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Weekly Update from the Field April 2, 2009
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* Update from the Field
* BFC's Dan Brister Appears on Montana Public Radio
* Mother's Day Cards in Support of Buffalo Field Campaign
* Boogie Down for Buffalo! Bluegrass and Beyond Benefit
* Bill to Prevent Relocation of Quarantined Buffalo Tabled
* Last Words
* Kill Tally
* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
We are excited to report that more buffalo have arrived on Horse Butte.

There are now approximately 60 buffalo on Horse Butte, an enormous peninsula just a few miles west of Yellowstone National Park. Many of the buffalo now on the Butte are expectant mothers, and calving season will begin in just a few weeks. It is fun to see the little red calves from last year who now don their adult coats of shaggy dark brown and black wool, sporting small straight horns that will grow and curve into that familiar buffalo shape in a few years.

These buffalo should be safe from harm at least until May 15. Under the new adaptive changes to the Interagency Bison Management Plan an unlimited number of buffalo are allowed to occupy Horse Butte until that date. While the time free from harassment is very positive, May 15 is a date we dread. And judging from their actions in the past, the government may come up with some excuse to harass the buffalo before then.

As we knew they would, various "scouts" from the Montana Department of Livestock, Yellowstone National Park, and Gallatin National Forest have been scouring the area on their snowmobiles, reporting back to the agencies the location and numbers of the buffalo. Although they're not allowed to harass buffalo on Horse Butte now, they still insist on wasting U.S. tax dollars to count and spook the buffalo with their noisy machines.

As always, we remain with the buffalo, ready to document and challenge all actions made against them.

Roam Free!
* BFC's Dan Brister Appears on Montana Public Radio
On Friday, March 27, Buffalo Field Campaign's Dan Brister presented a commentary on Montana Public Radio. Dan has been with BFC since the beginning; he is a talented writer and a passionate champion of wild buffalo. Listen to this excellent commentary and please share it with others! This is a very informative piece and those who hear it will gain a better understanding of the issue and no doubt will be moved to help the buffalo.
* Mother's Day Cards in Support of Buffalo Field Campaign
Mother's Day is a perfect time to reflect on the Earth we intend to leave to future generations. Will we "see beyond our own time" to ensure that wild bison roam free? That our children's children will have the chance to marvel at these magnificent wild creatures?

This is what Buffalo Field Campaign works for, with your generous support. We will send a beautiful card to the person of your choice. This year, our popular Mother's Day card features a hand-drawn (and reproduced) original copied from a smaller, accompanying photo of mom and baby in Yellowstone. Our card is appropriate for all the nurturing relationships you'd like to honor with a gift to BFC.

The deadline for orders is April 22, 2009. A minimum donation of $15 is requested for each card you would like us to send.

For more information, and to order, click here or send a check or money order (no cash, please) to: BFC / PO Box 957 / West Yellowstone, MT 59758
Thank You!
* Bluegrass & Beyond! Benefit for BFC
Come to Bozeman, Montana and boogie down with us for the buffalo! BFC volunteer Art Brown, together with Buffalo Allies of Bozeman, has put in a tremendous amount of effort to organize "Bluegrass & Beyond" a benefit for Buffalo Field Campaign. This fun-filled event with incredible local bands is bound to inspire you to cut a rug and help the buffalo while you do.

Saturday, April 11, 2009 from 4pm until 2am at the Pour House, 15 N. Rouse Ave., Bozeman, Montana. NO COVER CHARGE!

HELP US SPREAD THE WORD by downloading a flyer that you can reproduce and post around town.
Our thanks and appreciation go to Buffalo Allies of Bozeman who are co-sponsoring this special event, and to all the bands and musicians who are making this possible. Many thanks also go to the Pour House for providing the space for this event. There is no cover charge, so donations are most welcome. Please bring friends!
* Bill to Prevent Relocation of Quarantined Buffalo Tabled
A state bill that would have prevented quarantined Yellowstone buffalo from being relocated was tabled in the Montana House of Representatives. This bill, crafted by livestock interests, would have prevented even disease-free buffalo from gaining any ground on their native range. While BFC vehemently opposes the state-federal quarantine project, which captures and orphans wild bison calves in a scheme to "create a disease-free herd" we found it extremely revealing that livestock interests rejected even brucellosis-free buffalo from stepping out of confinement, proving that this whole war against buffalo is about grass, not disease.

After the bill was killed, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks issued a decision notice that bison translocation would take place. This month, 41 buffalo from the quarantine facility will be transported to the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming, where the Northern Arapaho people will welcome them home. We are pleased that the Tribe will be the caretakers of these buffalo who have been through so much turmoil in the hands of the government. They will be in good hands and will eventually have 30,000 acres on which to roam. But, we feel that the quarantine project is a very disrespectful way for the government to "give" buffalo to First Nations. First Nations and the buffalo deserve better.

The quarantined buffalo have been captured with their families and the adult members have been shipped to slaughter. The orphaned calves are trucked to a facility just a few miles from where they once roamed Yellowstone. They are held captive in small paddocks surrounded by two fences, one being electric. They are fed hay, ear tagged, and regularly handled and tested like livestock. More than half of the young buffalo that have entered the facility have been slaughtered for study's sake. Those that survive are placed into breeding programs. The government claims that when the survivors are ready for release, they will "teach them how to be wild."

The livestock industry, having attempted to block the relocation of even disease-free buffalo that have gone through this rigorous torture gauntlet has certainly revealed its true colors. While we are glad that these buffalo will be going to the Northern Arapaho rather than being killed, there are better ways to restore buffalo. Instead of accepting the government's idea of quarantine, Tribes and buffalo advocates should work together to create migration corridors that would allow buffalo to walk back to their native lands on their own four feet, while the government should monitor the cattle industry and ensure that livestock stays out of the buffalo's way. For more information on the harmful effects of quarantining wild buffalo visit this link.
* Last Words
"Meanwhile, [Montana Senator John] Brenden Friday urged people to continue fighting the spread of wild bison across Montana. 'The main thing is the people need to keep putting pressure on the agencies and the governor's office so we don't get these bison translocated in Montana,' he said."
From a 3/28/09 Bozeman Daily Chronicle article on the death of the quarantine bill
* 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
P.O. Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
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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