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Weekly Update from the Field June 7, 2007
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* Update from the Field
* BFC: Ten Years and Counting!
* Buffalo in the News
* Summer Tabling Opportunities
* Last Words

NOTE: Beginning this week, Updates from the Field will go out every other Thursday until mid-November, unless there is urgent information we need to convey.

* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Our gratitude to everyone who took action and made a huge difference for the buffalo! Public pressure made the change! The announcement last Friday by state and federal officials to call off the slaughter of nearly 300 wild buffalo babies, moms and families shows that your action matters. In this case, it was the difference between life and death for those buffalo. Thank you!

The agents have kept the buffalo trap up. They spent a lot of our federal tax dollars early in the week, doing a few recons looking for any buffalo still in Montana. They were finding no trace. Until yesterday, it appeared that the buffalo would choose to stay inside Yellowstone. But buffalo will be buffalo, and a small group of about fifty have migrated west, back into Montana. These wild buffalo are representing that they are not "park" animals, nor are they "renegades." Needless to say, BFC is still running full field patrols, though it's quite unusual at this point in June.

We applaud the buffalo's persistence, and their graceful way of showing what real buffalo restoration looks like. We aren't sure yet what the agents will do; so far, they have done nothing which feels pretty eerie. If they stick to their new plan, they will capture the buffalo and transport them to Yellowstone's northern boundary. Apparently, the agents would attempt to separate moms and other adult buffalo from the babies in an attempt to keep them from goring and stampeding the little calves. Naturally, wild buffalo panic when they are trapped and manhandled, and there's no telling what separating moms from calves will do. Capture and transport will be a nightmare for them. The buffalo would then be trucked to the Stephens Creek bison capture facility and then later released after the moms and babies "mother up" (find each other after the difficult journey). The irony here is that the agents are removing buffalo from an area where there are no cattle to an area where there are.

We are sad to report that a recent update from the Interagency Bison Management Plan agencies stated that on Wednesday, May 23, two bull bison were captured at Duck Creek and sent to slaughter without being tested for brucellosis exposure. The bulls were originally three in number; they were hazed by DOL agents from the Lower Bear Trap subdivision (where DOL agent Shane Grube lives), and one apparently got away. BFC patrols were notified that capture may have happened, but were unable to confirm it in the field. No BFC patrols saw truck/trailer with bison leaving the Duck Creek trap at the Koelzer property. The DOL in the IBMP reports confirm capture and slaughter of two bull bison. By killing bulls that cannot transmit the disease without testing them for exposure, the agencies again demonstrated that this issue is not about brucellosis.

Neither hazing, capture, nor slaughter are acceptable ultimatums. What wild buffalo need is year-round habitat in Montana. Gallatin National Forest's Horse Butte Peninsula is the perfect place to start as the buffalo continue to demonstrate so well. Back up the buffalo's chosen footsteps and keep the pressure applied on the decision-makers: let the buffalo roam!

Roam Free,
* BFC: Ten Years and Counting!
The generations of the buffalo people are coming home. All week long, old and new volunteers, and even kids conceived here over the past decade are returning to camp. The memories, stories and continued commitment for the buffalo grows more and more each day. Saturday's festivities are coming together beautifully with over 100 silent action items donated. Navajo Tacos, Spanish rice, salad, fresh salsa, guacamole, fruit salad, and chocolate cake are on the menu. And thanks to a generous donation from Glacier Brewery in Polson, MT we'll have several beers, root beer, and cherry cola. Montana bands Prisoners of Time, Three-legged Dog, and Odyssey will rock West Yellowstone all for the low, low price of what you can afford to donate.

All donations will qualify for the Earth Friends Wildlife Foundation Matching Grant. We hope you can make it in person to celebrate ten years of Buffalo Field Campaign.

~ Mike Mease
* Buffalo in the News
6/5/07 LTE: Golden Pen Award ~ Right a wrong, preserve wild bison
Billings Gazette (Montana)

6/5/07 LTE: Bison wrong target for DOL slaughter
Billings Gazette (Montana)

6/4/07 Officials hopeful they won't have to truck renegade bison
Billings Gazette (Montana)

6/2/07 Montana, under pressure, to take bison back to Yellowstone
New York Times

6/2/07 Facing slaughter, the bison that battled back from extinction
The London Times

6/2/07 Bison slaughter solution averted
The Missoulian (Montana)

6/2/07 Censorship and cop brutality in the new bison wars
Counter Punch

6/1/07 LTE: Buffalo Skull on Montana's new quarters has significance
West Yellowstone News (Montana)

6/1/07 Calf concerns delay bison slaughter
Jackson Hole Star Tribune (Wyoming)
* Summer Tabling Opportunities
The Buffalo Field Campaign is looking for tablers to educate visitors of Yellowstone National Park about the plight of the Yellowstone Bison. This is an amazing opportunity to learn about the last free-ranging, wild bison in America! Volunteers will be in the magnificent beauty of Yellowstone National Park, well-fed and able to explore the park's natural wonders, such as Old Faithful, after daily outreach.
Interested? Contact Stephanie Munce at: buffaloatwildrockies.org
* Last Word
To laugh often and much...
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...
To leave the world a better place...
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived...
This is to have succeeded.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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