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Weekly Update from the Field March 29, 2007
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* Update from the Field
* Update from Washington, D.C.
* Contact Congress for the Buffalo!
* BFC Wish List:  Coordinator Tipi Needed!
* Last Words

* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Thankfully, action in the field has been minimal this week.

In Gardiner, along Yellowstone's northern boundary, two beautiful elderly buffalo mamas have had much of the landscape to themselves.  Little Miss One-Horn and her matronly companion have been roaming through town, strolling through the neighborhood, and seeking out the best grasses in all of Gardiner's nooks and crannies.  A few days ago they were dangerously close to the Stephens Creek bison trap, located inside Yellowstone.  Thankfully, before any government agents could harass these peaceful ladies, they turned hoof and headed deeper into the Park.

In West Yellowstone the eerie quiet still looms.  Save for a couple of bulls who suddenly appeared then quickly disappeared back into Yellowstone, our shaggy friends are still out of sight.  Perhaps this is the calm before the awesome thundering storm of spring migration.

A lot has been happening in our nation's capitol, as you'll read below from Josh.  It is a critical time to keep the pressure on our House Representatives and Senators.  The time is ripe for buffalo-friendly action from Congress, as we have already seen with the oversight hearing and Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation.  Don't let up on your legislators!  Each call you make and letter you send to your House and Senate members helps reinforce the urgency to protect the last wild buffalo left in the country.

Thank you all for helping to make a positive difference for the last wild buffalo! 

Spread the word to save the herd!
ROAM FREE!
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* Update from Washington, DC
Our first week in Washington, DC, was highly productive and encouraging.  Darrell, Marian and I met with a number of congressional staffers to discuss the potential resolution of conflicts that lead to the continual harassment and slaughter of wild Yellowstone buffalo.  We felt that our message was largely heard and understood by the staffers.  There are simple common sense solutions out there that need congressional support in order to move forward.  Several key members of Congress are ready to act for the protection of wild buffalo in the coming months.  BFC's credibility in Washington is very high and we have a great opportunity to be instrumental in developing successful legislation to benefit buffalo. 

This week, Marian and I attended an oversight hearing before the House Interior Appropriations Committee about the Park Service 2008 budget request.  Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), who sits on the Committee, asked some pointed questions of the Park Service about their management actions and the impact on the genetic integrity of the various subpopulations of buffalo in Yellowstone.  Unfortunately, the Park Service representative who responded skirted the question even though Rep. Hinchey clearly stated the issues of concern.  The truth is that the Park simply does not know enough about the genetic subpopulations of buffalo in the Park and the impacts their management actions are having on them.  There are effective non-invasive ways to learn more about buffalo genetics and the Park must do more to ensure that this research is being done and then incorporate the findings by changing their management actions accordingly. 

Overall, our trip to Washington has been very successful.  There is a different feeling at the Capitol these days compared to the many years when issues like protecting wild buffalo were not supported by congressional leaders.  Protecting Yellowstone's wild buffalo is now a legislative priority.  Just the fact that hearings on the issue took place less than three months after the leadership change is a clear indication that the Congress is taking this issue seriously.  It's now up to us to keep the pressure on by contacting our Representatives and Senators and making sure that action is taken that will protect the buffalo for future generations.

Many thanks for all of your letters of encouragement and support.  It is a wonderful feeling to know that our efforts are not going unnoticed.  If it were not for all of you, the day would never have come when Buffalo Field Campaign would be invited to testify before the Congress of the United States. 
- Josh
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*  Contact Congress for the Buffalo!
1)  Call, write, email, fax your House Representative and urge them to take a leadership role in protecting the Yellowstone bison, the United State's last continuously wild herd.    http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/politicians.html

2) Please contact your Senators and urge them to do the same!
MONTANA:  It is critical that Senators Tester and Baucus hear from you - we must have their support to win for the buffalo!  http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/politicians.html

SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS:
A)  Urge the Subcommittee (and all of Congress) to provide clear direction to our National Forests and Parks that wild bison belong, and are our top priority on public lands;
B)  Ask them to fund the purchase of wildlife conservation easements including winter range and corridors for bison to migrate through private lands in the Yellowstone area. 
C)  Please also insist that Native American interests are represented at future hearings and in all decisions affecting wild buffalo. 
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BFC Wish List:  Coordinator Tipi Needed!
After a big wind storm, our stellar kitchen coordinator, Jesse, is currently without a lodge.  Jesse is a lad of many talents and put his sewing skills and quite a few patches to use making this 16 foot tipi livable for its' tenth intense Yellowstone winter, but some recent great gusts proved to be just too much. 

Here's how another coordinator, barb, described what she saw:
"As I walked to my car to go to town I looked up and Jesse's tepee looked like angel-wings ... the wind was blowing about 60mph and whipping at his structure ... now it is no more ..."

Jesse is making the best of the situation, but he and his faithful canine companion Fog need a new home.  Please help us acquire a tipi canvas and liner (16ft) so they are able to find the much-needed space and solitude so important to the well-being of BFC's dedicated coordinators. 

BFC is grateful for in-kind donations, which are tax-deductible and we invite you to check our Wish List at http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/aboutus/wishlist.html

Our mailing address and phone number are listed at the end of this Update.  Jesse can be reached at jesse@thisside.net and he and Fog sincerely thank you in advance!
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* Last Words
"The slaughter of bison is not required in order to manage the threat of disease.  Slaughter is not management.  It is an approach from a bygone era and has no place in a time of rapid scientific and economic progress.  We are capable of more ingenuity and more compassion if we are willing to try."
- From the Opening Remarks of U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall, II, Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources, before the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Oversight Hearing on Yellowstone National Park Bison, March 20, 2007      

 "Any legitimate threat of disease must be managed effectively.  But of equal importance, the slaughter of bison should stop."
- From the Remarks of U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, Chairman, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, Oversight Hearing: Yellowstone National Park Bison, March 20, 2007


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