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Weekly Update from the Field December 13, 2007
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* Update from the Field
* NEW VIDEO! To Protect the Wild Bison
* Photo of the Week
* Support BFC with a Tax-deductible Donation
* Buffalo in the News
* Last Words

* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
On Saturday we lost another buffalo to Montana's "hunt." Gardiner patrols had seen two massive bulls on Friday that had walked down near Yellowstone's north entrance, headed in the direction of the Eagle Creek area, which is within the buffalo hunt zone. The bulls were so huge that it was almost impossible to believe they were real. But there they were - prehistoric majesty still existing in our midst, standing with beating hearts and steaming breath right before our eyes. One of them had enough years on him that his horns were worn and blunted with age. We can only imagine the stories this bull and his companion would have to tell. Together they walked up towards Eagle Creek and the next morning one of them was shot by a Montana hunter. The remaining bull has not been seen since he lost his companion.

Getting shot by gunners and being "reduced to possession" is what happens to wild buffalo that walk into Montana on the east side of the Yellowstone River. On the west side of the river, wild buffalo are subjected to hazing, capture, quarantine, and slaughter. Just yesterday, Gardiner patrols witnessed two Yellowstone National Park Rangers on horseback, assisted by a Park County Sheriff, hazing a single bull buffalo off of habitat in the vicinity of land owned by the Church Universal and Triumphant (CUT). As you know, over the years CUT's less than 300-head of domestic cattle have made life extremely difficult for the last wild buffalo. This one bull was chased by the rangers for over an hour and a half to just inside Yellowstone's north boundary near the Stephens Creek bison trap. And while the buffalo we have seen look extremely healthy and ready to take on the long, difficult winter, patrols reported that this particular bull was a little on the thin side, but that he was otherwise getting around pretty well. He just needed to get to some good grass to survive another winter. But the Park Service has ensured that his chances of survival are minimal; by hazing him, they forced him to use up energy reserves that he could not afford to waste and pushed him to an area from which he had already decided to move. Hazing wild buffalo off of their chosen ground is a cruel, slow way to starve them.

On the western boundary, things have been relatively quiet. Temperatures have gotten much colder and we now have about two and a half feet of snow on the ground. Patrols are donning skis and snowshoes to get around the frosty landscape, and are piling on the extra warm layers to deal with the frigid temperatures. Just the other morning temperatures dropped to -27, which is only a taste of what's to come as winter settles upon us. Yesterday, while out doing recons, patrols witnessed a Park Service plane scouting the area for wild buffalo. Of course, catering to Montana's livestock industry and keeping themselves mired in the political glue of the nefarious Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP), they are required to report any buffalo out of the park's boundaries to the Montana Department of Livestock.

As the buffalo hunt season continues and we prepare for the worst that the IBMP agencies have promised to deal the buffalo (see last week's update on our web site), we must make every effort to take proactive steps and ensure that harassment and death will not be the future of all buffalo who migrate into Montana. We must gather our forces and demand, at the very least, the Horse Butte Peninsula become a sanctuary for wild buffalo. This landscape - half national forest land, half buffalo-friendly private land - is a favorite for wild buffalo and is now 100% cattle-free. There is no excuse for livestock interests to prevent buffalo from being there. Please visit http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/politicians.html to contact Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, IBMP agency heads, and your members of congress today and demand that Horse Butte be forever designated a buffalo safe zone.
Roam Free,

P.S. BFC's new newsletter will be in the mail soon! If you would like to help distribute newsletters in your community, please contact barb at buffaloatwildrockies.org and let her know how many additional newsletters you'd like. Thanks for helping to spread the word to save the herds!
* NEW VIDEO! Protect the Wild Bison
This new video, "Protect the Wild Bison," is a collaborative video project created by Buffalo Field Campaign and Back from the Brink Productions. This seven minute piece blends poetry, music, and some of the most powerful BFC footage into a story that will motivate you into helping these unique beings. Tim Gannon is the producer and BFC has nothing but praise for his effort. Please contact BFC to obtain a copy and help spread the word to save the herd by sponsoring video showings in your community.

Watch the video Protect the Wild Bison by Tim Gannon:
* Photo of the Week
Snowy Buffalo ~ Photo by Jesse Crocker, the Merlyn of BFC
* Support BFC with a Tax-deductible Donation
At a government meeting last week, the agencies let us know that they plan on killing hundreds of buffalo in the coming months should the buffalo leave the park. Your support will enable us to remain in the field with the buffalo and working on the policy front to prevent the slaughter and protect these irreplaceable animals. As we have for the past ten years, BFC will continue to share firsthand accounts, video footage, and still photographs, and to build a powerful grassroots movement to permanently protect the Yellowstone population.

Last spring, with the dedicated action of our network of supporters, we were able to keep the agencies from slaughtering a herd of 300 bison, including newborn calves. With your continued support our focus can remain where it belongs, on protecting these amazing animals and their habitat.

You can make a tax-deductible donation online via our secure server by clicking on this link: https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?id=1807.  You can also send your support through the mail: Buffalo Field Campaign, PO Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758.

Thank you for helping us protect the buffalo!
Dan Brister
Project Director
Buffalo Field Campaign
* Buffalo in the News
12/6 - State and federal agencies predict busy winter for bison management, NewWest.Net

* Last Words
"Someone must speak for them. I do not see a delegation for the four footed. I see no seat for eagles. We forget and we consider ourselves superior, but we are after all a mere part of the Creation."
~ Oren Lyons, Onondaga 

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