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Weekly Update from the Field July 27, 2006
Subscribe to our email list and receive our weekly Update from the Field
* Update from the Field
* Immediate Openings for Yellowstone Volunteers
* BFC & Patagonia, Inc Join Forces for the Buffalo
* 2006 Roadshow News
-West Coast Schedule Confirmed
-Plans for Southwest Roadshow Coming Together--Your Help Needed
-East Coast Roadshow on Hiatus but Help Still Needed at Key Events
* Respond to the New York Sun
* Last Words

* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
The movement to protect the Yellowstone herd - America's last wild herd - is waxing powerful. We are pleased to let you know that the power and strength of our herd is growing with the many folks who have joined with us in recent weeks! We welcome all the new subscribers to our growing buffalo family and give thanks to all of you who have been with us over these many years. Each of you makes a difference. You are the ones who choose to speak out for the mighty bison, and that's an awesome mission! It's like the story about the person who walked the seashore to find that for miles it was full of beached and dying starfish, and one by one gave them back to the sea, gave the starfish a chance. For the buffalo, each of our voices make that kind of difference. Each person that speaks for the buffalo by writing a letter, making a phone call, coming to volunteer, cutting beef out of their diet - that's a starfish back in the sea, a positive ripple in the pond; those ripples spread, creating more and more further and further out. Maybe for the buffalo we need to use a boulder to make big waves; rock the boat. In time we'll sink the ship of fools.

Our numbers continue to grow, lending strength to our collective movement to forever protect this sacred being.
Example: for the first time in Montana's history we have a governor who is trying to do something besides continue with the status quo. His plan is politically based, and far from perfect (we'll help him figure that out) but in this cattle-controlled state, he is sticking his neck at least a little ways out by encouraging hobby ranchers to remove cattle from buffalo habitat along Yellowstone's northern and western boundaries. He's taking it a step further and letting these ranchers know that if they choose not to cooperate, tough restrictions and expensive quarantine will be mandated for their cattle. It may not seem like much, and in a larger sense it's not; but for a Montana governor to take even a small step for the buffalo is huge. He's taking a lot of heat from cattle barons for it, too.

Not to give him too much credit because the buffalo don't get much from Schweitzer's plan. Depending on his audience, the Governor says his reasons are to either protect Montana's brucellosis-free status, or to give the buffalo a little more breathing room. Greater tolerance in limited areas at certain times of year will come at the price of new "drop dead zones," an ever expanding "hunt," and continued intolerance through hazing, shooting, slaughter, and quarantine. But talk of buying grazing leases from ranchers is something we never would have heard from past administrations. Change is coming and it's because of YOUR effort that we are seeing this. We've got his attention and we must not let up on the pressure.

The government and cattle industry continue to wage a paper war that will manifest itself in more intolerance and death-dealing blows for America's last wild herd. The National Park Service makes no apologies for killing nearly 1,000 Yellowstone buffalo this past season, buffalo that they are charged with protecting. They attempt to shift the blame to other agencies, but we are drawing attention to the actions they'd like to cover up (see below). Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) shows no sign of intelligence and - fully funded by the federal government--continues their calculated assault on the wild bison. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) plans to increase the number of bison hunt permits from last year's 50 to 100 for this year (and the governor's office is asking for even more). Yet Montana has received an overwhelming number of comments objecting to the hunt and we thank you for your diligence and applied pressure.

The USDA-Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has been flexing it's political muscle, telling Yellowstone area states that they want more control over our wildlife and threatening the states with absolute authority. Imagine agents in white suits coming into our parks and protected lands to set up numerous wildlife capture-test-and-slaughter facilities, asserting their assumed dominion over the nation's wildlife to "cleanse" the landscape of a disease - brucellosis - brought on by the cattle industry. And then there's the quarantine experiment. They've already killed half of the baby buffalo in their quarantine facility, and they intend to extend their facility in efforts to "create" a disease-free herd, playing god and placing "cleansed" and manipulated buffalo on pockets of public land like little Monopoly pieces. In all these nefarious plans to harm the wild, to imprison what is free, the Native voice is always left out, deliberately insulting the sacred relationship between the First People and the remaining Animal Nations who have always called this continent home.

There's no doubt that we have our work cut out. We take our inspiration, as always, from the buffalo. These mighty beings who have suffered centuries of persecution continue to walk the land as their ancestors always have. They never give up. And neither will we.

Roam Free,
~Stephany

P.S. Please continue to write, call, fax, and email the decision-makers involved in the harassment and slaughter of America's last wild buffalo! Visit http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/politicians.html.
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* Immediate Openings for Yellowstone Volunteers
Due to some recent cancellations, Buffalo Field Campaign has several immediate openings at our outreach table in Yellowstone National Park. This is a great way to help the buffalo, familiarize yourself with their plight, get to know the BFC family, and to explore the Yellowstone Ecosystem. Volunteers are provided with room and board, travel between BFC's lodge on Hebgen Lake and Yellowstone's interior, and ample opportunity for backcountry exploration.
Volunteers are needed throughout the month of August and especially in the first two weeks. Interested? Write to buffaloatwildrockies.org or call (406) 646-0070.
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* BFC & Patagonia, Inc Join Forces for the Buffalo
Folks travelling from the east to Yellowstone National Park along Interstates 90 and 94 will learn of the National Park Service's role in the slaughter of more than 1,000 wild buffalo thanks to a huge billboard created by the Buffalo Field Campaign and Patagonia, Inc. Launched on July 17, the billboard campaign has already been a huge success, informing thousands of people about the buffalo's struggle and focusing citizen action and attention on Yellowstone's role in the slaughter of thousands of buffalo.

The Park Service refuses to take responsibility for it's decision to slaughter so many buffalo in 2006, instead trying to pass the buck to the other agencies. 'Blame Montana, blame the USDA,' park officials complain. The billboard campaign was designed hold Park officials accountable and to remind them that they answer to the American people, not the vested interests of Montana's livestock industry.

To see a photo of the billboard and read the press release, visit: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/press0506/pressreleases0506/071706.html
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* 2006 Roadshow News
-Plans for Southwest Roadshow Coming Together--Your Help Needed
-East Coast Roadshow Takes a Break but Help Still Needed at Key Events
- West Coast Schedule Confirmed

This year's West Coast Roadshow promises to be a fun and inspiring mix of music, stories, poetry, video, and information: all in the spirit of raising awareness and action on behalf on the Yellowstone buffalo. BFC is blessed to be accompanied at most of our shows with live performances by the amazing guitarist Good Shield of the band Seventh Generation Rise. And legendary activist, poet, storyteller and musician John Trudell will join us for two very special events.

To view the full West Coast schedule and for more information on these special events, please visit:
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/aboutus/roadshowswest2006.html

- Plans for Southwest Roadshow Coming Together--Your Help Needed!
The first ever Southern Rockies Buffalo Field Campaign Roadshow will migrate through the southwest in a waste-vegie-oil (WVO) powered Mercedes during the month of September. The tour will start on September 3 with a confirmed event in Crestone, Colorado. Also confirmed is a special event at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale on September 20. And we've been lining up musicians for a very special benefit concert in Boulder, CO. We'd also like to visit the following cities and we need the help of you, our supporters, to make it happen:
Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico; Moab, Utah; Durango, Telluride, Montrose, Grand Junction, Paonia, Crested Butte, Gunnison, Boulder, Nederland, Manitou Springs, and Fort Collins, Colorado.

If you live in or near one of these areas and would like to help organize a presentation, contact Josh at: bfc-advocate"at"wildrockies.org.

-East Coast Roadshow Takes a Break but Help Still Needed at Key Events.
For the first time since 2002, BFC has decided not to do a full-blown East Coast Roadshow this Fall. While the Roadshow is always worth our while, we have decided that our time and energy would be better spent here in Montana this October, preparing for the coming season and working to drum up local support for free roaming buffalo in Montana. Gas prices, and the toll of 6 weeks on the road weighed heavily into our deliberation, as did the realization that with so many supporters on the East Coast, we can find volunteers to help with the outreach work at several key events. We are sorry that we won't get to connect this Fall with the East Coast buffalo community, but we're looking forward to seeing you in Montana next Winter and on the East Coast next Fall! Thanks to all who had volunteered to help set up shows.

Thanks to the amazing dedication of East Coast volunteers like Kathy and Joanne, Buffalo Field Campaign continues to have strong representation on the East Coast. These two supporters have been busy sharing the buffalo's story at Pow Wows and events all summer and would like to connect with other BFC supporters in the area interested in helping with the following events:
2006 National Animal Rights Conference (Alexandria, VA) is 8/10 to 8/14. BFC will be exhibiting from 8/11 to 8/13 from 9 AM to 6 PM. For more information on the conference visit: www.arconference.org

Taking Action For Animals Conference (Washington, DC) is 9/2 to 9/5.
For more information on this conference visit: http://www.takingactionforanimals.org/index.php
If you are interested in helping out at either of the DC events or at events in the New York area, please write buffaloatwildrockies.org or call (406) 646-0070.

Live in the Northeast? Volunteers are also needed to run a table at the 2006 Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, October 21 from 10am to 6pm. Contact Dan at dan"at"wildrockies.org or call (406) 726-5555.

For more info on the festival visit http://www.bostonveg.org/foodfest/
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* Respond to the New York Sun
Please write to the editors of the New York Sun, responding to the opinion piece linked below, to correct the horrible mistakes Mr. Bray has made against the wild buffalo and the insults to the First People. Even if your letter isn't printed, it will be powerful for the editors to know that there are many people who care about the buffalo and know the truth of what is happening to them. Send your letter to editor@nysun.com, New York Sun, Letter to the Editor / Opinion Piece, 105 Chambers Street, New York, NY 1000. Many thanks to the supporters who brought this article to our attention and for taking action for the buffalo!
Where the Bison Roam by Thomas Bray, July 19, 2006
http://www.nysun.com/article/36287
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* Last Words
As the old man walked the beach at dawn
He noticed a young man ahead of him
Picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea
Catching up with the youth, he asked him
Why he was doing this?
The answer was that the stranded starfish
Would die if left until the morning sun
But the beach goes on for miles
And there are millions of starfish, countered the other
How can your effort make any difference?
The young man looked at the starfish in his hand
And threw it to the safety in the waves
It makes a difference to this one, he said.
~ Anonymous


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