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Weekly Update from the Field December 22, 2005
* Update from the Field
* Offering Solutions - Please Keep the Pressure on the Governor
* Last Minute Gift Idea - Adopt a BFC Volunteer!
* Help Wild Baby Buffalo - Quarantine Comments Due January 13
* Last Words

* 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 native landscape.
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 Bison
Keep the Pressure On - Contact Governor Brian Schweitzer:
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
* 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!  http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/
* 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.

TAKE ACTION! 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!

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