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Weekly Update from the Field March 12, 2009
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* Update from the Field
* Last Words
* Kill Tally
* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Patrols have finally spotted a bull buffalo with the naked eye! After a long, lonely winter with no buffalo in our company, it has been a great pleasure to see him. This magnificent, solitary bull is keeping to himself, grazing along Duck Creek, still keeping his distance from the Yellowstone/Montana boundary.

Yellowstone National Park recently reported that the presence of buffalo is increasing near Madison Junction, which indicates that the spring migration is not far off. It is possible that we will see mixed groups of buffalo moving towards their calving grounds on Horse Butte within the next few weeks. Field activities may soon be picking up, and BFC and the buffalo will see how the new Adaptive Management Plan will play out in the field.

We traveled to Helena, Montana on Tuesday to attend the Montana Board of Livestock meeting. It never ceases to frustrate us how the state's livestock industry exudes the notion that the world revolves around their industry, and anything that appears to threaten it must be intensively managed or killed. The Montana State Veterinarian, Marty Zaluski, gave a report to the Board about Montana's Brucellosis Action Plan, stating that the reception from ranchers has been good; of course it has, there's not much in the BAP that requires ranchers to do much of anything, the burden remains on native wildlife, and any costs accrued by ranchers will be paid for by the government. Further, the state vet was "pleased to report" that Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is taking a more active role in the welfare of the cattle industry, at the expense of native wildlife. Not only will FWP continue to kill wolves and buffalo to aid cattle interests, they now will be involved in harassing (hazing) and killing (through "special" hunts) wild elk in the Paradise and Madison valleys where cattle now invade, all in an effort to scare them off of their native range so cows can have at the grasses. The only specific mention of buffalo at the Board meeting was when Zaluski reported on Montana's buffalo "hunt" which ended on February 15 with the only buffalo in Montana being shot on opening day. Zaluski attributed the low hunt numbers to a "reasonable population size" and a mild winter. Last season's killing of more than 1600 bison was the most killed in a single year since the 19th century, and there's nothing "reasonable" about the results.

While the cattle industry still wields the heavy hand of tyranny against wild buffalo in the name of "disease management," their brucellois argument is falling apart. Their current effort to pass a state law that would prevent even disease-free bison from roaming public and tribal lands makes it clear that buffalo just aren't welcome by ranchers. But decision-making will not always remain with this unsustainable industry, and sooner or later, the truth will prevail and wild buffalo will reclaim their rightful place all over this land!

Roam Free!

P.S. Has President Obama heard from you? If so, thank you! Please encourage your friends to send a letter to him, and encourage them to spread the word too. If you haven't written to President Obama yet, you can send a letter to him now. Write on for the buffalo!
* Last Words
"If you tried to design a system that would magnify wildlife diseases, you couldn't do much better than what we're doing now."
~ Dr. Thomas J. Roffe, chief of wildlife health at the US Fish & Wildlife Service, on Wyoming's elk feeding grounds.
* Kill Tally
AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2008-2009 Total: 2
2008-2009 Slaughter: 0
2008-2009 Hunt: 1
2008-2009 Quarantine: 0
2008-2009 Shot by Agents: 1
2007-2008 Total: 1,616
Total Since 2000: 3,683*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts
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Buffalo Field Campaign
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BFC is the only group working in the field every day in defense of the last wild buffalo population in the U.S.

Buffalo Field Campaign West Yellowstone Montana
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