Update from the Field:
Happy New Year! Or will it be? Hope lies in our new
Governor Brian Schweitzer, who is demonstrating that
he is willing to take a stand for the buffalo. In fact,
he's given us the first good news we've had in years
(see below). This is far more than our past two governors,
Judy Martz and Marc Racicot, can say. Racicot, who just
helped Bush to reelection, and Martz, the self-proclaimed
"lapdog of industry," were both avid supporters
of buffalo slaughter. With Racicot currently serving
as a close advisor to President Bush, there's not much
help on the federal level. We look to Schweitzer's leadership
to make some headway for wild buffalo.
I sent in my $3 for my bison hunting ticket and hope
to burn it in my wood stove this week. I need the extra
heat as temperatures dropped to minus 20 last night.
The Montana DOL are hard at work here burning your tax
dollars to keep warm as well. On Tuesday they came out
on a morning recon to see one bull buffalo in a housing
area less than a quarter mile outside of the park. They
went back to their camp to get their snowmobiles and
returned to find the buffalo had made his own way back
to the park. It saddens my heart to see these wild buffalo
get so conditioned to human interference, but it gives
me hope that they will always outsmart the DOL.
Thanks to everyone for making the Buffalo Field Campaign
continue to make a difference. Remember change does
not happen on its own, it takes dedicated individuals
and persistence to make it happen and we will be here
until that change occurs.
With the Buffalo,
* BREAKING NEWS!
Montana Governor on Hunt: "My instinct is to cancel
Tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 7, Montana Fish, Wildlife and
Parks is scheduled to draw the names of ten people who
will each be given a permit to -if they choose- gun
down a beautiful buffalo starting January 15.
But, things may not go as planned. Scores of buffalo
advocates have been applying for permits, with the promise
of not using them and the Patagonia company has offered
to pay for any permits that aren't used. Further, Montana's
Governor Schweitzer is having some serious misgivings
about this so-called hunt. He fears the hunt is poorly-timed,
and it will do nothing to quell the misplaced concerns
of the livestock industry. He is also convinced Montana
will receive a huge black eye from the global public.
Rightfully so. There is very little time - nine days
from now the gunfire begins - but Gov. Schweitzer does
have the power to stop it, and he needs to hear from
you to know how bad a buffalo hunt would be for Montana.
PLEASE CALL THE GOVERNOR and thank
him for speaking out against the hunt. Call 406-444-3111.
Tell him you are opposed, and urge him to stop the hunt!
If you're from out-of-state, tell him you won't set
foot in Montana until this hunt is stopped, and buffalo
are given room to roam in Montana.
The Full Scoop:
- Bison Hunt Opponents Seek License (Billings Gazette)
- Bison Hunt Concerns Governor (Helena Independent Record)
- Montana Public Radio Reports on Governor's Concerns
All these stories can be found at: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/
This is BIG NEWS and has appeared on
the CNN "ticker". It is critical that we keep
putting pressure on Montana to stop the hunt! Please
continue writing letters to the editor of Montana and
other newspapers. A list of key newspapers as well as
tips on writing your letter to the editor can be found
* Don't Let Your Guard Down
Even with the good news of Schweitzer's position, we
still have to be prepared for the hunt to proceed. We
have rented a place and are preparing to establish a
second camp, near Gardiner, to document and lead media
tours of the hunt. With patrols running in both West
Yellowstone and Gardiner, our equipment will be stretched
thin. We are in particular need of 2-way FM radios and
Sony mini DV video cameras. If you want to make a difference
for the buffalo, and help us document the hunt, please
consider donating today. We couldn't be here without
* Comment Period for DOL Vaccination Plan Closes
The deadline for commenting on the Department of Livestock's
environmental assessment to vaccinate buffalo calves
with an ineffective vaccine meant for cattle closed
yesterday. Thanks to everyone who got their comments
in on time! BFC's official comments are available for
review at http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/science/vacdolcomments.html#bfccomments.
If you didn't get comments in, please don't let that
stop you from speaking your mind! Pick up the phone
and give the DOL a call and voice your opposition: 800-523-3162.
Better yet, write a letter to the editor. Check our
web site for the latest news on this nefarious vaccination
plan, and write to those papers and tell the Montana
and national media how you feel about the DOL rounding
up our last wild buffalo and injecting them with an
ineffective cattle vaccine! If the idea of livestock
inspectors managing and man-handling wild buffalo makes
you crazy, say so. Because if you don't... who will?
BFC's Dan Brister did.
Read his op-ed, "Why Vaccinating Wild Buffalo
is Wrong," published by the
Helena Independent Record: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/press0405/news0405/121304oped.html
* CANCELLED: GYIBC Meeting, Candlelight Vigil
The Greater Yellowstone Interagency Brucellosis Committee
(GYIBC) has cancelled their meetings scheduled for January
11 & 12, due to the recent tragic death of a committee
In turn, BFC has also cancelled our candlelight vigil
scheduled for January 11, and the rally planned for
January 12. Many thanks to Katie for doing so much hard
work on this event! Save that energy and stay tuned,
because there may be special events planned just around
* Last Words
"What are the dying salmon telling you? And the
dying forests? What
lessons are whispered to you by the ghosts of the passenger
pigeons, or the ghostly roll of thunder of a mammoth
herd of bison? Allow these voices to inform your actions."
~ Derrick Jensen, A Language Older than Words