Update From the Field
THE DOL AND THEIR HENCHMEN ARE AT IT AGAIN!
Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) agents along with
National Park rangers and a host of law enforcement
officers hazed at least 5 bull buffalo into Yellowstone
National Park yesterday. Three of the buffalo were grazing
peacefully on the Horse Butte Peninsula where local
residents enjoy the presence of these gentle giants.
Our patrol witnessed the buffalo crossing Highway 191
hundreds of yards away from where the cops were set
up to block the road. After we alerted them to their
mistake, the cops rushed over to direct traffic and
only narrowly averted a disaster of their own making
as cars and trucks passed by the three buffalo on the
road. As many as 20 bull buffalo have been seen around
the Park border and more are sure to follow in the coming
months. If you have been thinking about visiting the
BFC and have some time on your hands, please give us
a call or send an email. There are still many projects
that need to get done before winter settles in and we
are out in the field with the buffalo every day.
* Take Action -- NO HABITAT - NO HUNT!
On Thursday, October 7, 2004, the Montana Fish, Wildlife
and Parks (FWP) Commission modified and approved the
agency's proposal for "hunting" Yellowstone
buffalo at the Park's border this winter. FWP managers
initially presented a plan for five permits in the Jardine
area on the Park's northern boundary and the Grayling
Creek area on the western boundary. However, the Commissioners,
led by John Brenden from Scobey, Montana, raised the
permit number to 25 stating that he would like to see
the number go up to at least 250. "I personally
do not care if somebody from New York City doesn't like
our hunting," Brenden said. "I personally
think this idea for one to 25 permits is ludicrous.
This isn't going to make a dent on an elephant's posterior
to managing the buffalo problem." Brenden also
stated that he would eventually like to see 1000 buffalo
killed by "hunters" adding that past controversy
over bison hunts should not dictate current actions.
The current proposal does not provide any additional
habitat for buffalo in Montana. In fact, the plan calls
for killing buffalo in the only area where they are
tolerated in Montana, the Eagle Creek Special Management
area near Gardiner. It will leave the Montana Department
Of Livestock in charge of "managing" buffalo
who will continue to haze, capture, slaughter and shoot
buffalo on the west side of the Park while "hunters"
kill them on the north side. The vast majority of the
891 comments, including those from hunting organizations,
received on the Draft Environmental Assessment opposed
buffalo hunting as proposed. One simple phase summarizes
the main issue; "No habitat, No hunt."
Whether the FWP commission likes it or not, Montana
will get a huge black-eye if buffalo are once again
gunned down at Yellowstone's borders by "hunters".
The bad reputation that our state will get for this
rushed and foolish policy will impact the entire outfitting/hunting
industry that is entirely dependant on visitors from
out of state for their survival. The fact is that out-of-stater's,
whether they are hunters or tourists, contribute significantly
to the Montana economy by hiring local guides/outfitters,
staying in local hotels, eating in local restaurants,
and purchasing any number of items in local shops. Clearly,
Brenden and his fellow commissioners are not concerned
with the livelihood of Montanans living in the gateway
communities who are 100% dependant on the tourist economy.
FWP will be accepting public comments on the decision
to "hunt" buffalo until late November and
the Commission will give their final approval in December.
Their plan is to hold a one-month season from January
15 to Feb. 15, 2005. Please take the time to let FWP
and Commissioner Brenden know what a terrible decision
"buffalo hunting" will be at this time. Call
Commissioner Brenden at 406-783-5394; call or email
FWP headquarters at (406) 444-3186; http://fwp.state.mt.us/contact/default.aspx.
Check out our website at http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/legislative/bisonhuntingbill.html
for more info on the hunt.
* WOOD, WOOD, WOOD, AND MANY THANKS TO ALL
My ears still ring with the sound of chainsaws even
though they all stopped Monday. 30 cords are all bucked,
stacked and covered for the Winter and a special thanks
is in order to all that made it happen. Thank you.
We would also like to take the time to thank everyone
that help us make the West Coast Road Show such a success.
It all started in Salt Lake City, Utah where Stephanie
and Kevin from the Utah Environmental Congress set up
a show at Brewvies. Thanks to Dave Movits and the Mease's
as well. Next we had the honor of meeting Kelly, Larry
and Anthony in South Lake Tahoe, CA. Reno, NV reunited
us with our family at Patagonia, Ron, Rob, Kaitlin and
the entire staff. Menlo Park, CA. The Couperus Family,
Carol Anne and the nice woman that helped gather signatures
for the buffalo, sorry I forgot your name. A very special
thanks to my sister Kristen and her husband Kevin for
housing us and letting us have a home in the Bay Area
for weeks. Santa Barbara, CA: Jennifer, Wes and Jay.
Santa Monica, CA: the folks at Patagonia, Brian for
setting up the farmers market. Nancie for helping at
the table. Carol, Deb, Lauren for the house party. San
Luis Obispo, CA thanks to Miranda and Malik, it was
fun camping with you both. Berkeley, CA thanks KP, Beck,
Kirk and all of the fine people at the Ecology Center,
KPFA, Brother Tondre, Alexson, Alesia, John, Katrina,
Julia B., Sylvia, Anne D., Elizabeth W. and the Common
Council Foundation. Santa Cruz, CA thanks and nice to
meet Dennis and Free Radio Santa Cruz, Ray and Family,
Cynthia and the twins Jim and George. Los Altos, CA:
Ravi and the Bay Leaf Cafe and Ron. Sept. 11 Power to
the Peaceful Festival: thanks to Cory, Alexson, the
Solar Bus, for free power for the buffaloon, Michael
Franti and Spearhead, Amy Goodman, Madonna and Pablo,
Bre and all the kids that made the buffaloon come to
life. Eugene, OR: Thanks Josh and Cascadia Wildlands
Project, Kris & Saxon, Mick & Cindy, Tony &
Mirium, Anne and the Growers Market. Portland, OR: thanks
to Thomas, the Liberty Hall, Sara', Greg and Beth. Newport,
OR thanks to Andrew & Michelle, Sneaker Wave Productions
and the cast of "Wizard of Oil", the Visual
Arts Center and an extra special thanks to all of the
great white sharks that did not eat me while I learned
to surf. Olympia, WA: Thanks to Dirt, Rick, Tom, Abby,
Lizard, Warren,Media Island, Traditions Fair Trade Coffee
House and Evergreen College. Port Townsend, WA: thanks
to Jayna & Hunter, Tracey and the Community Center.
Seattle, WA: thanks to Carol, Yolanda and the Wilburforce
Foundation. Issaquah, WA: thanks to Pam, Joe D., Jonathan,
Kat, Issaquah Farmers Market, Greg and partner and Amy
and the Burke Museum of Natural History. Spokane, WA:
thanks to Bea, Teressa, Hal, Collen, Terry and April.
I am sorry if I forgot anyone.
Thanks again to everyone who made this trip such a great
success. Please come visit if you can. After 6,000 miles,
20,000 newsletters, and thousands of people it is nice
to be home, back with the Buffalo. We are rejuvenated
and ready to fight for the Buffalo for yet another year.
Back with the Buffalo,
Mike Mease & Josh Osher
* East Coast Road Show Underway
BFC is now on the East Coast sharing the buffalo's message.
We gave a talk last night in Fredericksburg, VA and
spent all day with high school classes in Arlington,
VA. In a few hours we'll give a presentation at the
Georgetown Patagonia store. Talks are planned in the
coming days for VA, MD, PA, NY, MA, and ME and are adding
new shows every day. Please check our web site for the
schedule and we'll see you there. Tell your friends
to come too! http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/aboutus/roadshows2004.html