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Weekly Update from the Field November 2, 2006
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* Update from the Field
* A Report from "The Ecological Recovery of the North American Bison" Conference
* Last Words

* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Well, as they say, "no news is good news."  We are happy to report that this week has been a quiet one.  The handful of bull buffalo who are roaming their native land outside Yellowstone's boundary have continued to avoid the DOL like the plague, and, consequently, are living in relative peace.  More importantly, when they are not harassed by livestock inspectors and government agents, the buffalo are able to access lower-elevation food sources and maintain the critical energy reserves that enable them to survive this extremely harsh winter climate.

The BFC headquarters is coming alive with activity!  Wood gathering has neared completion, kitchen stores are filling up, tipis are being erected, and our living room is beginning to teem with volunteer life!  Old and new buffalo defenders are arriving in preparation for a very intense field season.  Patrols are busy monitoring the buffalo's migration, orienting new volunteers, keeping our headquarters in order and preparing for the coming months.  Both the wild buffalo and BFC volunteers have another tough road ahead; in less than two weeks - November 15 - Montana's canned bison hunt will begin.  But, thanks to our volunteers and each and every one of you who lends your generous support, we are able to be here, bearing witness for the buffalo, telling their story and advocating for their lasting protection.

Please continue to voice your opposition to the maltreatment of the Yellowstone herd and your support for the wild buffalo's right to enter Montana and live here unmolested.  Keep the pressure on Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Suzanne Lewis (contact info below).  As co-author of the Endangered Species Act, Brock Evans, says, it's going to take "endless pressure, endlessly applied."

With the Buffalo,

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer
State Capitol, Helena, MT 59620-0801
Phone: 1-406-444-3111 / Fax: 1-406-444 5529 / Email: BrianSchweitzer@mt.gov

Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Suzanne Lewis
PO Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
Phone: (307) 344-2002 /  Email: yell_superintendent@nps.gov OR suzanne_lewis@nps.gov
* A Report from "The Ecological Recovery of the North American Bison" Conference
Buffalo Field Campaign board member Justine Sanchez attended the recent conference in Denver and wrote the following account of her experience:

I stood outside my home in the high Rocky Mountains in the crisp, cool morning air.  It was 5:30 am, dark, with stars sparkling in the sky.  I lit some fragrant sage...a gift given to me and my family from Lakota Elders who visited the buffalo camp last spring.  Held in a large abalone shell the sage smoke lifted my heavy heart and thoughts into the cold morning air.  I was on my way to Denver for a conference on the Ecological Recovery of the North American Bison, hosted by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).   As the sage continued to burn, so did many of my still unanswered questions regarding, in particular, the Yellowstone bison.  I asked for nothing in my offering of sage...I just prayed...for the buffalo...

Click Here To Read Justine's Full Story
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* Last Words
"Like Thoreau...I sometimes feel regret and wonder at what is missing from my seasonal observations.  The grasses and forbs I watch year by year seem oddly purposeless.  Life does not exist for itself alone.  For 10,000 years and longer these have flowered and set seed and competed with one another for light and space to provide for the greatest biomass of a single mammal species in North American history.  Now the grasses on my little piece of the plains grow rank and heavy, annually preparing themselves for an event that no longer takes place."

Dan Flores, 1990
From "Caprock Canyonlands: Journeys into the Heart of the Southern Plains"

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