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Weekly Update from the Field May 27, 2004
* Update from the Field: Department of Livestock Wastes Tax Dollars to Haze Buffalo
* Representative Dennis Kucinich Visits BFC
* The Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act
* BFC Prepares for West and East Coast Roadshows
* Last Words

* Update from the Field:
The Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) continued this week in its relentless effort to guarantee that visitors to the state will not see wild buffalo without paying the twenty dollar entrance fee to Yellowstone National Park. Yesterday, local DOL agent Shane Grube, using a helicopter and an ATV hazed at least 13 bull buffalo deep into the Park. After chasing the bulls across the park boundary, the helicopter continued to harass all of the Park's wildlife, flying over Yellowstone for nearly an hour and a half. The majority of the area where the helicopter operated within Yellowstone is currently "closed to all travel" in order to protect grizzly bear habitat. Apparently, neither the Park Service nor the DOL believe that a helicopter, flying at low elevations for extended periods, is a significant disturbance to the bears.
Yesterday's hazing operation constitutes the 50th time since September 2003 that the DOL has chased wild buffalo back within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. While the DOL claims to have "successfully" hazed nearly 1,500 buffalo this year, in actuality, it has repeatedly harassed the same 200 or so buffalo who continue to follow their migratory instincts by crossing Yellowstone's invisible boundary into Montana. Several individual bull buffalo were hazed as many a fifteen times and one group of mama buffalo and their babies were hazed multiple times by the DOL helicopter. 
As we've all heard many times, the DOL claims that they are protecting Montana's livestock industry from the threat of brucellosis transmission between wild buffalo and domestic cattle. However, a brief examination of the facts prove that the DOL's activities are little more than a veiled effort keep free-ranging buffalo out of Montana. There has never been a documented case of buffalo transmitting brucellosis to livestock in the wild. Bull, calf, yearling and non-pregnant buffalo do not have the biological capability to transmit brucellosis. Recently completed studies indicate that there is no possibility of brucellosis infected materials remaining in the environment by late May. Domestic cattle that graze on private land near the Park boundary do not arrive until early June. During the fall, winter and spring months when buffalo wander out of the Park, the closest domestic cattle are over forty-five miles away. It is time for the DOL to face the truth and stop the incessant harassment of America's last wild buffalo and the delicate, diverse Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. 
With the buffalo,
Josh Osher
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* Representative Dennis Kucinich Visits BFC
We were honored this week with a personal visit from U.S. Representative and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio). Rep. Kucinich took time away from his busy Montana campaign schedule Tuesday afternoon to travel to West Yellowstone for a tour of the park boundary near Duck Creek and to hear first-hand accounts of the buffalo slaughter from BFC volunteers, coordinators, and community members. Standing on a thin strip of National Forest land adjacent to the park border, we showed Representative Kucinich the Duck Creek buffalo trap, shared stories from the field, and presented him with photographs, information, and video footage shot by BFC volunteers. Kucinich, who is already a co-sponsor of The Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act, thanked the Buffalo Field Campaign for our efforts and vowed continued support for the Yellowstone buffalo. Many thanks to Kucinich and his incredible campaign staff for spending time with us in West Yellowstone, and for championing the buffalo.       
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* The Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act
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. If you don't see your representative's name on the list, please contact them and encourage them to support efforts to protect America's last wild buffalo.
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* BFC Prepares for West and East Coast Roadshows
With our field season wrapping up, we are making preparations for our annual roadshows, when we visit communities across the country and share buffalo-inspired stories and video footage. This year we will travel the West Coast from late August to mid-September and the east coast during the month of October.
--West Coast
Last year, we had tremendous success attending farmers markets throughout the region. We will again be traveling with our 25x15x10 foot inflatable buffalo (requires stationary power). If you are interested in helping us arrange with farmer's markets or in setting up an event, please contact us as soon as possible. Call the BFC office or send an email to mease"at"wildrockies.org.
--East Coast
Last Fall we shared our stories and video footage with hundreds of people at universities, colleges, community centers, and Pow-wows from North Carolina to Maine. This year we will do the same. If you are interested in organizing an event in your community, please reply to this message or write: bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org.
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* Letters to the Editor
This week's featured letter was written by BFC volunteer Stephany Seay
Buffalo Hazing Nothing to smile about
Department of Livestock (DOL) spokesperson Karen Cooper made comments about hazing buffalo that were out of line and incorrect. Responding to the Buffalo Field Campaign's gathering in Helena on May 8, where 278 headstones adorned the capitol lawn, representing the buffalo DOL killed this year, Cooper condescendingly stated that BFC should "do 1,246 happy faces" for the buffalo that were "moved back into the park from the west boundary." The DOL has grossly inflated their "success" because they've hazed no more than 100 of the same buffalo over and over again. Hazing operations are cruel, fruitless, and disruptive to the entire ecosystem. Not to mention 100 percent federally funded. Taxpayers spend three million annually for "cowboys" to chase buffalo with ATVs, snowmobiles, horses, and helicopters, fiercely running them through barbed wire fences, back into Yellowstone until they are exhausted. Pregnant moms and calves suffer the same treatment, and last year two calves died from being hazed; nothing to smile about. DOL plays cowboy while you and I pay for them to disrespect America's last wild buffalo. Maybe hazing is better than slaughter, but it is still unacceptable. Buffalo will roam free again, and that, Ms. Cooper, is when we'll put on those happy faces.
Stephany Seay
P.O. Box 957
West Yellowstone, Montana
Helena Independent Record - Helena,MT,USA
<http://www.helenair.com/articles/2004/05/23/opinions/a04052304_03.txt>
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* Last Words
"There will come a day when such men as myself will view the slaughter of innocent creatures as horrible a crime as the murder of his fellow man. Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty."
--Albert Einstein
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The Buffalo Field Campaign is a grassroots effort comprised of volunteers and supporters from across the country and around the world. Our continued existence hinges on the support of people like you. Tax-deductible contributions allow us to be in the field with the buffalo 365 days a year and to work through a variety of channels to gain lasting protection for America's last wild buffalo. Please contact us for more information or send a donation to:
Buffalo Field Campaign
PO Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
www.wildrockies.org/buffalo
buffaloatwildrockies.org
(406) 646-0070


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