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Weekly Update from the Field April 24, 2008
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* LAST CHANCE! Order Buffalo-Friendly Mother's Day Cards Now!
* Update from the Field
* In Honor of Phil Morton ~ Celebrating a Buffalo Warrior's Earth Day Birthday
* GoodSearch: Help BFC Every Time You Search the Internet
* Photo of the Week
* Last Words

* LAST CHANCE! Order Buffalo-Friendly Mother's Day Cards Now!
The deadline to order handcrafted Mother's Day cards is tomorrow, Friday, April 25. Please take advantage of this opportunity to express your love and gratitude for the nurturing women in your life in a way that also helps the last wild buffalo. BFC can accept online orders only at this time. Contact barb at buffaloatwildrockies.org with questions or for more information.
ORDER NOW: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/aboutus/artthoughts/mothersday08.html
* Update from the Field
In the wake of the largest wild American buffalo slaughter since the 1800s, fewer than 2,300 buffalo remain. How can Yellowstone National Park possibly save face? They have shamefully joined the ranks of the 19th century hide hunters, who wastefully soaked this continent with buffalo blood.

Last Thursday, Governor Brian Schweitzer and Yellowstone Superintendent Suzanne Lewis gathered in Bozeman, Montana to make an "historic announcement." Did they admit to the shame of killing more wild buffalo than at any time since the 19th century? No. They celebrated yet another slap in the face to the last wild population: the most recent land deal with the Church Universal & Triumphant. It's a bad deal for bison that will initially allow for only 25 captured, tested, and tagged buffalo to temporarily access a fraction of their native habitat. Read BFC's press release http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/press0708/pressreleases0708/041708.html

The population has been reduced to such a dangerously low number the Park Service and Montana have been forced to cease slaughtering buffalo this season. It doesn't have anything to do with the fact that they recognize they are decimating this population and it's unique genetics, but simply that the Interagency Bison Management Plan halts slaughter once the herds are reduced to 2,000 individuals. The Park says bulls may still be sent to slaughter because they are too "big and aggressive" to be held captive while the Park's grass grows green. Everyone knows bull bison pose nearly a zero risk of transmitting brucellosis. In fact, the transmission of brucellosis from any wild bison to cattle has *never* happened; it is only a theory. We also all know that this buffalo war is not about brucellosis, but about money and control of land and control of wildlife. The truth of the brucellosis fraud is finally spreading, as indicated in the New York Times editorial last week, "The Sorry Myth of Brucellosis," which many of you saw. If you haven't seen it, check out http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/18/opinion/18fri4.html?ex=1209182400&en

On the North Boundary, no buffalo have been transported to slaughter since we last wrote to you. Hazing operations continue, however, and more than 250 wild buffalo are being held captive in the Stephens Creek trap. Twenty buffalo calves have been born in captivity. So far, at least three of them have died as did one of the mothers. There are a handful of bulls who have walked onto private property, where there's a handful of cattle, so it's possible the Department of Livestock could arrive to shoot them. At the time of this writing, they are still alive.

On the West Boundary, no buffalo have been harassed by agents this week. This respite is critical, as winter has been extremely hard on the buffalo, who are doing all they can to survive after sustaining themselves on starvation foods for the bulk of the snowy season. A hazing operation would certainly kill them. Pregnant buffalo are especially vulnerable right now; plus they carry the future which is teetering on the brink at this point. We are shocked at the numbers of female buffalo we've seen who are either not pregnant or have been seen with afterbirth materials but no calf. However, patrols did spot four new calves on Horse Butte this week who all look quite healthy. And there are a handful of bulls we've been seeing that look big and healthy.

It is hard to hold on to hope in the wake of such a massive buffalo slaughter. But, we do. Buffalo have shown that they are strong survivors and the voices of their advocates are also growing and diversifying. Keeping in mind that we are dealing with a centuries-old range war, we know change is going to take time, but it will come. We are on the edge of it now. We give thanks to all of you who continue to apply pressure to decision-makers, spread the word, and help keep BFC on the front lines so we can tell this story. Endless pressure, endlessly applied will stop the seasons of slaughter from continuing. Be thorns in the sides of these agencies. Never give up. The buffalo don't.

Roam Free,
* In Honor of Phil Morton ~ Celebrating a Buffalo Warrior's Earth Day Birthday
Dear Friends,
Earth Day would have been Phil's 63rd birthday. Phil, a long-time and ardent supporter of the Yellowstone buffalo and the BFC, was an inspiration to those working on the front-lines to protect the buffalo. A first-rate wildlife videographer in his own right, Phil believed in BFC's mission to document and share with the world the buffalo's plight. ... in his memory and honor, and in honor of Earth Day, I'm asking you to make a donation to the Buffalo Field Campaign https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?id=1807

I live in one of the most wildlife rich areas of this country. When I see elk, deer, moose, and antelope on the land, never in my wildest dreams would i think that if i came back the next day that they wouldn't be there on the landscape ... so different with the buffalo: when i see them on the bluffs, on the butte, anywhere on the earth, i feel honored to be in their presence ... and then i am filled with anxiety --- will they be there tomorrow? will they be needlessly killed because of the livestock industry's political power structure and influence driving the IBMP mismanagement? ... and then the deep sadness returns ...

Believe me when I say this has been a tremendously sad and trying season as we have had the largest buffalo slaughter since the 1800s, mainly carried out by Yellowstone National Park! Buffalo Field Campaign staff and volunteers have been out in the field video-documenting the mismanagement acts by the agencies who are signatories to the Interagency Bison Management Plan.

Please visit our web site at www.buffalofieldcampaign.org to learn more about what has been going on and the various ways BFC is trying to stop the slaughter.

Last year, through the generosity of our friends contributing in memory and honor of Phil and Earth Day, we were able to purchase new field radios, absolutely critical elements in communicating what is happening in the field to both the main office and others on patrol. This year I am asking those who can contribute do so for our over-all general needs. Every day, 7 days per week, we run a minimum of 4 patrol cars here in the West Yellowstone area, and two in Gardiner MT just outside the north border of Yellowstone National Park. Gas this week is running at $3.549/gallon, up over a dollar from last year. Feeding 30-40 people per week is also expensive. Please give whatever you can.

You can make your donation online at:
https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?id=1807 or you can send a check made out to BFC addressed to: Office Coordinator, Buffalo Field Campaign, PO Box 957, West Yellowstone MT 59758-0957

Either way, please indicate that the donation is in honor and memory of Phil. I know that if he were still alive he would be on the front lines with BFC. As it is, his spirit inspires us to continue in our work.

BFC Office Coordinator
* Goodsearch: Help BFC Every Time You Search the Internet
Here's a painless way to raise funds for BFC: Instead of Google-ing, go to http://www.goodsearch.com and enter Buffalo Field Campaign as the charity you want to support, then do your search.
According to Goodsearch's information, if 10,000 people searched twice a day, it would generate $73,000.

There is a link to Goodsearch on our web site: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org on the right-hand sidebar.

Pretty painless, eh? THANK YOU!
* Photo of the Week
Still skiing in late-April! BFC volunteer, Bud Pulaski, looks for wild buffalo along Cougar Creek near Yellowstone's western boundary.
* Last Words
1873 (Buffalo Diary)

"1873 was a very bad year for me
When all I feared just disappeared so suddenly
They got their tickets for the train
Raised their weapons and took aim
Laughing from the railroad tracks
They shot my brothers in the back

No more thunder on the ground
Birds were flying round and round
Though the dust we kicked up no longer could be seen
And 1873 was a very bad year for me
1873 was a very bad year for me

We cradled their babies
Made up their houses
Covered their feet
They took what they needed
Never took us for granted
But they were defeated when people shot at me
In 1873

Laid out in the broken sun
Rain beat on us like a drum
The rhythm of that emptiness which shot my spirit free
In 1873
1873 was a very bad year for me"
~ Edie Brickell

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