Update from the Field
Last Thursday wild bison advocates gathered in Helena,
Montana for a press conference, held right down the
hall from the office of Governor Brian Schweitzer. Simultaneously,
our national call-in day to the Governor was underway.
We extend a huge heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who
participated in the national call-in day! Each of you
made a huge impact. Our efforts were strengthened and
inspired by the participation of the Humane Society
of the United States, Horse Butte Neighbors of Buffalo,
the Animal Welfare Institute, and powerful individuals
like former Montana state representative Paul Richards,
challenger for the seat of U.S. Senator Conrad Burns.
During the press conference, each speaker addressed
the illegitimacy of Montana's bison hunt and the state
and federal government's senseless mistreatment of the
last wild buffalo. Each statement was powerfully underscored
by a haunting backdrop of BFC's intense and telling
video footage from the field, revealing the unkind realities
of the "hunt" as well as the relentless hazing,
capture and slaughter that the buffalo continuously
suffer at the hands of state and federal agencies. BFC
offered a strong list of workable solutions (see below)
that both honor wild buffalo and address the concerns
of Montana's livestock industry. Paul Richards offered
a resolution addressing the nefarious management scheme
and calling for an end to the harassment and slaughter
of the country's last wild herd. The balconies and the
Rotunda were full with curious onlookers including members
of the media, school groups, representatives, senators
and staff. It was a powerful time, and your calls to
the Governor backed us up strongly, proving that wild
bison advocates, like the buffalo, are persistent, resistant,
and will endure!
At the conclusion of the press conference, we all headed
to Governor Schweitzer's office and were told that the
phone had been ringing off the hook! THANK YOU! Schweitzer's
staff informed us that they have consistently been receiving
messages from people across the country, urging protection
for the buffalo. They said on that particular day they
were receiving "hundreds of phone calls."
Though we've not yet canceled the hunt or freed the
buffalo, we consider this extremely encouraging news
and our belief in the power of the people to change
the direction of government is strong. You are all making
a difference! The Governor is hearing you. We must keep
the pressure on and keep the wild spirit of the buffalo
alive. As our good friend Brock Evans has said, it will
take "endless pressure, endlessly applied."
That's precisely what we - with your help - intend to
do until the wild buffalo are again free to roam their
Sadly, over the weekend, we lost another brother buffalo
to the bullet in Gardiner. A single buffalo hunter was
attended by a group of nearly 16 individuals, assisting
his quest for a "trophy" bull bison. The party
conducted extensive reconnaissance of bison in the area,
and on Sunday killed the biggest bull bison they could
find. BFC field volunteers said it was the worst case
of disrespect they have seen since the hunt began. After
the bull was shot, the hunter's attendees shouted obscenities
at the mourning buffalo that had come to aid their fallen
herd member. Just like that another one of the country's
last wild buffalo is forever gone from the landscape.
The Sun waxes again. Mid-Winter is upon us and the Winter
holidays are fast approaching. Many volunteers are heading
home to be with far-away-family and, consequently, our
volunteers who are remaining here with the wild buffalo
are running all-day field patrols. Exhausting yet rewarding
work. If you've been thinking about joining us on the
front lines, we welcome your arrival. Being out in the
field with members of the last wild herd of buffalo
is a magical way to celebrate the season. Though there
is often pain involved in what we experience in the
field, nothing can equal being in the presence of wild
buffalo. The buffalo are wise and timeless, they have
much to teach us and ask only that we be open to learning.
The spirit of the buffalo is inspiring and forgiving,
their strength tenacious, their presence a manifestation
of all that is good in the world.
We hope you will be peacefully gathered with your own
precious herd members for the holidays. With bodies
warm and bellies full, sharing the gifts of the season
and charming the hours with the stories that must be
told. No matter your tradition, we hope the mighty bison
enter your prayers; cast the spell that unites all beings
and frees the land from the chains of humanity's making.
We must become the change we want in the world.
To All of You from All of Us at BFC,
* Offering Solutions - Please Keep the Pressure
on Governor Schweitzer
On Thursday, December 15, the Buffalo Field Campaign
publicly offered a strong list of reasonable solutions,
alternatives to the unnecessary maltreatment of America's
last wild buffalo. Please take a look at these solutions
and as you continue to keep the pressure on Montana's
Governor Brian Schweitzer, accentuate your opposition
to Montana's hunt and zero-tolerance policy against
wild buffalo by also offering these sensible alternatives.
Solutions to the Harassment and Slaughter of the Yellowstone
Keep the Pressure On - Contact Governor Brian Schweitzer:
Mail: State Capitol, P.O. Box 200801, Helena, MT 59620-0801
* Last Minute Gift Idea: Adopt a BFC Volunteer!
If you're still looking for a last-minute, thoughtful
holiday gift, consider a gift that shows what the holiday
season is truly about; care and compassion for those
in need. The wild buffalo of Yellowstone deserve
protection. Buffalo Field Campaign volunteers are in
the field with the buffalo throughout the year to make
sure that no action taken against them goes unnoticed
and without scrutiny. BFC is truly a grassroots organization
where every penny donated is wisely used to keep volunteers
in the field with the buffalo. For only about $50 a
month, BFC feeds, houses and provides for the needs
of a volunteer through the cold Montana winter. Visit
our home page to learn how you can have BFC send an
Adopt a Volunteer gift card to a friend or family member!
* Help Wild Baby Buffalo - Quarantine Comments
Due January 13
Please don't forget to speak out for wild baby buffalo!
Submit your comments by January 13, 2006, to Montana
Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) about their plan to experiment
on and slaughter wild bison calves and yearlings. This
is a joint effort between FWP and USDA-Animal &
Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to create a
"disease-free" herd of bison at the expense
of common sense and the wild essence of the mighty bison!
Baby and yearling bison will be stolen from their mothers,
severed from their natural landscape, confined in a
fenced-in area, fed hay like cattle, and used in scientific
experiments. When all is said and done, the majority
of quarantined buffalo will be slaughtered.
Please voice your opposition to this atrocious government
action. Comments are due by January 13, 2006. Complete
information including where to send your comments can
be found at: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/actionalerts.html.
Please contact Josh at bfc-advocate"at"wildrockies.org
if you have any questions.
* Last Words
"Prairie Dog and Buffalo"
by BFC Supporter Diana Morton
Thank you, Diana, for sharing this beautiful poem!