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
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
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:
Spreading the word to save the herd!
* 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!
Mail: State Capitol, P.O. Box 200801, Helena, MT 59620-0801
THANK YOU for taking action to protect the last wild
buffalo in America!
* Organic Rewards for the Month's Most Generous
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
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:
* 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
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
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?