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Weekly Update from the Field May 6, 2004
* Update from the Field
* Update from DC
* Week of Action for the Buffalo;
Rally for the Buffalo in Helena Saturday
* Support the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act
* The Buffalo Field Campaign Needs Your Support
* Call for Summer Outreach Volunteers
* Last Words

* Update from the Field
Buffalo Supporters,
Spring in Yellowstone is a time of great beauty mixed with bitterness. I have been fortunate to take in some of the spring beauty--watching bison calves run circles around their mothers, eagles and osprey soaring and diving for fish, sand hill cranes and blue herons gliding overhead, an early May dip in the Madison River to wake the senses. 
But then there is the bitter frustration of relentless hazing of the last wild buffalo in America. The Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) has hazed buffalo nearly every single day this spring. Over the past two weeks, the DOL has hazed buffalo every day except for two. Buffalo continue to follow their migratory instincts, while the DOL diligently wastes our tax dollars harassing wild buffalo on public lands with no cattle present.     
Why is it so important to keep wild buffalo behind an arbitrary park boundary, to keep our public lands free of bison, to harass native wildlife and disrupt the ecosystem on a nearly daily basis? There are no cattle in the areas where the buffalo migrate. The public lands cattle allotments have been cancelled for years. The few private herds that come to private lands nearby will not arrive for at least another month, by which time the buffalo have usually migrated back into the Park on their own. The DOL continues to harass the same buffalo for weeks on end, stressing pregnant buffalo during their critical calving season, chasing newborn calves, and harassing all other wildlife in the vicinity. And then they tally up this senseless harassment as successful hazing operations. "From the west boundary this season as of April 30, 1,246 bison have been successfully moved back into Yellowstone National Park during 40 operations," reports the DOL. Is it really successful to waste our tax dollars harassing native wildlife during their spring calving migrations? How can the DOL claim success when the same buffalo return within days to the same public lands? Why don't they save the taxpayers some money and the wildlife some stress and stop the incessant hazing? There has never been a documented case of brucellosis transmission from wild bison to cattle. There aren't even any cattle nearby to come in contact with wild bison. 
Obviously not content to harass just buffalo, the DOL has returned to harassing BFC volunteers. A group of women volunteers went out to Horse Butte yesterday to have a ceremony to honor the buffalo. They had a small fire of sticks and pinecones, burned sage, prayed, sang, and grounded themselves in their circle of women. During the ceremony, Shane Grube, a local DOL agent, drove by sneering at them. Before leaving, the women dumped a gallon of water on the small fire and stomped it out. Other volunteers remained nearby. They hadn't walked far before Shane and an unidentified passenger detained the women, photographed them, and demanded they identify themselves and supply excessive personal information in response to "leaving an unattended fire". Once again, the authorities go out of their way to harass our volunteers for any potential transgression. Would they harass summer tourists visiting the area for leaving an unattended puddle of burnt sticks? 
Today the DOL is busy wasting even more tax dollars using a helicopter to haze the handful of buffalo and calves that remain outside the Park after the continuous hazing efforts of the past weeks. Determined to make sure that no buffalo remain outside the Park, the DOL has militarized the border, seeking out fugitive wildlife, and forcing them to abandon their traditional migrations. All this persistence on behalf of the holy cow would almost be admirable if there were any reason for it. Instead it is just another sad chapter in the history of dominating all that is wild, bureaucratic momentum flying in the face of reason, domesticating and destroying the last wild bison in America.
In this update you will find more information about how to help stop the slaughter of the last wild bison in America. May is a difficult time for the buffalo and we need your support now more than ever. If you can come out and join us in the field with the buffalo, please come now. It is a beautiful time of year, and our volunteer numbers are dwindling. If you can make a donation to BFC, we could use the support. Think of the calving mother buffalo trying to reach Horse Butte in peace, and make a Mother's Day donation for the buffalo. You can also support the buffalo by contacting your Congressional Representatives. Thank you again for your support. Together we can learn the lessons of the buffalo who continue to roam free despite efforts to control them, the lessons of resistance that will give us the strength to win.
For the buffalo,
Ted Fellman
BFC Media
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* Update from DC
Greetings from the nation's capitol!
Our time here in DC has shown that the power of the buffalo is indeed far reaching...we are truly blessed! We have had some incredible educational meetings with members of Congress who still believe in the power of democracy and that the people still have a voice in expressing what matters to them. The National Week of Action for the Buffalo has shown that this issue crosses state boundaries and is about the first national park and the plight of the last wild buffalo! The buffalo are not only an American symbol but also a national heritage.
Many of us have dedicated many hours talking to our friends and colleagues about the buffalo's plight with the hope that the more people that learn of this ridiculous situation, the sooner we will win true protection for the buffalo for future generations. The press meetings that we have had have shown that that message will indeed resonate with the public and that our message will be getting out.
Our grassroots networking keeps growing stronger. Our week started with a legend and mentor to all in the environmental movement -- Brock Evans, back with healthy vigor. We began the week with a meal at his house with he and his lovely wife Linda. The next day we took the Buffalo's message to the Senate and were joined with our buffalo ally's legislative squad Jeff, Elise and Sue with our star clean up batter, Mr. Evans. The halls of Congress echoed as our herd marched door to door. BFC's seven years of hard work opened many eyes and hearts to the plight of our last sacred buffalo. Next our friends at the Humane Society of the United States helped us spread the word. Jan the man, Jana, Nancy, Bette, Cynthia, Chad, Kathy & all of you defenders of an ethical future - THANKS - and congrats to the new President of HSUS, Wayne. When we are so far from home our buffalo community makes us feel right at home. Java Green Energy was so wonderful - thanks DJ & Chuuk (sorry about the poor spelling...). A hearty buffalo thanks go to our fine allies at NRDC - Chuck, Elliott & Craig-- your hard work is appreciated. Howard, Jon, Tanya & Eric - the buffalo are glad you'll be batting next - thanks for being there for this beautiful planet. Victoria & Friends - how can we say thanks enough?
There is one thing you can do right now for the buffalo. Please take a minute to call your senator for the momma buffalo in honor of mother's day. You can find more information below.
Thanks to all of you who believe that together - we can truly make a difference.
For those wild buffalo,
Mike & Su
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* Week of Action for the Buffalo;
Rally for the Buffalo Saturday in Helena
This is our Week of Action for the Buffalo, a time for us to concentrate our efforts in Montana and across the nation. We will turn our voices up to be heard, stand tall and be seen. How effective we are will depend on you - mass action requires a mass. If you don't take action, who will?
1. BFC has a big event planned for Saturday, May 8th at 2:00 PM in Helena, MT. We really need you there! We will gather on the Eastern Lawn of the State Capitol, with the headquarters of the DOL and FWP right across the street. Together we will stand in silent mourning for the 277 buffalo killed this year, and protest the continued harassment and slaughter. The lawn will be adorned with headstones for each buffalo killed this year. Things are coming along for the event, but we could use some help with outreach -- can we count on you? There is a flyer on our website that you can print and download, then post all over town, neighborhoods, schools, the office, libraries, community centers, etc. Visit http://www.wildrockies.org/buffalo and scroll down a bit to download the flyer ... and then help us Save the Herd! Spread the Word! We hope to see you this Saturday!
2. This is an urgent call for volunteers to come stand with the buffalo in the month of May. BFC's campaign headquarters, located in beautiful West Yellowstone, is awaiting your arrival. We will feed you, shelter you, set you up with gear, and take you out on patrols so you can spend time with the buffalo! This will be an experience you'll never forget. Our goal is to give you the first-hand experience -- with the buffalo and the agents who harass them -- guaranteed to inspire and empower you to advocate on behalf of the last wild herd. Even if you've been here before, we need your presence now more than ever.
3. Can't Come to Montana? You Can Still Take Action! There are a bunch of things you can do in your own neighborhood. A few suggestions: 1) Hold a letter-writing party and have your friends write letters to the editor, and letters to decision-makers; 2) Organize a video showing in your neighborhood, school or office; 3) Find 3 stores in your town that will host a "Bucks for Buffalo" donation jar; 4) Visit the district office of your U.S. House Representative and urge them to cosponsor H.R. 3446, the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act; 5) Organize a Buffalo Action Committee in your community -- when calls for action arise, these are the folks you know you can count on to take action!; 6) Contact your local ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN news outlets and urge them to run BFC's buffalo footage; 7) Download our buffalo petition at http://www.wildrockies.org/buffalo/Buffalo ESA Petition 4-1-04.pdf and see how many signatures you can get in a week. The one who gets the most signatures gets a really cool prize. :)
Visit http://www.wildrockies.org/buffalo for other ideas on how you can help stop the buffalo slaughter! If you've got suggestions, we are always listening! Send yours to stephany@wildrockies.org.
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Stop the slaughter of the last wild buffalo in America.
Call your Congressional Representative today!
* Support the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act
The National Park Service and Montana Department of Livestock have already killed 277 wild Yellowstone buffalo this season. The Park Service has killed nearly 500 wild buffalo inside Yellowstone National Park in the past two years. In the past ten years the Montana Department of Livestock and National Park Service have slaughtered 2,778 buffalo in and around Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone buffalo slaughter is slated to cost taxpayers nearly $3 million a year until 2015.
Please take action today to stop the senseless slaughter of an American icon. Support the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act. The bill calls for a three year moratorium on the hazing, capturing and killing of Yellowstone buffalo; expands the range that buffalo are allowed to roam; requires the dismantling of the Stephens Creek Trap inside Yellowstone National Park; and gives the Park Service sole jurisdiction over buffalo within the Park.
Thanks to your efforts, we continue to gain cosponsors for HR 3446. We currently have 96 House Representatives signed on to this critical legislation.

Please call your representative and urge them to support the bill. Check http://www.wildrockies.org/buffalo/politico/3446.html for talking points and to see if your Representative has signed on. If they haven't, give them a call and strongly urge them to do so. If they have, please thank them and encourage them to speak with their colleagues. 
You can contact your Representative by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 800-839-5276, and asking to be transferred to his/her office. Or you can use http://www.house.gov/writerep to look up your Representative and send them an email. It only takes a few minutes to help the buffalo.
With BFC coordinators meeting with Congressional staff in Washington, DC right now, we are also trying to find support for a Senate version of the bill. Take a minute to contact your Senators and encourage them to support a Senate version of Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act. You can contact your Senator by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 800-839-5276, and asking to be transferred to his/her office. Or you can visit http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm to look up your Senator and send them an email. It only takes a few minutes to help the buffalo.
Thank you once again for your support. Together we will stop the senseless slaughter of the last wild buffalo in America.
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* The Buffalo Field Campaign Needs Your Support
Longtime BFC supporter Melanie Kelley is auctioning a beautiful and original buffalo gourd to benefit the work of the Buffalo Field Campaign. The ebay auction begins Saturday, May 8, at 8pm PDT as item # 3721965770. This is a unique opportunity to support BFC's field efforts.
What are wild buffalo worth to you? What does it mean to you to know that your grandchildren will be able to experience wild places with wild buffalo roaming free?
Of course these things are priceless. We cannot put a price on maintaining viable rangeland for the last wild buffalo in America. But we can put a price on BFC's efforts to stop the slaughter of the Yellowstone buffalo. It takes about a dollar a day to feed a volunteer. That means that if we have 30 volunteers, it costs just over $30 a day to feed camp, or about $250 a week. It costs about $3.50 for a mini-DV tape for our video cameras. On a hazing day we usually have at least 5 patrols in the field documenting the harassment of the last wild buffalo, using about $17.50 worth of tape. Every VHS tape that we send to a supporter to show what is happening to Yellowstone's last wild bison costs us about $1 for the tape. 
It costs money to maintain our field presence on behalf of the buffalo. We are extremely frugal here in West Yellowstone. We don't have fancy offices or high paid staff. But we do have dedicated volunteers working long days to stop the slaughter of the last wild buffalo in America. Can we count on you to help by making a donation? Donations are tax deductible and go directly to front lines work.
You can make a secure donation online at our website (www.wildrockies.org/buffalo) or directly at: https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?id=1807
Or you can send a check to us at: 
Buffalo Field Campaign
PO Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
On a budget -- $1-$15 to keep the videos flowing.
Count on me -- $15-$100 for a day/week of footage.
Big thanks -- $30-$250 to feed BFC volunteers for a day/week.
Thank you once again for your support. Every little bit helps.
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* Call for Summer Outreach Volunteers
As our spring season passes the midway point, we are starting to look ahead to another summer here in West Yellowstone. As many of you know, the massive springtime migrations end around late May or early June, and our daily patrols are no longer necessary. This is the time of the year when we focus on outreach, talking with tourists in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks about the slaughter of the bison. We are currently looking for six to eight volunteers interested is spending a summer at the Campaign. You can expect to spend three to five days a week tabling, helping with projects around the cabin on slower weeks, and hiking, fishing, or whatever else suits your fancy. In return, all volunteers receive free room and board, as well as a little pocket money. A commitment from June 1 until Labor Day is preferred (with the option to come earlier and stay later), but if you can only stay for part of the summer, please apply anyway. All interested people should send a resume and cover letter, or contact Chris (our summer office/volunteer coordinator) directly.
Hope to see you this summer!
With the buffalo,
Chris
buffaloatwildrockies.org
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* Last Words
Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.
Ed Abbey
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Buffalo Field Campaign
PO Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
(406) 646-0070
buffaloatwildrockies.org


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