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Weekly Update from the Field May 5, 2007
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* Update from the Field
* BFC Video:  Montana Department of LIEStock
* Action:  Contact Montana's Acting State Vet, Governor's Office, & Yellowstone
* BFC Launches Bison Habitat & Wildlife Sightings Web Sites
* Last Chance to Order Mother's Day Cards!
* Summer Tablers Needed to Help BFC in Yellowstone
* Photo of the Week
* Last Words

* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
The wild Yellowstone buffalo are at the peak of their calving season, an extremely sensitive time of year for the gentle buffalo who have survived a long winter and must find good grasses and quiet places to give birth and raise their young.  In the midst of the big, chocolaty brown buffalo are beautiful, tiny, red, delicate babies using their brand new senses to greet the earth for the first time, their little, wobbly legs walk with their proud, protective mothers, and are soon able to jump and play with the welcoming family members in the herd. Of course, after a few minutes of exploring and hopping around, very frequent naps in mama's protective warmth are a must. Buffalo thrive on Horse Butte at this time of year.

Unfortunately, so many of these baby buffalos' first steps have been taken in fright, fleeing government-backed cowboy cops, trying to keep up with their moms and the herd, as they are run off of their native habitat for many miles back into Yellowstone.

This week, the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL), Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), the National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Forest Service (FS) have been engaged, every single day, in pushing nearly all the buffalo they can find out of Montana, back into Yellowstone National Park.  Contrary to a DOL/FWP press release issued Monday night that said buffalo would be "safely and humanely" hazed "off of private land," using horses, trucks and ATVs, the agents forced buffalo out from everywhere; including public land where they were supposed be allowed to live in peace through May 15th.  This, according to the IBMP agency's own "tolerance" agreement, which they have broken again and again.  There is nothing "safe" or "humane" about forcing wildlife off of their chosen ground. Now, not only is the agreement broken and there is no tolerance for wild buffalo anywhere in Montana, the agencies have stated that the May 15th date has been set for lethal removal if any buffalo set foot in Montana.

Tuesday was a prime example of the livestock industry and government's efforts to spin their propaganda of deception, perpetuating their prejudice against wild buffalo and instilling hysteria-based fear in the public.  As wild buffalo were hazed off of their native habitat, spokespeople from the DOL and FWP (George Harris and Mel Frost, respectively) who were observing the operations and touting "The Plan" spoke to the media about how they were "safely and humanely" harassing little newborn calves and their mothers, pregnant buffalo, and the entire buffalo families who stepped across the Montana border.  Given their pitiful record, why should anyone expect the government and industry to do anything but lie?  How else could they push their agenda?   And there's not even a cow anywhere in sight. 

When asked what the Interagency Bison Management Plan was intended to do, Mr. Harris could remember "protecting cattle from brucellosis transmissions" but conveniently forgot the other part of The Plan, which is supposed to conserve wild, free-roaming buffalo. Of course, The Plan does neither. Thankfully BFC and three TV stations were there documenting everything (see BFC video clip below).

Also on Tuesday, Becky Weed, a new MT Board of Livestock member appointed by Governor Schweitzer rode along with DOL agent Rob Tierney to see for herself the cowboys at work.  Mike Volesky, Governor Schweitzer's policy advisor for natural resources also observed the days' circus.  Of course, these state officials didn't see the cruelty we see done to the buffalo on a regular basis, because as soon as the agents knew they were being observed, they toned their aggression down.  But video tape does not lie.

On Wednesday - much to the chagrin of the buffalo, their advocates, campers, hikers, anglers, and tourists in the Yellowstone area - the DOL's "safe and humane" hazing included their extremely disruptive helicopter.  BFC immediately called Governor Schweitzer's office, urging them to call off the chopper.  The Governor's office claimed they had just heard about it themselves, and shifted all blame for it's use to Montana's (Acting) State Vet, Jeanne M. Rankin (contact info below).  Ms. Rankin, according to the Governor's office, has "unbridled authority when it comes to disease management issues," and the governor's office says "there's nothing we can do about it."  The governor's office wants us to believe that they are working on things beneficial to wild buffalo, yet under Governor Schweitzer's administration more buffalo have been killed than in BFC's ten-year history.

There is something we can do about it, though.
Hit them where it hurts: BOYCOTT BEEF.

As BFC documented these horrific actions, the agents were extremely extra-aggro, issuing orders, calling us names, trying to keep us well out of sight of the operations, attempting to prevent us from getting the footage that the agencies don't want you to see.  But they couldn't stop us.

In the midst of the week's madness a school group from Grand Junction, Colorado was in the area to visit BFC and learn about the buffalo.  In the field the agents attempted to keep them from witnessing the operations, which only added fuel to the fire.  If these hazing operations are so benign, why hide them from public view?  The students also visited the Gallatin National Forest office and asked them point blank how many cases of brucellosis wild bison have transmitted to cattle.  The answer:  none.

The truth is on the buffalo's side.

Roam Free,
~Stephany
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* BFC Video:  Montana Department of LIEStock
Lies, misinformation and exaggerated truths are standard procedure for the livestock industry and their rouge agency the Montana Department of Livestock.  Here is just one more example of their public deception.  When you or I lie we are held liable but when government agencies do it it is just standard procedure.  Take action today and hold the decision-makers accountable.

Watch BFC's Video: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org

Read BFC's Press Release from Tuesday, May 1st:
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/press0607/pressreleases0607/050107.html
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* Action:  Contact Montana's Acting State Vet, Governor's Office, & Yellowstone
Jeanne Rankin is currently the Acting State Vet for Montana.  She calls the shots for the Department of Livestock's actions.  It is her "discretion" that can instigate a haze, call in the helicopter, spin the cattle propaganda, and decide whether wild buffalo in Montana live or die.  The DOL is an out of control agency and Ms. Rankin should be reminded that her actions are not going unnoticed.  Remind her that wild buffalo are native to Montana, and cattle are not. Remind her that the cattle industry is dependent upon consumers, and that you and your family boycott beef.  Let her know that you are well aware that brucellosis is a fraud and the truth is coming out.

CONTACT:  Jeanne Rankin, jrankin@mt.gov, 406-444-1895, (cell) 406-202-2983
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has had over two years to fulfill his campaign promises of "more tolerance" for wild buffalo in Montana, and to act on his statements that the DOL is "ill equipped" to manage wild buffalo.  Yet, under his administration's two years, more wild buffalo have died than in BFC's ten-year history.  If you're a Montana resident, tell him the buffalo go into the voting booth with you.

CONTACT:  Governor Brian Schweitzer, brianschweitzer@mt.gov, 406-444-3111
Lastly, we have someone to thank.  Apparently, Yellowstone Superintendent Suzanne Lewis refused to authorize the DOL flying their helicopter into Yellowstone anymore.  This is great news, as in the past that helicopter chases buffalo into Yellowstone, flying very low to the ground, disrupting waking grizzly bears and every other animal seeking refuge within Yellowstone's boundaries. Please thank Suzanne Lewis for this action and encourage her to have the courage to take more positive steps to protect the wildlife in her care.

CONTACT:  Superintendent Suzanne Lewis, suzanne_lewis@nps.gov, 307-344-2002
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* BFC Launches Bison Habitat & Wildlife Sightings Web Sites
On April 30, BFC launched a web site to bring public attention to the plight of the last wild bison and their native habitat in the United States. Through the Web site people worldwide can now explore and learn about the Yellowstone bison, their current range and habitat, and threats to their survival as a native wildlife species.  During daily field patrols BFC volunteers record wildlife sightings of bison, elk, mule deer, moose, pronghorn antelope, whitetail deer, black bear, grizzly bear, wolf, coyote, beaver, bald eagle, golden eagle, great horned owl, great gray owl, osprey, trumpeter swan, sandhill crane, great blue heron, and many other wildlife species. Read BFC's press release and explore the new web sites!

http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/press0607/pressreleases0607/043007.html

Contact Jesse at jesse@thisside.net or Darrell at z@wildrockies.org with your comments, suggestions, or any stories and information you have that will help build this incredible information source.
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* Mother's Day Cards - Today is the Last Day to Order!
Honor your mother with a gift dedicated to wild bison!
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/aboutus/momcelebration2007.html
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* Summer Tablers Needed this Summer in Yellowstone
BFC is looking for 3-4 dedicated people who are well-versed on the buffalo issue and enjoy talking to others about these beautiful, magnificent creatures.  Interested? 

Contact Stephanie Munce at buffaloatwildrockies.org or call 406-646-0070.
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* Photo of the Week
It's hard to imagine a little guy like this growing up to be a massive, mighty buffalo. They are as cute in person as you can possibly imagine they would be from this BFC photo.
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/photooftheweek.html
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* Last Words
"The lies far outweigh what little truth comes out.  That's fascism. Ernest Hemingway in the 1930s defined fascism as a "lie told by a bully."  Well, that's what we've got with brucellosis.  Lies told by bullies, and it's killing our wildlife.  Why can't we get that brute fact out in front of the public?"

~ Robert Hoskins, outspoken Wyoming naturalist who's working on natural history and local ecological knowledge


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