Update from the Field:
Department of Livestock resumes harassment of our last
Since a bull buffalo was shot near the Yellowstone Park
border on November 25, only a few buffalo have been outside
of Yellowstone's borders for short time periods. But this
week, one older bull found a sweet little spot outside
the Park on Cougar Creek. He had been grazing peacefully
there for the past three days until this morning when
Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) agents on snowmobiles
found him. Beginning around 11 AM, two MDOL agents on
snowmobiles began chasing our buffalo friend east toward
the Park boundary. "They chased him for nearly thirty
minutes through knee-deep snow," said Amy, a BFC
volunteer who was with the buffalo when the operation
began. The buffalo eventually reached the relative safety
of Yellowstone National Park.
Buffalo bulls do not have the biological capacity
to transmit brucellosis to cattle. Neither are there any
cows within forty miles of the Cougar Creek area. This
unnecessary stress caused by the Montana Department of
Livestock under the guise of protecting the livestock
industry is an example of the cruel and inhumane treatment
of Yellowstone bison every year at the gateways to America's
first National Park.
help end this harsh and needless "management"
of America's only continuously free-ranging, wild, genetically
pure buffalo herd by speaking out for the buffalo. Check
out the Yellowstone
Buffalo Preservation Act Cosponsors to find out if
your U.S. Representative is a co-sponsor of H.R. 3446,
The Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act. If not, encourage
them to become a co-sponsor by calling or writing today.
Also, please take the time to read on and write a letter
to the editor (see below) for the buffalo. When enough
people know, and enough people care, and people get involved,
we will all celebrate the day that Yellowstone buffalo
will once again be truly free.
for the earth,
A great big thanks to all our supporters who have been
so generous during this holy day season!
Our "supporter to supporter" gifts and t-shirts
have been flying out the door and many folks will enjoy
the great buffalo gifts. We have new offerings including
fine prints, sculptures, new jewelry offering and more
& there's still time to check it out at: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/pcshop2/bazaar.html
Thanks, Melanie for the wonderful auction, Mariah
for the jewelry magic, Paula for the beautiful watercolors,
Adrienne & Zacharie for the pottery, Judy for the
sculpture, and to all of you who have made gift donations
in a friends name! A big thanks to our incredible allies
at Guacamole, to the Wilburforce Foundation, and to
Charlie's Fund for the volunteer hollyday cheer! Your
cards and care packages have brightened the cold days
(-8 degrees last night) of our hard working volunteers
in the field who are away from their own families to
work with the buffalo during this season.
Our buffalo family is indeed awe inspiring. Welcome
to those of you who are just joining with us to raise
our voices for the last wild, free roaming buffalo!
And to our allies that have been working hard on this
issue over the years - we couldn't be here without you!
Grassroots really does work!
I hope that as the days grow longer - our combined
efforts strengthen our circles for the buffalo.
With humble thanks,
For the Buffalo,
As you've probably heard, a federal judge has reinstated
a plan to phase out snowmobiling in Yellowstone National
Park by the winter of 2004-2005. This ruling has brought
much attention to the Yellowstone region and shone a
bright light on the highly political motives which drive
the decision making in our nation's first park.
We see this as a great opportunity to draw further
attention to the current buffalo slaughter. We urge
you to write a letter to the editor to your local (or
even national) newspapers. Also, it would be a good
time to contact your local representatives. Here are
some suggestions for what to include in your letter
and a sample letter that we will be submitting to the
local Montana papers. Please check out our website at
http://www.wildrockies.org/buffalo for more detailed
information about the current buffalo slaughter.
Points to include in letters to the editor:
1) Hold the the Park Service responsible for their
involvement in the buffalo slaughter; they killed 231
buffalo that were inside Yellowstone National Park (YNP)
last March. The buffalo were captured at the Stephen's
Creek Facility inside YNP and transported to slaughter
by the Montana Department of Livestock. None of these
buffalo were tested for brucellosis prior to being sent
2) Federal judge, Emmet Sullivan stated in his ruling
that the Park Service ignored studies that said groomed
roads for snowmobiles and snowcoaches are harmful to
bison because they create unnatural corridors for the
buffs to travel on.
3) Montana says the slaughter is necessary because
bison will transmit brucellosis to cattle. There has
never been a documented case of wild bison to cattle
transmission under natural conditions. The governments
own studies indicate that the risk of brucellosis transmission
from most wild bison is low.
4) Mention the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation
Act, H.R. 3446. It offers common sense solutions and,
most important, an alternative to the current plan.
Read about it on our website: http://www.wildrockies.org/Buffalo/politico/3446.html.
Please check to see if your local representative is
a co-sponsor of H.R. 3446. If so thank them in your
letter to the editor for signing on. If not, please
encourage them to become a co-sponsor and encourage
others in your area to write or call in support of H.R.
5) Tell 'em why this herd is special. It is the
last of the free-ranging buffalo that used to roam this
continent in numbers as high as 30 to 60 million. The
Yellowstone herd are the only wild, genetically pure
bison that have continuously occupied their native range.
6) and, of course, personalize your letter. If you've
been to Yellowstone tell your story.
is a sample letter to the editor:
WHAT STINKS IN YELLOWSTONE?
The recent decision by a federal judge to reinstate
a plan that will ban snowmobiling in Yellowstone National
Park by 2005 and decrease by nearly half the snowmobile
traffic in Yellowstone this winter has shone a bright
light on the highly political motives that drive the
decision making in our nation's first park.
The judge noted in his decision that the Park Service
ignored studies stating that groomed roads for snowmobile
and snowcoach use are harmful to bison because they
create unnatural corridors that lead the buffalo out
of the Park and into unfriendly and often fatal territory.
This issue is really only a drop in the fetid barrel
of Yellowstone National Park's wildlife management problems.
For when bison walk out of the park, on groomed roads
or not, and into the state of Montana they are hazed,
captured and often killed.
The National Park Service killed 231 bison near the
north entrance of the park last March. The herd size
of the last wild and free ranging bison is estimated
at about only 4,000 animals, not nearly enough to protect
the genetic wellspring of the most genetically variable
bison in the world.
Montana livestock officials claim they are afraid
bison will transmit a disease called brucellosis to
their cattle. This disease, which was brought to North
America by European livestock, causes birthing cows
to abort their first born. There has never been a documented
case of wild bison transmitting brucellosis to cattle
under natural conditions. And yet, the great bison slaughter
Nearly 3,700 Yellowstone bison have been killed
in the past 18 years. It began with the settling of
the west and our culture's boastful affirmation of "Manifest
Destiny" when, it is estimated, 30 million bison
were killed. It is continued today by the people entrusted
with preserving our nation's wildlife: The National
"I had to cross the road, which I had been
pretending did not exist. I waited below the edge of
a high bank hidden behind a small grove of young pines,
watching the sporadic flow of Winnebagos strung out
along the highway. I did not want to be seen.
Whatever transcendence I had gained watching the grizzlies
the day before slipped away as I crouched nervously
below the road grade for fifteen minutes. I sank even
lower into the trees as a ranger car passed. I didn't
want to let them know I was about. If I got into serious
trouble, I didn't want to be rescued. My considerable
carcass could feed the bears.
Traffic thinned out. I darted across the pavement onto
a buffalo trail cutting through the last bank of spring
snow, leaving no tracks." - Doug Peacock, THE