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Weekly Update from the Field February 22, 2007
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* Update from the Field
* Take Action for Wild Buffalo!
* Buffalo in the News
* Last Words

* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Things remain quiet here along Yellowstone's western boundary.  Not a single buffalo has stepped foot into Montana in weeks.  BFC volunteers are conducting daily recons, monitoring the buffalo's movements inside the park, but none are to be found outside of Yellowstone's western boundary, or even close to it.  In a selfish way it's good because there's no buffalo for the Department of Livestock to bully or kill.  And, because of their absence, many survived Montana's "hunt."  Yet we feel guilty for this strange relief, because we all know that a land without bison is, like an ocean without whales, incomplete.   We feel a strong sense of loneliness without our giant shaggy friends around but we are thankful that they are able to live in peace for the time being.

Near Gardiner, Yellowstone's northern boundary has been less quiet. Along the west side of the Yellowstone River, mixed groups of buffalo are on the move, attempting to migrate in search of critical forage. The National Park Service checks their every move, not allowing them to approach the park boundary, not allowing them to find food, not allowing them to maintain the ecological integrity of the land.  On Tuesday, NPS Rangers hazed a mixed group of about 30 buffalo deeper into the Park, and this morning 90 buffalo were pushed off of their chosen ground, forced back to grasslands where they have already fed. None had even left the park boundary.

While relentless hazing occurs on one side of the Yellowstone River, the Nez Perce are across the river hunting under treaty right, and will continue their buffalo season through the end of February. Yesterday, Nez Perce hunters killed two more bull bison, bringing their bison kill to 8.  While the tribe may harvest up to 70 buffalo, it seems that buffalo in that area are less in agreement with those numbers and are laying low.  Tensions are beginning to rise as the Nez Perce glance across the river and witness first hand the last wild buffalo being harassed by the National Park Service to appease cattle interests.  Nez Perce tribal member James Holt talks about his tribe's relationship with bison, the current hunt, and the government mismanagement of bison in this

BFC interview:

Hazing, shooting, capture, quarantine, slaughter:  these are the nefarious techniques used to "manage" wild buffalo.  Always mistreatment and death to the wild buffalo.  Where are those who will lift a hand to HELP them?  Where is the respect for the free-living buffalo?  Today, a group of BFC volunteers has joined with some local hunters in Helena, Montana's capitol, to advocate for wild bison habitat and their right to migrate into Montana.  That's the most sensible thing anyone who cares about wild buffalo could be doing, and we urge you to join in this effort.  There are fewer than 3,300 wild bison left in the United States, all senselessly confined to Yellowstone or immediately killed once they step foot outside. Please keep the pressure on the decision-makers involved and demand an end to the persecution of the last wild buffalo.
Roam Free!
* Take Action for Wild Buffalo!
Please contact the following Montana decision-makers, and in your own words, insist that they:  pull out of the Interagency Bison Management Plan now; design and implement a Montana Bison Management Plan that respects the wild integrity of bison, establishes and conserves a state-wide, year-round resident bison herd; listen to their constituents and stop caving in to cattle interests.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Attn:  Pat Flowers, Supervisor Region 3
1400 S. 19th Street
Bozeman, Montana
Phone: 406-994-4050
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer
State Capitol
Helena, MT  59620-0801
Phone:  406-444-3111

DON'T STOP THERE - CONTACT YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK!  Yellowstone National Park rangers have been hazing wild buffalo along the northern boundary on a regular basis for weeks now, and it's just a matter of time before they begin to trap, slaughter and quarantine. Yellowstone/NPS is a lead agency signed on to the Interagency Bison Management Plan, a plan designed to "protect" Montana's cattle industry while "allowing" for the conservation of wild bison.  We think it should be the other way around.  Please demand that Yellowstone PROTECT wild bison and use their influence to create solutions that give priority to native wildlife.

Yellowstone National Park
Superintendent Suzanne Lewis
PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
(307) 344-2002
yell_superintendent@nps.gov or
* Buffalo in the News
Letter:  Activists, governor earn hunter's appreciation
(Also appeared in:  Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Helena Independent Record)
NOTE:  While BFC appreciates this letter, we strongly reject the notion of Montana's "courage" in initiating a bison hunt while wild bison remain ecologically extinct and without habitat outside Yellowstone National Park.

Montana wary of Nez Perce hunting

Letter:  Buffalo hunting is better than the slaughterhouse

NOTE:  We sincerely appreciate this letter but remind readers that bison hunting is in addition to hazing, capture, slaughter and quarantine; not in place of it.

Center for Biological Diversity Press Release
"Federal Government Lowers Cost of Public-Lands Grazing for Livestock Owners:  Cost Rises for Taxpayers
(and, we would add, wildlife)

Letter:  Double Standards
WRITE ON FOR THE BUFFALO and win a free "Let Buffalo Roam" t-shirt! Please help tell the buffalo's story by writing to your favorite local, regional and national media. A suggested list of newspapers, writing tips and contact information can be found at http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/lte.html. When your letter is printed, please mail or email us a copy of your letter, your mailing address and t-shirt size, using the contact info in this Update. Thank you!
* Last Words
Great Spirit,
Give us hearts to understand
Never take from creation's beauty more than we give,
Never to destroy want only for the furtherance of greed,
Never to deny to give our hands for the building of earth's beauty,
Never to take from her what we cannot use.
Give us hearts to understand
That to destroy earth's music is to create confusion,
That to wreck her appearance is to blind us to beauty,
That to callously pollute her fragrance is to make a house of stench,
That as we care for her she will care for us.
Give us hearts to understand
We have forgotten who we are.
We have sought only our own security.
We have exploited simply for our own ends.
We have distorted our knowledge.
We have abused our power.
Great Spirit,
Whose dry lands thirst,
Help us to find the way to refresh your lands.
Great Spirit,
Whose waters are choked with debris and pollution,
Help us to find the way to cleanse your waters.
Great Spirit,
Whose beautiful earth grows ugly with misuse,
Help us to find the way to restore beauty to your handiwork.
Great Spirit,
whose creatures are being destroyed,
Help us to find a way to replenish them,
Great Spirit,
whose gifts to us are being lost in selfishness and corruption,
Help us to find the way to restore our humanity.
~ Anonymous Native American Prayer

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