Yellowstone Park Captures 89 Buffalo and Slaughters
For America's only continuously wild buffalo, Yellowstone
National Park is no longer a sanctuary. Park employees,
under pressure from the Montana Department of Livestock
(DOL), have been busy this week capturing buffalo and
sending them to slaughter. In the past five days,
Buffalo Field Campaign volunteers have documented the
capture of 89 buffalo in Yellowstone. Fifty-three
were handed over to the DOL and shipped to slaughter.
Twenty-four yearlings and calves were vaccinated with
an ineffective brucellosis vaccine developed for cattle
and ear-tagged as if they were livestock. Those
twenty-four, along with another twelve, will be held
in confinement until spring. All of this is occurring
within the borders of the world's first national park
by an agency mandated to protect the buffalo "unimpaired
for future generations." It is being paid
for with your tax dollars.Yellowstone is the only place
in America where buffalo have been living in the wild
since the days when more than 30 million roamed the
North American mountains and prairies. Twenty-three
individual buffalo survived the 19th century eradication
by taking refuge in Yellowstone's remote Pelican Valley.
Over the course of the 20th century buffalo numbers
rebounded, and their future seemed secure. In
recent years, however, a campaign driven by the hysteria
of Montana's livestock industry and fueled with pseudo-science
has placed the herd's future in jeopardy once more.
The 24 young buffalo that were vaccinated this week
are part of an experiment. The livestock vaccine
they were given, RB51, does not work in buffalo.
On Tuesday BFC volunteers joined members of the media
for a tour of the Stephens Creek trap and to document
the testing process. What we witnessed was horrifying.
Buffalo, who are unaccustomed to confinement, were inhumanely
closed in tight pens, where their fear was translated
into uncharacteristic aggressive behavior toward one
another. One young female suffered numerous injuries
after being repeatedly gored by her terrified herd-mates.
These are crisis times for Yellowstone, its wild creatures,
and anyone who cares about them. The supposed
stewards of America's wildlife icons are more interested
in doing the bidding of the Montana livestock industry
than they are in the will of the American people.
Take action today to stop the slaughter. Call
Yellowstone National Park and let them know how you
feel about this week's buffalo slaughter.
Superintendent Suzanne Lewis: (307) 344-2002; email
Yellowstone Office of Public Affairs
BFC is working hard to stop the buffalo slaughter.
But we need your help if we are to succeed. Please
read on and take action on behalf of the buffalo.
Their future depends on you!
* Three Ways to Take Action for the Buffalo!-- Support
the Yellowstone Buffalo Protection Act: If you haven't
already, please be sure to contact your House Representative
and encourage them to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 3446,
the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act. This is the
first step in realizing a truly wild, free-roaming herd
of buffalo! For details on the bill, including
a current list of cosponsors (60 so far - that's three
more from last week - thanks!), and talking points to
use in your letter, visit www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/Legislative/buffpreservation.
You can call your Rep. TOLL FREE by dialing the Capitol
Switchboard at 1-800-839-5276 and asking to be transferred.
You can also use http://www.house.gov/writerep
to find out who your Representative is, and send them
a letter.-- Oppose the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Buffalo
Hunt Proposal: Don't forget to send in your comments
by March 12 to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP)
opposing a proposed buffalo hunt. This unethical and
tasteless hunt would be managed and authorized by the
MT Department of Livestock, further demonstrating their
willingness to eradicate buffalo from their traditional
habitat. Don't let the DOL use hunters as a scapegoat
in their buffalo slaughter! For information on
the proposal, talking points, and contact information,
Letters to the Editor are Critical! Many times,
articles about the buffalo slaughter end up in hard-to-find
sections of the newspaper, if at all, meaning the buffalo's
story goes generally untold to the vast American public.
One sure-fire way to combat this is to write Letters
to the Editor so they know readers care about the seriousness
and importance of this issue. The editorial section
is the most widely-read section of newspapers, and even
local papers reach thousands of readers. Listed
below are six newspapers - national and Montana media
- who must hear from each and every one of us. Please
write about what is happening to the buffalo and urge
more thorough and factual coverage so more attention
is drawn to the needless suffering of these unique and
majestic animals. If you've seen articles printed,
write a letter in response. Or, write a general
letter about the issue or be more specific by writing
about H.R. 3446, or the proposed buffalo hunt (see above),
or all of the above. Contact information for the newspapers
is listed below. If your letter is printed please send
a copy to bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org
or to Buffalo Field Campaign, P.O. Box 957, West Yellowstone,
Below are some key papers to write to - be sure to include
your full name, address and phone number:
1. The New York Times - 150 words maximum.
No attachments. Visit http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/lettertoeditor.html,
or send a letter to the editor by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
or faxing (212)556-3622, Address them to:
Letters to the Editor, 229 West 43rd Street, New York,
2. Los Angeles Times - Keep brief,
about 200 words. No attachments. Visit
or email letters to email@example.com
and address them to: Letters to the Editor , 202 W.
1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 . Call (213) 237-5000
to make sure your letter gets printed.
3. The Washington Post - Visit http://www.washpost.com/news_ed/editorial/letter.shtml
or email letters to firstname.lastname@example.org
and address them to: Letters to the Editor, 1150 15th
Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20071.
4. The Billings Gazette - 300 words. Email letters to
and address them to: Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box
36300, Billings, MT 59107-6300.
5. The Bozeman Chronicle - 300 Words. Send letters via
email to email@example.com,
and address them to:Letters to the Editor, PO Box 1188,
Bozeman, MT 59771. Make a follow-up phone call to be
sure your letter is printed. Dial 406/582-2655.
6. The Helena Independent Record (*This paper is read
by Montana State Legislators!)
Max 200 words. Email letters to firstname.lastname@example.org,
and address to: Readers' Alley, P.O. Box 4249, Helena,
MT 59604. Make a follow-up phone call to be sure your
letter gets printed! Call 406-477-4072.
* NOTE: When writing to Montana papers, be sure to say
you’re a resident if you are, and if not, stress
that this is an issue of national concern, and that
you may make vacation plans elsewhere until they stop
killing buffalo - tourism is Montana’s second
largest revenue source!
* BFC is Headed to DC in March!
Mark your Calendars if you live in DC, MD, or VA.
It's that time of year again! The Buffalo Field Campaign
is heading to Washington, D.C. the week of March 15,
for the third annual Buffalo Stampede and Summit. We
will be visiting with members of Congress to urge their
support for the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act,
and will hold an educational summit for Representatives
and their staff in order to garner more support for
this critical legislation. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
On Thursday, March 18, Georgetown Patagonia will host
a Buffalo Field Campaign presentation. The talk will
be held at 1048 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, DC,
and begins at 7:00 pm. Call 202-333-1776 for directions.
We hope to see you all there! Long-time BFC volunteers
and buffalo defenders will be back to present video
highlights from the field, talk about the history of
buffalo and their current plight, and let you know what
you can do about it. Please come! Bring
your friends, family, coworkers - everyone! We need
a really good turnout, so please help us spread the
word. Please send emails, make phone calls, and
use word-of-mouth to get folks there! Invite groups
you're involved with, too. We also have posters available
for you to print out and post around town. Please contact
for more information. Many heartfelt thanks to
Patagonia for your continued support, and for bringing
us back! Visit www.patagonia.com
to find the Patagonia store nearest you, and support
this good company of folks who continue to support the
Buffalo Field Campaign.
* Thank You
BFC Would Like to Thank these Special Supporters:LightHawk
and pilot Reg for the recent flyover that helped us
prepare for recent actions taken against the buffalo.
LightHawk flights have been an invaluable tool for the
Buffalo Field Campaign over the years, and we can't
thank them enough for their continued help and support.
To learn more about this amazing, all-volunteer, environmental
aviation organization, visit the LighHawk web site:
Leftover Salmon for letting us table
- and putting in a good word for the buffalo and BFC
- at their recent shows in Missoula, MT and Jackson,
WY. Please support this incredibly-gifted, ecologically-minded,
hot jammin' band! Visit www.leftoversalmon.com
for tour dates and musical releases.
Montana State University's Environmental Society and
the University of Montana's Environmental Action Community
for inviting BFC to come talk to students about the
plight of Yellowstone's buffalo on Wednesday night,
February 25th. We were psyched to meet all of you, and
look forward to your arrival at Camp this Spring! If
you're a college student, please consider organizing
a discussion about the buffalo at your school. BFC
will send you outreach materials and video footage.
Just contact bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org
for more info!
BFC Supporters for sending in their thoughts about why
the Yellowstone buffalo are important, and what drew
them to come to their defense. We are still accepting
these thoughts as they will greatly help our outreach
efforts as we enlist more folks to take action for the
buffalo. Please send your thoughts to email@example.com.
* Last Words:Buffalo, Friends of the Buffalo,
Sun Dancers, and
All who pray for hope and peace,
As I hear the recent news I begin the sadness and prayers
for the release of my relatives. Each capture and eachshot
of drugs to the youth, and each execution causes great
sadness to my soul. I would wish and I pray that
in my lifetime that human beings could find their position
in the kingdom of life forms other than the brute we
maintain. Let us find peace.
Thank you each and all for you prayers and support in
this grave time.
Once my people the Santee were treated in much
the same way. We supported each other and remained strong
while being treated badly. We live today and are the
mirror of the buffalo.
As spring comes we will walk in the flowers with the
echo from the past and not forget those that give of
themselves for us to learn the lessons of our time.
We release our family to the four winds and the waters
of all time. Let their blood and bodies become fire
and earth. Let them rest in beauty for all time.
-- Aho Ehnamani