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Weekly Update from the Field May 29, 2008
Subscribe to our email list and receive our weekly Update from the Field
* Update from the Field
* Buffalo in the News
* BFC Needs Summer Educators & Maintenance Volunteers
* Upcoming Event: Tatanka Music Festival 2008
* LOOK! Photo Journal of the Week
* Last Words
* Kill Tally

* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
As BFC's 2007-2008 field season begins to wind down, with volunteers making their way to the four directions, the landscape remains active with wild bison and agent activity. Though our numbers are dwindling we, of course, remain with the buffalo.

On a couple of occasions this week, the Montana Department of Livestock donned their cowboy attire, complete with macho attitudes, to chase two mama buffalo and their newborn calves out of the Town Park in West Yellowstone. The buffalo were, of course, causing no harm and were being admired by tourists and locals alike. The calves were napping, the mamas peacefully grazing. Then DOL agents Shane Grube and Mark Anderson showed up. As soon as the mama buffalo saw the riders approach, their tails went up (a sign of distress) and they went over to their babies to shepherd them away from the aggressive cowboys. The buffalo took off, and the agents were hot on their heels, looking ridiculous riding through the streets of West Yellowstone.

After being told time and again by private property owners on the Horse Butte peninsula that wild bison were welcome, but the Department of Livestock was not, the agents flexed their assumed muscles of authority and chased wild buffalo off of Horse Butte today. There are no cattle on Horse Butte at any time of year now. While the agents attempted to cover themselves by not stepping foot or hoof onto the property, they instead used their helicopter, with DOL agent Rob Tierny inside directing the pilot -- flying as low as 20 feet-- to chase the buffalo off of the Galanis property, disrupting all the residents on Horse Butte in the process. The Galanis family has let it be known numerous times that the DOL is not welcome there, but wild buffalo certainly are. The Galanis family purchased the 700+-acre ranch, formerly known as the Munns' Ranch, and designated it a "Bison Safe Zone," the largest in Montana.

This morning, BFC also documented DOL agent Shane Grube and another DOL agent, both on horseback, as they proceeded to chase a single bull buffalo through a residential area. The homeowners were furious, coming out of their homes, yelling at the agents, but their cries fell on deaf ears. The residents promise to take action, so this will not be the last that Montana and its Department of Livestock hear from them.
The DOL blatantly ignored the private property rights of Horse Butte residents, and the fact that there are no longer any cattle ever anywhere on Horse Butte. They wasted U.S. tax dollars and harassed both human and wildlife residents, forcing buffalo east towards Yellowstone National Park. Check our web site for video footage, which is being edited as this is written.

Meanwhile, the Montana Stockgrower's Association has been outraged about wild buffalo being on cattle-free land outside of the park. They have gone so far as to file suit against the Department of Livestock because buffalo remained in Montana. BFC Board Member Ken Cole had this to say about the Stockgrower's law suit: "Here is the biggest most hypocritical thing about this: On the web site of the Montana Stockgrower's Association http://www.mtbeef.org/ this morning, who is filing the lawsuit, there is a big press release about how the "radical environmental and animal rights groups" are suing over the wolf de-listing and then go on to say that "Ranchers should be allowed to protect their property." Well what about the private property rights of other people? I guess that cattle do have more rights than people. This has been shown over and over again. What about open range laws where you have to pay for the cow that you hit standing in the middle of the highway at night? The cops beat up and arrest people who are there to show their crimes, while the Montana Department of Livestock lies to and intimidates landowners while the ranchers kill everything in sight.

Word has it that tomorrow the agents, including DOL and Yellowstone National Park, will push the buffalo that are inside park boundaries deeper into the Park. The buffalo, especially the little calves and nursing mamas, are sure to suffer complete exhaustion from these harmful and unnecessary actions.

One day, not too long from now, wild buffalo will be free to roam Horse Butte and surrounding public lands without fear of harassment or death. We will push for this until it is a reality; a first step in a larger vision were wild bison once again outnumber cattle and reclaim their stolen lands. The time of the cattleman is slowly coming to a close, they know this and they will stop at nothing to hang on to what they feel is their god-give right to have. The arrogance and total disrespect that the Department of Livestock displayed today (as on all days they are afoot) is a foretelling of the end of an era. It may take a few more generations, but with your help, we will be here keeping the wheels in motion for wild buffalo roaming free all over this land!

Keep the pressure on Montana and the U.S. Government to set the buffalo free!
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/politicians.html

Roam Free!
~Stephany

P.S. We are sad to report that one of the wolves patrols had been seeing around the Horse Butte area has been shot by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. The wolf was reportedly displaying aggressive behavior towards people and dogs, but patrols only noticed that it was not afraid of people, as wolves rightly tend to be. Our thoughts were that the wolf may have had some sickness from eating lead-poisoned waterfowl, or that it was a domesticated wolf turned loose. FWP officials intend to do a necropsy to determine if the wolf was sick, and they are looking to find signs of domestication, such as tattoos or other markings. A couple weeks before the wolf was shot, Mike and Justine were lucky to witness a wildlife situation between the wolf and a mixed group of buffalo and you can view footage of this at http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org.
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* Buffalo in the News
5/28/08 - Ranchers sue over bison management, Bozeman Daily Chronicle
http://bozemandailychronicle.com/articles/2008/05/29/news/000bison.txt

5/28/08 - Bison to be hazed into Yellowstone as ranchers go to court, San Diego Union Tribune
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/20080528-1251-wst-yellowstonebison.html

5/28/08 - An unfortunate opportunity: BFC sees inside a bison trap, Earth First! Journal Online
http://www.earthfirstjournal.org/article.php?id=366

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* BFC Needs Summer Educators & Maintenance Volunteers
Buffalo Field Campaign is in need of hard-working, self-motivated volunteers starting this June to help conduct buffalo outreach efforts inside Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and/or to help with maintenance projects at our headquarters on Hebgen Lake.

Do You Have:
* An outgoing personality and knowledge of the issue with a willingness to communicate to Yellowstone visitors?

* Construction, carpentry, plumbing, cleaning, or automotive maintenance skills?
If you have any of the skills listed above, or are willing to learn, then you should plan on joining us this summer. All volunteers will be provided with food and lodging at our main cabin outside of West Yellowstone in one of the most beautiful areas of the country. If you have just a few weeks or the whole summer, Buffalo Field Campaign could use your help.

If you are interested in helping with summer outreach projects inside of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks please contact Iwi at: summer@buffalofieldcampaign.org

If you are interested in assisting with cabin maintenance projects this summer please contact BFC at: (406) 646-0070
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* Upcoming Event: Tatanka Music Festival 2008!
Join wild buffalo advocates at a benefit for Buffalo Field Campaign! Tatanka 2008 will take place in Victor, Idaho June 20-21. Events will be MC'd by BFC's co-founder Mike Mease! Musical acts include B-Side Players, Army, MooGot2, Anthony Smith's Trunk Fulla Funk, Chanman's Roots Band, Teton Honkeytonk, All-Stars, Big Fatty, Ten Cent Lure, CB Radio, and DJ MAM! Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 the day of the show. Contact The Knotty Pine at 208-787-2866 or Big Hole Music at 208-354-3659 for ticket information. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information.
------------------------------
* Photo Journal of the Week
http://gallery.buffalofieldcampaign.org/v/photo_of_the_week/5-29-08/?g2_page=1
This week, we thought it would be good to show you a series of photos, a sort of photo journal of the week. These are all very telling pictures from today's hazing operation off of Horse Butte. Each photo has a small caption explaining the event taking place at that moment. Click on each photo for a larger image. Photos by Darrell Geist and SteveScott.
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* Last Words
~ SAVE TATANKA ~
Long before the people came from across the big waters
the Buffalo were free as was also the Native Indian.
The Buffalo numbered in the millions
and were the life of the Indian People.
They supplied food,shelter, tools,clothing
and even the chips were used for heat in the cold winters.
I do not see the Buffalo as a simple animal
but as a Brother and Partner in life.
The flesh from this most Sacred Animal kept
the people healthy and strong.
It does not contain the garbage
and cholesterol that beef does
In the old days the Indian People were strong
and long living and healthy.
Today because of the White Mans food
the Indian is fighting for their lives.
Diabetes and obesity from this garbage
the White Man calls food is destroying
not only the Indian but all races in America.
The Buffalo gave freely of himself for the People.
They are to be honored and respected.
Now I cant think of a more beautiful sight
than Free Ranging Buffalo
grazing on the Grasslands of the West.
You ask why did people start killing the Buffalo.
This is very simple.
The People from across the Big Waters
came with greed and murder in their hearts.
The only way they could grab everything
was to starve out the Native Indian.
They called the Indian Savages, Heathens and Worthless,
so it was ok to murder them at will.
Go to the truthful history books
and look at the massacres of Indian Men, Woman and Children.
The Rocky Mountain States and the Prairie States
are soaked with the Indian's and Buffalo's Blood.
Then the Slab Sided Locusts (cattle ) came to the Grasslands.
Then came the drunken blood thirsty cowboys.
Now look at the land where once the Indian and Buffalo
roamed free and what do you see.
Fences, destruction and pollution of the forest,
rivers and all of the Great Spirits Creation. You ask why?
Greed, greed and more greed.
These cattle ranchers want every last blade of grass.
They will not share anything with the Buffalo.
If the Buffalo was so sickly and the cause of this disease
why did they number in the many millions?
It is the cattle that bring the Disease
and the cattle rancher that is the problem.
Did you know the cattle are fed the dead flesh
of others of their kind causing Mad Cow Disease?
Read about the shear joy in the hearts of these cattle men
and cowboys when they go out to kill the bear, coyote, wolf,
prairie dogs, and anything else that breathes.
As a boy I lived in cattle country and I saw the mean spirit
in the Cattle Ranchers and Cowboys.
They would shoot the Hawks and Eagles
and hang them on their fences
They were so proud of their manly skills
they wanted the world to see.
Today the Buffalo suffers much because of the Cattle men.
They have money to buy Government officials and Police.
I just read of the police brutality towards the peaceful people
trying to save what is left of the wild free roaming Buffalo
from Yellowstone. These cops take an oath to protect
but sell themselves to the cattle industry.
It is no wonder there is so much hatred towards cops today.
For these cops to gang up on some peaceful young man
just trying to do good
and smashing his face into the gravel makes me sick.
To me these cops are nothing
but bully gang members with badges.
Anyhow, this is how I feel and I hope it gives you an idea
of why the Buffalo is being murdered .
It is called CATTLE RANCHER GREED.
You ask why is it important that we have free ranging Buffalo.
Well, the Buffalo is the Symbol of Free America.
When the Buffalo loses their freedom so will the People of America.
We are close to this now as I am sure you can see in everyday life.
Walk in Harmony on the Sacred Mother Earth
~ Richard Red Hawk ~
------------------------------
* Kill Tally
AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2007-2008 Total: 1,613
2007-2008 Slaughter: 1,447
2007-2008 Hunt: 166
2007-2008 Quarantine: 112
Total Since 2000: 3,678*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts


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