* Update From the Field -- BFC Needs Your Help
The prolonged drought, coupled with the intense heat
of July and August, has led to extremely dry conditions
in Montana and dozens of wildfires have flared up in
the past week. White ash drifts from the sky like snow,
leaving mottled grey patterns on every exposed surface.
Smoke softens the sunlight, lending a dusk-like appearance
to the noonday sun and painting the sunset with surreal
The dry and smoky heat of August doesn't lend itself
easily to thoughts of January nights with the earth
blanketed beneath feet of snow and the thermometer plunging
down to 50 below zero. But we know it's coming. For
the ninth straight winter our cabin above Hebgen Lake
will be home to dozens of volunteers dedicating their
every waking hour to standing with--and defending--the
Yellowstone buffalo, America's last wild herd. After
all the planning, preparation, and follow-up from our
meeting with the governor we switched gears and began,
in earnest, getting things ready for the coming season.
One of the more formidable tasks we face each Summer
and Fall is the gathering of the innumerable cords of
wood necessary to keep our volunteers warm through one
of the most frigid climates in the country. Volunteers
have spent most of the past two weeks cutting, gathering,
and hauling firewood back to our cabin, working long
hours under the hot sun. With a hard-working crew things
were going extremely well, the pile of wood growing
larger by the day.
That all changed on Tuesday, when the engine on our
late-model green Dodge Ram pickup, our wood hauling
machine, blew. This truck was a godsend, donated years
ago by a kind man named Art, who made a special trip
to Montana to help us fix a more minor problem a couple
summers ago. Now, halfway through our wood-gathering
chores, we're in need of a good work truck.
If you have a truck you'd like to donate to a great
cause, or if you are able to make a monetary donation
to help us purchase one (both are tax-deductible), we
could really use the help. With Montana's planned bison
hunt scheduled to begin in November on both the north
and west boundaries of Yellowstone, we're going to need
to run two camps at once. With our focus on raising
adequate funds to cover the additional expenses, the
need for a new truck couldn't have been more ill-timed.
Please help us if you can. Our ninth season promises
to be challenging. We need to keep our focus on protecting
the buffalo by developing a winning strategy for their
long-term protection. If you have truck to donate or
if you want to help with a monetary donation, please
do so today!
Make a secure donation by clicking on the red button
to the left or on the main page of our website: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org
or send a check through the mail:
PO Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
A hearty thanks goes out to Art and the green Ram. Your
generous gift kept us warm and dry for years.
With the Buffalo!
* BFC Gearing up for West and East Coast Roadshows
From mid-August until mid-September Mike and Josh will
travel the West Coast, visiting farmer's markets and
giving presentations in communities from Los Angeles
to Eugene. We've got great events scheduled, including
benefits in the Bay Area with Native American musician
and activist John Trudell and activist and speaker Julia
Dan and Stephany will take to the road in October, travelling
from North Carolina to Vermont, visiting colleges, cafes,
and community centers with our video footage, stories,
and inspiring message of buffalo protection.
For more information on the West and East Coast tours,
click the link below, email bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org
or call (406) 646-0070
* Just Four More Days: Bison Hunt Comments Due
For more information on the proposed hunt and talking
points for your comments, please check our web site
* Last Words
seven years in a row, precipitation remained below normal.
The snow that fell on the plowed-up fields of the Dakotas
was so light that the ground, bereft of insulation,
froze many feet down; the snow evaporated without penetrating
and the spring rains, those that came, slid off the
frozen ground into the rivers, leaving the land bare.
The virgin prairie, grazed well within its carrying
capacity by thirty million buffalo, could probably have
withstood the wind and drought; ravaged by too many
cattle and plowed up to make way for wheat, it could
not. If not the worst man-made catastrophe in history,
it was, at least, the quickest."
--Marc Reisner on the Dust Bowl
from Cadillac Desert