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
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
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
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.
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.
* 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
or call (406) 646-0070.
* BFC & Patagonia, Inc Join Forces for the
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
To see a photo of the billboard and read the press release,
* 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:
- 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:
-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
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/
* 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
* 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.