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Weekly Update from the Field December 16, 2004
* Update from the Field
* Montanans Protest Decision to "Hunt" Buffalo
* Prayer Ceremony for the Buffalo
* Last Words

* Update from the Field
There's a beautiful bull buffalo in the Beartrap housing area and another near a neighborhood on Horse Butte. These bulls are bothering no one, yet the Department of Livestock (DOL) insists upon wasting thousands of tax dollars a day to rob Montana of their presence.
I spent Wednesday afternoon on patrol, keeping one eye on the two bulls and the other on the six livestock agents who showed up in town Tuesday afternoon to harass them. They began the day by driving out to Horse Butte where they proceeded to plow Forest Road 610, the road that accesses the National Forest land where the DOL sets up its capture facility every year. After plowing the road and the trap site they proceeded to their headquarters on Duck Creek, where they spent several hours loading and unloading equipment before saddling up on their snowmobiles and tearing into the woods to look for buffalo.
We kept an eye on the agents with the help of some local residents who called our office to report seeing them. Fortunately the Horse Butte buffalo had disappeared before the agents reached the area where he'd spent the morning. The livestock agents spent several hours scouring the area before returning to headquarters for the night.
Thursday morning we suspected the agents would be out harassing the buffalo. What we weren't sure of was whether they'd try to capture the Beartrap and Horse Butte bulls or chase them back to the park. As of this writing, at 11am Thursday, they hazed the bull from the Beartrap housing development. The bull at Horse Butte, perhaps suspecting that the DOL would be after him, has kept himself hidden. With any luck the DOL will pack their things up this afternoon and head back to the state capital, leaving the area in peace after three days of wasting tax dollars and disturbing native wildlife. 
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* Montanans Protest Decision to "Hunt" Buffalo
In addition to being hazed, captured, tested, and slaughtered, America's last wild buffalo may soon become victim of a "sport hunt." At 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 16, buffalo advocates gathered in Helena to protest the so-called buffalo hunt proposed by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP). The FWP Commission is meeting today to make a final decision on their plan to hunt buffalo that migrate outside of Yellowstone National Park. Should the plan be approved, hunting regulations will then be set. Anywhere from 5 to 25 permits will be issued to shoot buffalo that migrate out of the park in search of winter food. Buffalo advocates are in Helena to protest the hunt as proposed, and educate people as to why it should not be approved. If this plan is approved, starting January 15, 2005, buffalo that leave Yellowstone National Park will be shot in the field in the only area they are currently tolerated within the borders of Montana, the Eagle Creek Special Management Area of the Gallatin National Forest adjacent to Yellowstone National Park's northern boundary.

Read BFC's press advisory for details http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/press0405/pressrelease0405/121504.html Montana needs to hear from you, so they know you are strongly opposed to the proposed hunt. Please visit our Letters to the Editor web page http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/lte.html#montana and write a strong letter to the key Montana papers listed. Your letter should elaborate on the following points: 1. No habitat, no hunt; 2. Buffalo must be considered a wildlife species in Montana; 3. Tribal consultation should be sought and treaty rights upheld; 4. There is no element of fair chase in shooting buffalo that are used to thousands of park visitors. When your letter is printed, please send us a copy. Email to bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org, or mail a copy to the address below.
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* Prayer Ceremony for the Buffalo
On Saturday, December 18 at 2pm, Scott and Marsha Frazier of Ehnamani will travel to West Yellowstone to lead a prayer for the buffalo and ask for strength in the coming season. Please join us, in person or in thought, to ask that the human beings learn to share the land with the buffalo and welcome them to their native habitat.
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* Last Words:
Gatha for all Threatened Beings
Ah Power that swirls us together
Grant us Bliss
Grant us the great release
And to all Beings
Vanishing, wounded
In trouble on earth
We pass on this love
May their numbers increase.
--Gary Snyder


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