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Weekly Update from the Field April, 21, 2005
* Update from the Field
* Earth Day in Honor of Phil Morton 1945-2003
* Mother's Day Contemplation
* Week of Action - Boycott the Livestock Industry
* BFC Featured on the Cover of the Rolling Stone
* BFC Wish List
* Last Words
* Update from the Field
Day after day, the wild continues to offer its many blessings, in spite of the seemingly perpetual human arrogance and desire to control everything by any means necessary.

Pre-dawn in Yellowstone continues to bestow its untamed beauty and wildness. Horse Butte sunrise is a true taste of the incredible web of interconnectedness that exists in this Great Mystery that is life. A congregation of birds alight atop cold Madison River. A symphony of sounds reverberate throughout the Peninsula. Pelicans, cormorants, sandhill cranes, great blue herons, osprey, eagles, and hawks grace the air and waters. Elk herds graze cautiously in the distance. Ice crystals on every blade of grass, every sprig of sage, every rock. Bison begin to amble slowly. Various groups speckle the landscape, all life rising with the sun. Awaiting the arrival of agents from the Montana Department of Livestock, Fish Wildlife and Parks, US Forest Service, and the National Park Service, I am comforted by four trumpeter swans, necks outstretched, flying in UNISON! I listen to radio transmissions of agents coming to disrupt the stillness of the morning--the absurdity of men trying to control the wild.

In the last two days, over 250 buffalo have been forcibly removed from Horse Butte. One group of 40 buffalo, chased by ATV's, snowmobiles, men on horseback, and trucks, were run over seven miles in 40 minutes. An escaping pregnant buffalo and her 2 yearlings were run an additional 30 minutes often being forced into high-tension fencing and barbed wire. Despite severe lacerations, all three escaped. The other 37 buffalo were captured. 16 of them will be slaughtered, 3 sent to quarantine, and 18 were shipped back to Horse Butte in the back of livestock trailers, all subject to the managerial whims, fancies, and pseudo-scientific rationalizations of the Montana livestock industry.

High Quality Available Upon Request

Real Player

Windows Media
Video by BFC from 4/21/05
After hazing 40+ buffalo a minimum of 7 miles, 3 moms and 2 yearlings break away from being forced into the Duck Creek capture facility. After 30 minutes of relentless attempts to capture the buffalo and being run through both barbed wire and high tension wire fences 10 times, 2 moms escaped back into Yellowstone Park. The last mom and here two yearlings, all cut up and ragged where allowed to return to the Park. (1:08- 2.8MB)

This cruel and venial attempt to destroy the last of our beauty and freedom must stop! And so, we must give back! We too must fly together in unison, in solidarity for the Wild. We do this by standing with the beauty and by standing with the pain. We share these experiences with you, so that you may feel and taste this beauty and be outraged as well. We leave with you the truth of 10 powerful bulls, walking up to the capture facility, in the face of their oppressors, to honor their family members in captivity. The bison continue to teach---WILD AND FREE!
With the Buffalo,
Roman and Aron
BFC Volunteers

* Earth Day in Honor of Phil Morton 1945-2003
April 22 is Earth Day, a time to give thanks to the Earth and to reflect upon and redouble our efforts to protect her and all the creatures she sustains.

April 22 is also Phil Morton's birthday. Phil, a long-time and ardent supporter of the Yellowstone buffalo and the BFC would have been 60 tomorrow. For those working on the front-lines to protect the buffalo, Phil was an inspiration. A first-rate wildlife videographer in his own right, Phil believed in BFC's mission to document and share with the world the buffalo's plight.
Shortly before his death, Phil inspired BFC's Campaign Coordinator, Mike Mease, with the following words:

"When you see the old bull buffler, when your eyes connect with him, know that i'm eyeing you back, longing for him to be WILD and FREE again...not in my lifetime, but maybe in your's and barb's...Love, Phil 'Buffler Bo' Morton"

Phil is survived by his beautiful companion barb, who continues to inspire us all with her strong and vocal voice for the Yellowstone buffalo. In honor of Phil we have collected words and photos of Phil and barb and posted them on our website at: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/aboutus/artthoughts/philbarb.html

On Memorial Day we will honor other supporters of the wild buffalo who have passed on to the next world. Please send the names, photos, and stories of others who are no longer with us and who have been supporters of the buffalo for inclusion in our Memorial Day remembrance.
* Mother's Day Contemplation
I am mother to 8 1/2 year old Japhy Ryder. In a recent poem, Japhy wrote, "I have stood with the buffalo for as long as I can remember." He is a boy who will always have a deep connection with the Last Wild Bison of the Yellowstone Ecosystem. He knows their scent, humor, stillness, and power. He knows their heart. As his mother, I could not ask for better teachers than the buffalo, and the people they inspire. This is my husband's and my 5th year traveling to the Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) in West Yellowstone, MT. This season, Japhy has been gifted with a lodge full of older brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts. The heart, vision, and humor of the campaign is no better village to help raise a child.

As Mother's Day approaches, I give thanks to the wild buffalo for the blessings they have given me and my family. The buffalo have always been the giveaway to the people. At one time 35 million, the largest mammal herd ever, roamed North America. They gave themselves to the people, both in physical body as well as in spiritual form, with Grace and Dignity. Now, our wild bison need our help.

Spring is calving season for the wild buffalo of West Yellowstone. As the herd migrates out of Yellowstone's western boundary in attempt to reach their calving grounds on the Horse Butte Peninsula, they are hazed away from and off of the Butte. Pregnant females, yearlings, young and elder bulls are run for miles either back into the park or, more likely, the capture facility. Once inside the trap, they are poked, prodded, separated by age and gender, mother from child, males from females, stuffed into trailers and shipped off to slaughter, quarantine, or back to the Horse Butte Peninsula, where they are currently not tolerated. Yes, that's correct! The only way a wild buffalo can have access to the Butte, our national forest lands, is after being hazed, penned, injected, separated from family, and trailered there. Natural migration is reason for expulsion from the butte. All these buffalo desire is to give birth on their historical calving grounds. Is it not our turn to give back to these unique beings? As mothers, and those who admire mothers, we should protect our wild bison mothers this calving season.

Please help the BFC in our efforts to protect the buffalo on the public lands of West Yellowstone! Give what you can to honor this sacred time! And, this Mother's Day, dedicate your day to the last wild buffalo! Celebrate that they may have a safe and healthy calving season and a joyful return to Yellowstone National Park this June. Visit the park this summer and meet the new calves! This Mother's Day give your voice to the only buffalo with an uninterrupted history of being Wild and Free!
* Week of Action - Boycott the Livestock Industry
April 30 begins the Week of Action. We will join in solidarity for the last wild buffalo and boycott the industry that is killing them and so much else: the livestock industry. Our hope is that everyone who participates extends their own Boycott further. Indefinitely. In preparation, here's a bit of food for thought, suggested reading, and a yummy livestock-product
free recipe:

* Food for Thought: "In 1876, General Nelson Miles predicted: 'When we get rid of the Indians and buffalo, the cattle.... will fill this country.' It soon became apparent that getting rid of the Indians could best be accomplished by eliminating buffalo from the western plains, cutting off
their primary means of survival. Cattlemen joined ranks with eastern bankers, the railroads, and the U.S. Army in a systematic campaign to exterminate the bison of the western range. The task was enormous. Buffalo herds blackened the plains. Herds of tens of thousands of head were common. A visitor could watch an uninterrupted stampede of several hours duration without a break in the chain. ... William Hornaday tried to capture the spectacle in words. He wrote, 'It would have been as easy to count or to estimate the number of leaves in a forest as to calculate the number of buffaloes living at any given time during the history of the
species previous to 1870.' Just a few years later, the buffalo were eliminated entirely from the western range after thousands of years of habitation. In their place were 600,000 head of cattle... Having killed off the buffalo and squeezed the Indians off the plains so they could graze their cattle, ranchers then turned around and sold beef to the government to feed the hungry Indians whose source of food they had eliminated. This is the story of how so many western ranchers made their initial fortunes, something rarely mentioned in the history books. Edward Dale writes: 'There can be no doubt that this market was a factor in promoting the
growth of ranching on the plains and that a number of important cattlemen laid the foundations of their large enterprises by securing lucrative government contracts to supply Indians with beef.' Today, over a century after their first attempt to lease public lands at below market value, ranchers, aided by powerful cattle associations, continue to enjoy favored treatment, leasing over 270 million acres of public land in the American west for cattle grazing at a fee per acre that is well below the market value of the land."

- Jeremy Rifkin, Beyond Beef
* Read this Book: "Beyond Beef - the Rise and Fall of the Cattle Culture" by Jeremy Rifkin.
* Try this Yummy Cattle-Free Recipe:
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 ripe, medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 & 1/2 cups red kidney beans, pinto beans, or black beans
1 cup (8 oz) of tomato sauce
1 cup water
1/3 cup bulgar (medium ground)
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground allspice or cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste
add salt, to taste

Heat the oil in a 4&1/2 qt. pan. Add the onion celery and garlic. Reduce
heat, and cook, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes. When onion is
tender, stir in remaining ingredients *except salt* and bring mixture to a
boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Season the chili with salt. Serve hot.

Recipe taken from: "Vegan Vittles - Recipes Inspired by the Critters of
Farm Sanctuary" by Joanne Stepaniak
* BFC Featured on the Cover of the Rolling Stone
Well, almost. The staff of the Rocky Mountain Bullhorn, a Fort-Collins, Colorado-based weekly newspaper, spent a few days with us in early April. Their cover story on our work was printed today. Read it at:
* BFC Wish List
We depend on your support to keep our volunteers equipped and in the field with the buffalo. Please make a tax-deductible contribution today.
We are in need of the following items:
Laundry Detergent
Dr. Bronner's Soap
Dish Soap
Mini DV (digital Video) Cassette Tapes (Sony LPE-F)
AA and AAA Batteries
Postage Stamps
* Last Words
"As I bore witness to the DOL and other agencies tormenting the spirits of the Plains, the only thing I heard, over and over again, was the words of the peaceful Chief Joseph, 'My heart is sick and sad from where the sun now stands.'"
Jon Bro, BFC Volunteer

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