Update from the Field
The Montana Department of Livestock's attention shifted
from Yellowstone's native buffalo to the more appropriate
domestic cattle for a few days this week. On Wednesday
morning, however, once the agents were done removing
the few last cattle from private land in the area, the
buffalo hazing and harassment resumed.
Two bulls that had been grazing peacefully on Horse
Butte and nine on Fir Ridge fell victim to the DOL's
intolerance. While the DOL maintains that brucellosis
is the reason for their "management" of wild
buffalo, it is well known that bulls pose no risk of
transmission. Further, with the removal of the last
cattle from the area earlier in the week, there is no
livestock to supposedly threaten.
The nine majestic Fir Ridge bulls, who had barely crossed
the park's boundary, were relentlessly hazed from their
chosen ground back to the park by agents in trucks and
on horses. Before the operation, the DOL was overheard
talking about doing some "practice slammin' and
bangin'" on the nine bullls. Such talk is a perfect
example of why the country's last wild buffalo should
not be entrusted to a livestock agency.
As I write this on Thursday morning, a second BFC patrol
has just been called into the field to help the volunteers
already there to document the hazing operation. With
no cows anywhere near the area why is the state of Montana
so insistent on wasting tax dollars to harass buffalo?
Today's operation is a stark reminder that the current
buffalo slaughter and harassment have nothing whatsoever
to do with brucellosis. Rather, they are a result of
the livestock industry's greed for grass.
A big THANK YOU to those of you who are calling in to
report buffalo sightings and DOL actions in your areas.
All tips are appreciated. After all, it's our community
- and America's last wild buffalo - that are under attack,
and we need to band together to make it stop. We thank
you, and the buffalo thank you!
With the Buffalo,
* Montana Elects New Governor
Congratulations to Brian Schweitzer! We are expecting
big changes in the buffalo situation. Governor-elect
Schweitzer has expressed his disdain for the way things
are going now, and we look to him to keep his word and
put a stop to the atrocious treatment of the buffalo.
Schweitzer has stated that he would like to see more
tolerance for buffalo migrating into Montana to alleviate
the black eye the state has received over the past two
decades. Schweitzer, a farmer and rancher, said that
management should be guided by "science, not hyperbole",
and that the DOL is "ill-equipped" to manage
buffalo in Montana. He went on to say that significant
changes would be made to both Montana's Fish, Wildlife
and Parks Commission and the Board of Livestock to give
more balance to these agencies. While not committing
to a full recovery program for buffalo in Montana, Schweitzer's
statements indicate that at the very least, the slaughter
at the park border would be a thing of the past if he
were elected governor in November.
* BFC Needs Volunteers
We are running full-time patrols, producing all the
cabin needs, and staying on top of all the agency actions,
and getting quite a workout. Our crew of ten has thankfully
grown to twelve today and we are grateful to the two
new BFC volunteers! We need volunteers now through June,
so if you can find some time to make it out, we would
love to make you a part of our family. Write to buffaloatwildrockies.org
for more information on volunteering.
* ACTION ALERTS--Help us stop the Buffalo hunt
The assault on our last wild buffalo has ratcheted up
in the past several months with numerous new programs
designed to kill and domesticate the buffalo. Two particular
proposals are up for public comment right now. The state
of Montana is once again trying to "hunt"
buffalo that leave Yellowstone's border. The last time
Montana made this monumental mistake, the State received
a huge black-eye that is still sore fifteen years later.
If buffalo are once again gunned down at the Park's
borders, there is no doubt that Montana along with all
of the State's hunters and outfitting industry will
be negatively affected and will once again be on the
defensive. Comments on Montana's giant step backward
are due November 26. Comment information is available
on our web site at http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/legislative/huntalert.html.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks along with USDA's Animal
and Plant Health Inspection Service have released plans
to capture, quarantine, and slaughter up to 200 buffalo
calves in the next two years. The plan is test a hypothesis
about the effectiveness of brucellosis serologic tests.
We must let the agencies know that Yellowstone's wild
buffalo are not available for science experiments. Comments
are due to Montana, Fish Wildlife and Parks by November
11. Comment information is available on our website
Please take the time to comment on these plans today.
Both the hunt and quarantine proposals are simply efforts
by the agencies to sidestep around providing habitat
for Yellowstone buffalo within the ecosystem. Both programs
will end up costing Montana and federal taxpayers large
sums of money and neither will do anything to accomplish
long-term cooperative solutions.
* Plug into the BFC Network and Thank You for
This is a critical time as winter season is running
full time and daily hazing and harassment of the last
wild buffalo continues. We have a great crew at camp
- dedicated to donating their time and energies to doing
the patrols that are so important so that the American
public can stay informed about what is happening to
the majestic creatures of the beautiful Yellowstone
If you can't make it down to camp but still want to
get involved we can definitely use your help. Each of
us has a unique set of skills and talents that we can
contribute. Perhaps you can set up a fundraiser or video
showing in your community? Letters to the editor of
local papers as well as newsletter distribution is always
needed! Can you spare a few bucks or maybe send a donation
to purchase one of the items on our wish list? We are
frugal and stretch every dollar to it's fullest but
still need those contributions to keep volunteers fed
and housed, video cameras rolling, and to keep up our
efforts on the legislative, research and legal fronts.
Recycling computer ink cartridges is very simple - just
go to http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/support/recycleprint.html
or call our recycling "coach" Sean at 1-888-317-9148,
or E-mail him at Sean@CartridgeFundraising.com
and he'll get you going! If you would like to set up
a rally in your town or just want to get the word out
by sending this update to ten other friends with a personal
request at the top for them to subscribe to the updates
or visit our info packed web site - every effort helps!
Together we will make a difference and Buffalo Field
Campaign is a unique organization that is truly grassroots!!
Each one of us are an important part of the buffalo
family and we will all be honored to celebrate the day
when the buffalo are truly protected for future generations.
Give us a shout with any ideas or requests and let your
colleagues know that a donation to BFC is one of the
greatest holiday gifts that they can give you! It's
easy to donate securely on-line or send a donation to
BFC, POB 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758 and it's tax
Thanks for all your concerted efforts and support for
the wild buffalo and the buffalo protectors!
In recent weeks BFC has received some very nice gear,
thoughtful cabin items, donated gifts to raise funds
on our web site, nourishing food and treats, and lots
We would like to express gratitude for the generosity,
thoughtfulness, time, and energy put into getting these
packages together and shipping them out. Please know
we are using the gifts you have sent and appreciate
them very much. We are a grassroots organization getting
a lot of work done on precious little resources, so
it is a real treat to get these donations!
For those wild ones,
* BFC Wish List
* Air Compressor - we currently have to drive 16 miles
to West Yellowstone just to fill a tire with air. Help
us save time and money.
* DVD burner - all of our media currently goes out on
VHS. DVD's are higher quality and cheaper to send.
* Recycled paper - we would love to use only 100% post
consumer paper, however, the cost is significantly higher.
Consider a gift certificate or a mail order for office
supplies to help us be greener.
* Medicinal herbs - our supplies are running low, we
need natural medicines to keep us healthy and strong
through the long Yellowstone winters.
* High capacity wet/dry shop vac - you wouldn't believe
how many times big wet things spill.
* Large, long lasting candles and lamp oil - our power
isn't very consistent during the winter and our tipis
are non-electric. Lamp oil should be for indoor use
and freeze proof.
* Snowshoes, cross country skis, bindings, boots and
wax - our stock of winter travel items is getting old
* Polypro or silk long underwear (no cotton please)
- help us stay warm and dry.
* Sorrel style winter boots, liners, and wool socks
- cold feet make for miserable volunteers.
* Heavy wool pants - our rule here is cotton kills.
We need wool pants to stay warm and dry and our volunteers
come in all shapes and sizes.
* Warm hats and gloves - most of your body heat leaves
through your head.
* Moosewood and other cookbooks - our cooks do the best
they can to keep our meals creative, but a few new recipes
would be greatly appreciated by all.
Please call or email us if you have other stuff that
you think would be useful.
* LAST WORDS
"If the beasts were gone, we would die from a great
loneliness of Spirit."
--Attributed to Chief Seattle