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Weekly Update from the Field January 26, 2006
* Update from the Field - Buffalo Slaughter in Yellowstone
* National Call-in Day February 2nd
* Help Baby Buffalo - Quarantine Comments Needed
* The Power of Buffalove
* Last Words

* Update from the Field
Dear Friends of Buffalo,

It is a sad time for the sacred Buffalo.

In the past two weeks Yellowstone National Park has killed more than one-tenth of the existing herd of the country's last wild buffalo. It is hard to imagine how an agency sworn to protect our native wildlife can have a hand in slaughtering these gentle, sacred beings. But it is true. Since January 12, Yellowstone National Park has captured 672 wild buffalo in the Stephens Creek Capture Facility, located inside the boundaries of the world's first national park. As of this morning, they have sent 558 buffalo to slaughter. Included are calves, bulls and non-pregnant females - none of which pose any risk of transmitting brucellosis to livestock. Indeed, there has never been a case of any wild buffalo transmitting brucellosis back to the cattle they got it from. As if native wild buffalo were a terrorist threat, they are being escorted to their deaths by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Park Service has also sent 87 baby buffalo to the Corwin Springs Quarantine Facility. These buffalo join the 14 that were captured and transported there last spring. During their confinement they will be used in a government scientific experiment. To date, one hundred wild baby buffalo suffer this fate. Please see the section below about sending your comments on Phase II & III of the government's quarantine plan - you can help prevent this from happening to other wild baby buffalo in the future.
Twenty-five buffalo remain in the trap (three have died in the facility due to injuries caused by confinement and handling). Tomorrow morning they will join the rest in being sent to slaughter. The trap will be empty. The landscape is also much emptier. With the trap void of captive buffalo, the Park Service will be ready for more capture and slaughter. They have been actively hazing this week, and we know buffalo will go where buffalo want to go, and the Park Service will call them "unhazable" and then they will capture them and send them to slaughter. Why?

The National Park Service (disservice?) defends their position under the Interagency Bison Management Plan, yet the plan is, in part, set up to protect a wild, free-roaming herd of buffalo. Free-roaming and wild mean migration for buffalo, but the Park Service blocks this natural motion, like damming a great river. So they do not protect. They harm. They impair. The buffalo shouldn't find a foe in the National Park Service, yet there is no friendship. Instead of being a voice for the last wild buffalo, the Park Service has become a puppet for cattle business. The Plan states that the Park Service "may" kill, it doesn't state that they MUST. They have a choice. They have chosen slaughter.

These buffalo are being denied habitat and dying because of a handful of cattle that graze along the Park's northern boundary near Gardiner, MT. Land that the buffalo are supposed to be allowed to access. It's the Royal Teton Ranch, owned by the Church Universal and Triumphant (CUT). It lies in the middle of North America's largest migration corridor, just across the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park. In 1998, U.S. taxpayers spent $13 million for conservation easements that would allow wild buffalo and other wildlife to access this migration corridor along portions of CUT's property. Yet, the buffalo continue to die. The people were lead to believe that the money spent would benefit buffalo, but nothing has changed. CUT got the $13 million, but what did that get the buffalo? CUT is beginning to feel some pressure about their involvement in wild buffalo slaughter, and we must keep it on.

Meanwhile, Phase II of Montana's illegitimate bison hunt continues. Since the second phase began, 15 buffalo have fallen to the gun. This hunt is wrong because wild buffalo are not ever allowed to be in Montana without being harassed, captured, slaughtered, quarantined, or shot. It is wrong because the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) is in charge. It is wrong because of the existence of the Interagency Bison Management Plan. It is wrong because Montana still rejects wild buffalo as a native wildlife species and denies them habitat.

How many more buffalo must die before the injustice to their race ends? How long will the people stand for the livestock industry controlling our wildlife and wild lands? How much longer will the American people and the wild buffalo have to take the insults from our National Park Service? Below are three entities that must be contacted; we must raise our voices together in defense of the last wild buffalo:

1. Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Suzanne Lewis (307-344-2002) - Tell her that the Park Service is mandated to protect wildlife, not slaughter for the sake of cattle interests. Tell her that Yellowstone's participation in the slaughter of the last wild buffalo is shameful and unacceptable. Just speak from your heart for the buffalo and tell her how you feel.

2. Church Universal & Triumphant (800-245-5445) - Tell CUT they are a responsible party in the slaughter of the country's last wild buffalo. Tell them to finalize the agreement that was started eight years ago. Remind them that they took money from the American people and that money was exchanged for land to be used by wild buffalo.

3. Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer (406-444-3111) - Tell him to provide wild buffalo with a home range in Montana. Tell him that Montana was home to wild buffalo tens of thousands of years before the recent arrival of European cattle, and they have a natural right to exist freely. Tell him that Montana must respect, protect, and help recover wild buffalo, and when that is done he will have our support.
Thank you for taking these important actions and for your support of our efforts to protect the last wild buffalo left in America.

For the Buffalo,
* National Call-in Day February 2nd
Yellowstone National Park has slaughtered one-tenth (1/10) of the last wild herd of buffalo. This is tragic and unacceptable behavior from an agency sworn to protect wildlife. Yellowstone is a biosphere reserve, a world heritage site, the first national park on planet Earth. It is not acceptable for the Park Service to kill wild buffalo to appease the unfounded fears of one special interest - the livestock industry. Yellowstone National Park must hear from everyone who cares about wild buffalo. Remind them of their role: "to protect the resources unimpaired for present and future generations."
Thursday, February 2nd, from 8:30-5:00 (MST) Buffalo Field Campaign will join with the Animal Welfare Institute and wild buffalo advocates far and wide in a national call-in day. We're going to let Yellowstone hear from all of us, all at once.

We will not go away until they stop the slaughter and protect wild buffalo migration - that's what we'll remind them of when we make their phone ring off the hook next Thursday. We'll send you a reminder before it's time to make the calls. Please pass the word along to your friends, family and colleagues.
* Help Baby Buffalo - Quarantine Comments Needed
One hundred wild baby buffalo are now captive inside the Corwin Springs Quarantine Facility. You can help prevent this from becoming the fate of other wild baby buffalo.
The government - Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) and USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) - intends to expand their bison quarantine facility and are currently accepting public comments on Phase II & III of their Quarantine Feasibility Study. Comments are due February 13, 2006. People of West Yellowstone requested a meeting to be held in town here, or in Gardiner, since this is where the buffalo harassment and capture takes place. FWP has refused our request.

The government's goal is to "create a disease-free herd" of buffalo. They want to call them "wild" when they are done, but they will be anything but. The baby buffalo used in this experiment have been captured from the wild Yellowstone region, their mothers and family members have been sent to slaughter. These buffalo will be domesticated and will not know what it means to be wild. They will be tested and tested again for brucellosis antibodies, and those that test "positive" will go to slaughter. Those that don't will remain in captivity for a breeding program so the government can continue to conduct their mad-scientist experiment.

Brucellosis is a cattle disease - don't you think it's time the cattle industry took responsibility for it?

For more details on the Quarantine Plan, including where to send your comments, please visit: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/actionalerts.html.

Contact Josh at bfc-advocate"at"wildrockies.org with questions, and please send us a copy of your comments. Thanks!
* The Power of Buffalove
Valentine's Day is on the near horizon. On this day dedicated to love, we invite you to honor your loved ones with a gift truly from the heart. Instead of (or in addition to) candy, flowers, and trinkets, let Buffalo Field Campaign send a valentine in your name. It's cheap, it's easy, yet it means so much!

These cards are handmade with lots of love and they are absolutely beautiful. Send some Buffalove this Valentines Day and support the good work of BFC in the process! http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/aboutus/artthoughts/valentine.html
* Last words
"Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind. Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in a time of such terrible danger? Know that you yourself are essential to this World. Believe that! Understand both the blessing and the burden of that. You yourself are desperately needed to save the soul of this World. Did you think you were put here for something else?"

~ Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

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