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Weekly Update from the Field June 18, 2009
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Mourning the Loss of Our Friends
* Update from the Field - Four Bulls Killed by Agents
* Our Friend Frog: BFC Celebrates His Life, Mourns His Passing
* Last Words
* Kill Tally
* Update from the Field

Bull bison rubs on a tree. BFC file photo.

We lost four brother buffalo yesterday to the ignorance and greed of Montana's livestock industry.
We are sad to report that the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) sent three bull buffalo to slaughter yesterday after capturing them on private land at Duck Creek, in a trap just 200 yards from the boundary of Yellowstone National Park.

Read the full press release here.

In addition, agents shot another bull buffalo on Gallatin National Forest land yesterday. Both DOL and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) participated in the killing and processing of this beautiful emblem of the wild. In a disgraceful act, the FWP agent, game warden Jim Smolzynski, even brought his young daughter along to help participate in the violent act. Just three weeks ago, she participated in the prayer ceremony with Chief Arvol Looking Horse. The FWP agent's dog was also present at the kill site, and was allowed to sample the buffalo carcass, which will likely be processed and given to a food bank or a Native American charity organization.

This bull bison was on Gallatin National Forest land, where, according to the Adaptive Management Plan, bulls are supposed to be allowed year-round. However, a local hobby rancher insists that the bull co-mingled with cattle, which in Montana is an immediate death sentence for buffalo under the ill-intentioned Interagency Bison Management Plan.

The bulls captured at Duck Creek were also set up to fail. The Adaptive Management Plan put forth by the Interagency Bison Management Plan participants states that bull buffalo will be allowed in certain areas outside of Yellowstone year round. However, the agents made sure to make it as difficult as possible for buffalo to live through these changes as they exclude bison from areas north of Duck Creek, the favored migration corridor for bull bison along Yellowstone's western boundary lands.

You can view footage of both incidents here but please be warned that some of the images are very graphic and disturbing. It is important to remember that federal tax dollars are being used to carry these atrocious activities out.

The Adaptive Management changes have been used by the agencies in an attempt to tranquilize the public and make us believe that things are actually getting better for the buffalo. It is a lie, these incidents - like last month's intensive hazing - clearly demonstrate that little, if anything, has actually changed on the ground.

Bull bison cannot transmit brucellosis to cattle. The disease, which no wild bison has ever transmitted to cattle, is the excuse Montana uses to justify the harassment and slaughter of wild bison. A closer look at the issue, underscored by the death of bulls, reveals that it's really about grass, and the cattle industry would rather kill bison than share the grass with them.

Make your voice heard for these buffalo so that their lives are not lost in vain:

1. Contact Montana Department of Livestock State Veterinarian Marty Zaluski and let him know how you feel about these tragic and senseless incidents: mzaluski@mt.gov / 406-444-0782

2. Then, please contact President Barack Obama, even if you have done so before, and keep pressure on until he takes positive action to help the buffalo and stops the slaughter once and for all!

BFC file photo.

Roam Free!
* Our Friend Frog: BFC Celebrates His Life, Mourns His Passing
The buffalo and our community lost a dear friend this last week. On Thursday, June 11, 2009, "Frog" passed on in the waters around the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington. His last days were beautiful and happy, filled with oysters and canoe camping, friendship and love.

Brian Gharst arrived at BFC early on, and was a passionate advocate for the wild. As the third Brian at camp, he was quickly dubbed with a new name - another volunteer called him "Frog" after he leaped up the slopes behind the cabin on a hike. Frog brought so much caring, peaceful energy, humor, and brilliance to BFC, and to this world. Friends and acquaintances knew him as someone who could do or create anything, as a person with an enormous heart, as someone who accepted people without judgment, and as a person who cared genuinely and deeply about this planet and its creatures.

Before arriving at BFC, Brian had been baking with the Bionic Baking Brigade; and he went on to actively support and work with many other campaigns and causes - with Seeds of Peace, Wild Rockies Earth First!, and more. During his time in Missoula, Brian crafted rickshaws and bicycle trailers, built greenhouses and gardens, revived the free community bicycle shop, and sought treasures throughout town from dumpsters to mountain streams. He took his brilliance and offerings to the world everywhere he went.

This weekend, many friends and family are gathering in Missoula to honor Brian, mourn our loss, and celebrate his life and this community of people he continues to bring together. For those also affected by Brian and his life, and who wish to participate, you can contact the campaign (406-646-0070) or friends in Missoula for more details. Another ceremony will also take place on Horse Butte in West Yellowstone, a place special to Frog and many of his friends. Some of his ashes will be offered there, and his spirit will continue to bless the buffalo, and bless us all.

We love you, Frog. Thank you for all you gave this world.
* Last Words
"In the eyes of the agencies, 'tolerance' merely means delaying the inevitable slaughter of America's last wild buffalo."

~ Dan Brister, Executive Director, Buffalo Field Campaign
* Kill Tally
AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2008-2009 Total: 22
2008-2009 Slaughter: 3
2008-2009 Hunt: 1
2008-2009 Quarantine: 0
2008-2009 Shot by Agents: 2
2008-2009 Highway Mortality: 16
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
Total Since 2000: 3,702*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts, highway mortalities

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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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