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Weekly Update from the Field May 20, 2004
* Update from the Field:
Department of Livestock Continues Relentless Hazing
* BFC Attends Interagency Brucellosis Committee (GYIBC) Meeting
* The Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act Gains Momentum
* Hawaiian Legislature Takes Action to Protect Yellowstone Buffalo;
BFC to Visit Hawaii
* Blackfeet School Visits BFC
* BFC's Annual Newsletter Nears Completion
* Last Words

* Update from the Field:
Department of Livestock Continues Relentless Hazing
Our patrols have been bearing witness to the incessant hazing that plagues every buffalo that steps foot outside Yellowstone National Park. As I write this, Department of Livestock (DOL) agents are hazing six buffalo that were grazing peacefully near Duck Creek deep into Yellowstone's interior.
All this unnecessary hazing leaves the Montana lands near the boundary eerily empty. Buffalo tracks, scat, and hair adorn the landscape yet not a single buffalo can be found. To those of us who live and work near the park border, the forced absence of buffalo from their native lands brings great sadness. Hikes that should yield experiences in the presence of buffalo babies, calves, and adults feel incomplete. Rather than celebrate its unique position as one of the only states with truly wild buffalo, Montana irrationally insists on excluding buffalo from its lands.
Our field season is winding down and we are making preparations for summer and a shift in focus from daily patrols to informational tabling in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. While things in the field are quieting down, there has been a flurry of activity in the areas of policy, legislation, education, and outreach. Below you will find relevant updates.
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* BFC Attends Interagency Brucellosis Committee (GYIBC) Meeting
On Tuesday and Wednesday we attended the meeting of the Greater Yellowstone Interagency Brucellosis Committee.  The GYIBC consists of representatives from Idaho, Wyoming and Montana wildlife and livestock agencies and all of the federal agencies involved with brucellosis issues in the greater Yellowstone area (GYA). In addition to the regular GYIBC agenda, a four-hour panel "discussion" on Wyoming elk feedgrounds concluded the second day of meetings.

Unfortunately, with each meeting of the GYIBC, the prospects for the future of Yellowstone buffalo and the wildlife of the GYA in general get more and more dire. The "lowlights" of this weeks meetings included reports on the upcoming program for large-scale vaccination of Yellowstone buffalo by the Park Service and the Montana Department of Livestock and the upcoming buffalo "hunt" in Montana. Also included was a report on a project to quarantine Yellowstone buffalo for at least four years with the goal of relocating them to other public and tribal lands. Look for updates and public comment information on the release of the various environmental documents related to these attempts to further weaken and mistreat Yellowstone buffalo. Your comments are essential to building a framework for challenging these misguided plans.
For a more detailed account of the specifics of the meeting, please click here:
http://www.wildrockies.org/buffalo/gyibc.html
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* The Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act Gains Momentum
HR 3446 continues to gain cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives and companion Senate legislation will be introduced in the coming weeks. For more information and to view a list of the 103 cosponsors, please click here: http://www.wildrockies.org/buffalo/politico/3446.html
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* Hawaiian Legislature Takes Action to Protect Yellowstone Buffalo; BFC to Visit Hawaii
The government of Hawaii recently passed Resolution #149, "Urging Hawaii's congressional delegation to help prevent the inhumane treatment of the Yellowstone buffalo and support passage of the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act, H.R. 3446." To read the legislation, which specifically mentions the efforts of the Buffalo Field Campaign, please click here: http://www.wildrockies.org/buffalo/hawaii.html
If you live in Hawaii, please contact State Representative Marcus Oshiro and thank him for his efforts on behalf of the Yellowstone buffalo. You can contact his office at:
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 439
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
phone 808-586-8505; fax 808-586-8509
email: repmoshiro@capitol.hawaii.gov
BFC Coordinator Mike Mease will be on the big island from June 21 -23, and is interested in setting up video presentations on the plight of Yellowstone buffalo and the work of the BFC. If you would like to help organize a presentation or would like more information on his visit, please email him at: mease"at"wildrockies.org.
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* Blackfeet School Visits BFC
We'd like to express a special thanks to the De La Salle Blackfeet School who visited with us yesterday to talk about the Yellowstone buffalo and to share with us their amazing Wintercount art project on Blackfeet culture and history. 17 students visited our camp near West Yellowstone and accompanied us in the field. The students witnessed firsthand buffalo grazing in the park near the Duck Creek buffalo trap and experienced the beauty of the Horse Butte Peninsula and Yellowstone National Park. In the early evening they returned to our cabin for dinner and to share their art project with us.
Created in the spirit of traditional Blackfeet Wintercounts, which recorded historical events in a series of graphic depictions painted in a spiral on a buffalo hide, the project detailed significant events in the lives and traditions of the Blackfeet. Most moving was the live narration, and the strength and clarity with which the children shared the stories of their people.   
We were very inspired by your visit. 
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* BFC's Annual Newsletter Nears Completion
We are in the final stages of editing our annual newsletter and are in need of short anecdotes from supporters and past volunteers. Tell us how you were called to care for the buffalo, what they mean to you, what you think of the efforts of the Buffalo Field Campaign, or anything else you'd like. Reply to this email or send your thoughts to bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org.
Send us your address if you don't already receive our newsletter or if you'd like us to mail you a bundle for distribution in your community. Printing and distributing our newsletter is one of the Campaign's heaviest expenses. You can help us cover the costs of getting the information out with a tax-deductible contribution to the Buffalo Field Campaign.
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* Last Words
"The Yellowstone herd is the genetic wellspring of the Buffalo Nation. There are 48 million cows and they don't seem to be in any danger, but there are not enough buffalo. I'm here in support of the BFC and their work to protect Yellowstone buffalo."
--Winona LaDuke
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Buffalo Field Campaign
PO Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
www.wildrockies.org/buffalo
buffaloatwildrockies.org
(406) 646-0070


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