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Weekly Update from the Field October 13, 2005
* Update from the Field
* Stop the Hunt! Contact Governor Schweitzer
* Organic Rewards for the Month's Most Generous Donation
* Last Words -- Buffalo Hunt a Very Bad Idea

* Update from the Field
Thanks to all the new and returning volunteers who joined us at Campaign headquarters in West Yellowstone to cut and stack firewood! We now have all the firewood we'll need to keep warm through Montana's long and freezing winter.

Preparations are going well as we gear up for what we know will be a difficult season. We met yesterday with Governor Schweitzer and while we still don't see eye to eye on many of the issues concerning the buffalo (see below) at least we have an open dialog. The governor expressed gratitude for our presence in the field and acknowledged our persistence.

Yesterday's meeting was the third time we've met with Governor Schweitzer since he took office last January and we hope he will put some of the ideas we've presented him with into practice to protect the buffalo. Please read on and contact Governor Schweitzer to let him know that you want him to show more tolerance for America's last wild buffalo when they enter Montana.

Thank Priscilla, Barb, Carol, Caleb, Mark & Paul for helping to organize last week's talks in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia. The response has been powerful, reminding us that the buffalo have friends all over the country.

BFC is heading to New York City today and further up the northeastern coast from there. Please check our East Coast Road Show Calendar for a listing of our remaining presentations. Join us and tell your friends, too!

BFC's complete East Coast schedule can be viewed at: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/aboutus/roadshowseast2005.html
Spreading the word to save the herd!
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* Stop the Hunt! Contact Governor Schweitzer
What will it take? "Endless pressure endlessly applied." - Brock Evans

Thank you to everyone who has contacted Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer in opposition to the upcoming bison hunt. While campaigning for governor, and as governor, Brian Schweitzer stated that wild buffalo "will enjoy more tolerance in Montana", and that "the DOL is ill-equipped" to manage them. He has yet to take any actions on these words. Worse yet, he put his name in the hat for a bison hunting permit!

Together we must urge Schweitzer to put muscle behind the rhetoric. We must also firmly, repeatedly remind him that this hunt is going to make Montana look very bad in the eyes of the world. The last wild buffalo belong to the country, not Montana. Schweitzer can stop this hunt and we must convince him that it is the right thing to do. Thank you for sending us copies of your letters to him. Your letters and phone calls are working! It seems Governor Schweitzer has been so overloaded he's no longer allowing emails to get through.

STOP THE HUNT! Keep the pressure on Montana! Please use the following methods to contact Governor Schweitzer and tell him to cancel this canned hunt. Urge your friends and family to do so too!
Phone: 406-444-3111
Fax: 406-444-5529
Web: http://governor.mt.gov/contact/comments.asp
Mail: State Capitol, P.O. Box 200801, Helena, MT 59620-0801

THANK YOU for taking action to protect the last wild buffalo in America!
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* Organic Rewards for the Month's Most Generous Donation
For years BFC volunteers have been nourished by the delicious organic foods of Living Tree Community Foods thanks to the generous donations of this amazing company. Now Living Tree would like to spread that nourishment to our supporters.

Whoever makes the largest donation of each month will receive:
One Sweet n'Kind, Pumpkin Sesame Butter
One Heart n'Sol, Walnut Sesame Halvah
One Dream of Paradise,Chocolate Ecstasy

For more information on these tasty and healthy rewards:
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/update0506/offer.html

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* Last Words -- Buffalo Hunt a Very Bad Idea
OP ED written by BFC's Campaign Coordinator Mike Mease

It is time for honesty about wild buffalo that leave Yellowstone National Park for Montana's lower elevation habitat.

Let's start with the myths being portrayed as facts by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP):
1. Wild buffalo are now free to roam 460,000 acres of public land. The vast majority of this acreage lies in areas where wild buffalo never step foot. Hunters will actually find buffalo on less than 40,000 acres. This land will only be available for buffalo during the three months of the hunt, after which the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) will commence hazing, capture and shooting operations. If wild buffalo cross the boundaries set by the DOL, the hunt may be suspended while buffalo are hazed, captured or shot. Since early September, the DOL has conducted seven hazing operations and shot two bull buffalo. Bulls can't transmit brucellosis.

2. Montana designates wild Yellowstone buffalo as a species requiring disease control. While this is true, MCA 87-2-101 (6) lists wild buffalo as a "game animal." FWP's big game management policy, codified at ARM 12.9.101, aims "to produce and maintain a maximum breeding stock of big game on all suitable lands of Montana, public and private, in harmony with other uses of such lands, and consistent with the available forage supply, and to utilize, through public hunting, the available crop of big game produced annually by this breeding stock." FWP has neither produced nor maintained a breeding stock of buffalo anywhere in Montana, nor has it determined a target population for wild buffalo in Montana as it has for all other game species. The DOL, an agency with no interest in wild buffalo as a big game species, and no training in wildlife management, maintains ultimate authority over buffalo and the upcoming hunt.

3. Each tribe in Montana will receive two permits to kill wild buffalo that will be administered by tribal diabetes programs. Many native people now suffer from diabetes mainly due to the commodity food programs supplying reservations with unhealthy products filled with white sugar and highly processed flours. Diabetes is two to three times higher in American Indians in Montana compared with the non-Indian population. If Montana is concerned about the health of its Native population, it should provide the tribes with more nutritious food including meat from some of Montana's many domestic bison herds or help the tribes maintain live herds. Two permits issued to each tribe will not reduce diabetes, but have been given to offset the negative publicity the hunt is certain to bring.

Montana has always preferred the fifty-cent solution, the BULLET. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's (GYE) most profitable industry is tourism, not livestock. The Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) has suggested to Governor Schweitzer that he work with Idaho and Wyoming's governors to redefine the brucellosis classification system so that in the unlikely event that brucellosis transmission ever did occur from wild buffalo, cattle producers far from the GYE would not be affected. This would allow for greater freedom in designing a scientifically sound, long-term management strategy for wild buffalo that will benefit local economies and Montana's hunting and outfitting industries. Instead, Governor Schweitzer has put in for a buffalo permit. Why must Montana repeat its mistakes and refuse to treat buffalo as the wild animals they are?

Wyoming has a buffalo hunt without all the controversy that comes to Montana because in Wyoming they don't haze, capture and kill buffalo the second they leave Teton National Park or the National Elk Refuge. In at least some parts of Wyoming, buffalo are recognized as wildlife and are free to roam as they choose. Montana could save face if we followed suit.

In the coming months people from around the world will join BFC as we document every move against the buffalo migrating from Yellowstone National Park. Montana's dirty laundry will once again be aired in view of international audiences. BFC's stance remains "NO HABITAT, NO HUNT!" Let buffalo establish a native Montana population, then, working together with all interests at the table, we can develop a long-term management strategy that may include hunting. The buffalo slaughter now bears your name Governor Schweitzer, is this how you want to be remembered?


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