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Weekly Update from the Field August 25, 2005
* Update From the Field--Road Shows En-route to Your Community
* Scientists, BFC Reps Question Usefulness of Vaccines
* Celebrating the Life of a Dear and Departed Friend, Phil
* Last Words -- "Let the Buffalo Roam"

* Update From the Field -- Buffalo Roadshow Coming to Your Community

BFC's Roadshow season is officially underway. Mike and Josh hit the road last Tuesday, and will kick off their tour this Saturday at the Santa Barbara Farmer's Market in southern California. For information on the West and East Coast Roadshows including full listings of events, see: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/aboutus/roadshows2005.html

After sending this update out, I'll be getting in the car and heading for Spokane, Washington, where I'll read my buffalo-inspired essay, "Buffalo Field Campaign" that recently came out in the book Holding Common Ground: the Individual and Public Lands in the American West, published by the University of Eastern Washington Press. BFC volunteer and long-time ally Chuck Pezeshki will be sharing his buffalo photos and reading from an essay as well. For those of you living near Spokane, the reading will take place at 7:30 pm at Aunties Bookstore.

Thanks to everyone who responded to our plea for help with a firewood truck. We've been receiving many donations, including use of an excellent wood-hauling truck. Thanks Mark, for lending us your brand new truck, which you still haven't seen. What a selfless gesture. Thanks also to Clem, for offering us your truck. If anyone lives on the West Coast and has a trailer we can use to haul a pickup home to Montana, please let us know so we can take Clem up on his generous offer.

You are all part of the BFC family. Thank you for making it possible for us to be here with the buffalo.

Congratulations to Sundog and Amber on the birth of their new son, the world's newest buffalo warrior.

for the Wild,

Dan Brister

* Scientists, BFC Reps Question Usefulness of Wildlife Vaccines

Scientists from around the world, government agency representatives, industry researchers,
and a handful of observers including BFC volunteers gathered in Laramie, Wyoming last week for a three day "working symposium"to discuss the development of new brucellosis vaccines, delivery systems, and diagnostic tools for elk and buffalo in the Greater Yellowstone area.
The primary purpose of the conference was to identify research needs toward the development of a safe and effective vaccine that could be delivered to elk and buffalo and be tested for efficacy. Throughout the discussions, government representatives repeatedly recognized that vaccination of wildlife would not be a "silver bullet" in their efforts to manage or eradicate brucellosis, but they still considered it a worthwhile exercise.

However, some of the conference participants questioned the value of efforts spent on vaccine research when the primary issues affecting the prevalence of brucellosis in the area are wildlife management practices that restrict natural movements and unnaturally congregate animals.
Several times during the conference, participants and observers questioned the focus on vaccinating wildlife while stating the need for a better vaccine for cattle, the controllable element in the ecosystem. Another option brought to the table that would ease the pressure on wildlife is an administrative rule change for the brucellosis classification system. That system currently punishes ranchers outside of the affected region unnecessarily by using state boundaries for classification rather than zones that directly relate to the incidence of disease in cattle.

After three days of discussion and debate, one thing remained absolutely clear: the development of new vaccines, delivery systems and diagnostic tools for brucellosis will carry a hefty price tag (between 25 and 50 million dollars), take many years to develop (10-15 years before receiving
regulatory approval), and will have little impact on the real issues surrounding the brucellosis controversy in the Greater Yellowstone area. While science has its place in the resolving the current conflict, the primary issues that need immediate attention are a matter of policy,
regional, national, and international politics, and simple common sense.

For press coverage of the conference, check out the following links:


* Celebrating the Life of a Dear and Departed Friend, Phil

On Saturday August 20 friends, family and Buffalo Field Campaign volunteers gathered to put our long lost friend Phil Morton's ashes in the ground he loved, respected and fought so hard to protect. Survived by his lovely partner, Barb a truly beautiful ceremony was arranged and performed. Megan and Josh from the BFC played music as Philís ashes where placed in to a sacred secret spot on Hebgen lake. Walking Jim Stoltz sang to help the mood and old stories from Doug Peacock and many other friends filled the air with memories of Phil. Two years have gone by now since Phil passed from the world we know, but every critter I look in the eyes of, lets me know he is still here watching over us.

For more information on Phil's life, click here:

* Last Words

"Let the Buffalo Roam!"

--from BFC's newly designed tee shirts (available soon)


Buffalo Field Campaign
PO Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
(406) 646-0070
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