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Weekly Update from the Field January 6, 2005
* Update from the Field
* BREAKING NEWS! Montana Governor on Hunt: "My instinct is to cancel it."
* Don't Let Your Guard Down
* Comment Period for DOL Vaccination Plan Closes
* CANCELLED: GYIBC Meeting, Candlelight Vigil & Rally
* Last Words

* 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,
Mike Mease
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* BREAKING NEWS! Montana Governor on Hunt: "My instinct is to cancel it." 
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 About Hunt
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 at http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/lte.html.
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* 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 you.
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* 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
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* CANCELLED: GYIBC Meeting, Candlelight Vigil & Rally
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 member. 

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 the corner.
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* 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


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