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Weekly Update from the Field February 26, 2004
* Yellowstone Park Captures 89 Buffalo and Slaughters 53
* Three Ways to Take Action for the Buffalo!
* BFC is Headed to DC in March.  Mark your Calendars if you live in the Area!
* Thank You
* Last Words

* Yellowstone Park Captures 89 Buffalo and Slaughters 53
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 yell_superintendent@nps.gov
Yellowstone Office of Public Affairs    (307) 344-2013
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!
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* 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, visit http://www.wildrockies.org/buffalo/press04/huntcomments.html.-- 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, MT, 59758.

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: letters@nytimes.com or faxing (212)556-3622, Address them to:
Letters to the Editor, 229 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.
2. Los Angeles Times - Keep brief, about 200 words. No attachments. Visit
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/letters/, or email letters to letters@latimes.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 letters@washpost.com 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 speakup@billingazette.com, 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 bwilke@dailychronicle.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 irstaff@helenair.com, 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!
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* 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 bfc-media@wildrockies.org 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.
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* 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: www.lighthawk.org.

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 stephany@wildrockies.org.
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* 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


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