halted for one year the National
Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service's killing of
buffalo within Yellowstone National Park and surrounding
federal lands. Rahall, who spent time in February touring
the park with other representatives, has been credited
with championing what Brister calls "a national,
not just Western issue.""This is the last free-roaming
herd of buffalo on the continent," he says. "That's
of importance to everyone."
Neither Brister nor Scott has found much support within
Montana's congressional delegation for halting the bison
kill. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) led the charge against
the amendment, which was largely supported by Eastern
Democrats. Rehberg's worry is that bison infected with
brucellosis will transmit the disease to Montana cattle,
though there has yet to be documented an instance of such
transmission. He's also suggested that brucellosis could
pose a threat to humans.
Scott says he doesn't find it strange that his organization
finds so much support in the East.
"Recall the history of the establishment of Yellowstone
National Park," he says. "Had it been up to
the people here, we would have never had the park."
The next step for Brister is to parlay the momentum into
a greater awareness of the issue in both the East and
West. Scott, meanwhile, wants to educate Montanans on
Wyoming's method of letting bison that come out of the
park mingle with cattle.
"As long as Montana maintains that position of intolerance
toward bison, we will work to find alternative allotments
for cattle, to lease private lands so there won't be cattle
and bison together," he says.
* Development Update
Greetings! I hope you all enjoyed the new newsletter
- it's definitely worth a thorough read in your favorite
hammock under a shade tree or in your local coffee shop.
If you didn't receive one or have changed addresses -
send us your snail mail address at buffaloatwildrockies.org
and we can fix that.
The Buffalo Field Campaign is a grassroots effort and
we are dependent upon the generosity of buffalo allies
to carry out our important work. Things are a bit tight
after the newsletter's printing and mailing costs - so
if you can help with a donation it will be put to good
use. We are the only group with the buffalo 365 days a
year and our presence is crucial year-round.
A week and a half ago we documented the DOL's relentless
hazing of a lone bull. Agents wasted tax-dollars to unnecessarily
stress the bull as he tries to build up energy reserves
for the upcoming rutting season - a crucial time for bulls
to keep their genetic lineage going. BFC volunteers are
also currently engaged in our 6th summer of educational
tabling in Yellowstone National Park. We are talking with
upwards of 300 visitors a day. We are also giving tours
of the area and look forward to sharing our work with
one of China's leading journalists when she visits later
this week. We provide information to supporters on a daily
basis as they express their concerns to elected officials.
If you can afford to support our efforts with a monetary
donation, please send it to:
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
or give securely online at here
As an added incentive two of our very talented (&
long term) allies are offering bonus gifts from supporter
The first two donors of $250 or more will receive a beautiful
Thunder Hawk print from Renee Still Day - it is a beautiful
piece of artwork.
The first four donations of $111 - $250 will receive a
smaller print of Renee's (a gorgeous horse or a small
The first 9 donations of $38+ (keeps one activist in the
field/one week) get a bonus of the listening pleasure
of "Beauty of the Feast" by Eldorado Gene! this
is a great CD for summer trips as my daughter and I discovered
on a recent summer camping trip.
Thanks so much to Renee and Gene. If any other supporters
would like to donate items for others in our extended
community please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We can all share our special gifts and talents and in
turn strengthen the good work for the buffalo
A special Thanks to S. White for the great kitchen gear
and for all of you who have responded to the newsletter.
The new t-shirts will be in from the printer in the next
couple of weeks - so thanks for your patience in waiting
for us to fill your order. These beautiful shirts are
worth the wait.
Thanks to Jim Morris T-shirts and to Missoula artist Rick
Sherman for helping to create these gorgeous shirts!
* BFC Plans East Coast Roadshow, Seeks Help in Organizing
to all of you on the West Coast who have helped to schedule
presentations for our summer road show. We are currently
finalizing the schedule and will send it out in a special
For those of you on the East Coast, BFC Project Coordinator
Dan Brister will bring the BFC road show your way in October.
Dan will present the current situation faced by the Yellowstone
herd through video footage, readings from his recently
completed manuscript of bison-inspired essays, and open
discussion. Our exclusive video footage will bring the
reality of the Yellowstone bison to communities from Virginia
We are currently lining up East Coast venues for presentations.
Please contact us at (406) 726-5555 or bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org
if you can help set up a location for this compelling
video, reading, and discussion program.
buffalo represents the people and the universe and should
always be treated with respect, for was he not here before
the two-legged peoples, and is he not generous in that
he gives us our homes and our food? The buffalo is wise
in many things, and, thus, we should learn from him and
should always be as a relative with him."
--Black Elk "The Sacred Pipe"