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Weekly Update from the Field September 18, 2008
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* Update from the Field - Idaho Bull Shot
* IBMP Meeting Updates & Future Dates
* Horse Butte Residents Intervene in Stockgrowers' Lawsuit
* Wood Cut Weekend October 11 & 12
* West Coast Road Show Wrapping Up
* NEW BFC T-Shirt Available Now!
* Last Words
* Kill Tally

* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
We regret to report that the bull bison who migrated from Yellowstone into Idaho was shot by Idaho officials on Monday. The bull had been in the area of Island Park, Idaho for nearly a month, much to the pleasure of many local residents. Sadly, on Monday, Idaho Fish & Game officials shot the bull to death near a housing area. Read a brief report from the Island Park News.

This bull should be remembered as another champion of his species, who was trying to gain some ground for wild native bison. He demonstrated that bison restoration can happen quite naturally, without the "help" of government interference or quarantine projects that use our tax dollars to take the wild out of wild bison, by orphaning calves, raising them like livestock, and determining where they should go. This is the government's idea of bison restoration. The bull killled on Monday, like so many other buffalo, knows what real restoration is about. One foot in front of the other. Let them roam! They'll restore themselves if humans can learn to co-exist.

Over the years many bull bison have been shot for walking across the land that their ancestors made home for millennia. You may recall a few springs ago the four bulls that walked more than 20 miles on a frigid night, from Yellowstone's boundary down to the lower-elevation grasslands of the Madison Valley, where that morning they were shot - execution style - by Montana livestock agents. Another group of bulls was shot dead just last spring for migrating from Yellowstone to the area of Yankee Jim Canyon. These celebratory bison-driven restoration efforts are met time and again with the line-in-the-sand mentality of the government-backed cattle industry who feels that the grass is there for their cows. Too many attempts made by wild bison to restore themselves to their historic range result in fatal consequences like this.

Idaho perhaps, like Montana, has forgotten that these lands once shook with buffalo. They were here long before spotted cattle and barbed wire fence. They can come back, but fear and greed must be set aside; coexistence embraced. We give thanks to the residents of Island Park who tried to keep this bull safe, and we mourn his loss with you. We encourage everyone to take a moment to express your disappointment and outrage to Idaho Fish & Game's killing of this beautiful bull bison and the instinctual ecological restoration he and his kind persistently attempt.

Roam Free,
* IBMP Meeting Updates & Future Dates
The second series of Interagency Bison Management Plan meetings was held on September 8 & 9 in Helena, Montana. BFC's Habitat Coordinator, Darrell Geist, was in attendance and was strongly encouraged by the "show of unity for wild buffalo and willingness to speak out for each other." The cattle industry also had a lot of representation at this meeting, contrary to those held in August where hardly a stockgrower could be found. But buffalo allies abounded. These meetings are helping to show that there is a strong, growing constituency for wild bison in Montana. The meetings will continue through December, with the next scheduled for October 2-3 (noon till noon) in Bozeman, Montana at the Gallatin National Forest office located in the Federal Building on 10 E. Babcock. Click here for the full calendar of meetings and other information.
* Horse Butte Residents Intervene in Stockgrowers' Lawsuit
On August 13, 2008 Earthjustice lawyers representing Horse Butte residents EDITH FORD, JOANNE MAYO, ED MILLSPAUGH, TOM SHEPERD, ANN STOVALL, JOANN STOVALL, KARRIE TAGGART, JEANNETTE THERIEN, along with GREATER YELLOWSTONE COALITION, and NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL filed to intervene in the Montana Stockgrower's suit against the Montana Dept. of Livestock and State Veterinarian Marty Zaluski.

The Stockgrowers filed suit in Madison County May 2008 claiming the Montana Deptartment of Livestock and State Veterinarian Marty Zaluski threaten ranchers' cattle that graze in the Hebgen Basin by not removing or killing wild buffalo that remain on Horse Butte after May 15.
The Earthjustice filing states long time local residents of Horse Butte joined the lawsuit to protect their "distinct interests in private property, wildlife conservation, and preservation of habitat outside Yellowstone National Park for bison." These folks simply enjoy seeing wild buffalo on their land and in their neighborhood village and "benefit from bison grazing that reduces fire danger and other ecological disruptions from tall grasses and weeds on Horse Butte."

The locals say a long running dispute with the Montana Deptartment of Livestock and its operations targeting wild buffalo for removal from Horse Butte - a peninsula where cattle no longer graze - "are highly disruptive, noisy, and negatively impacts the ability of these property owners and residents to maintain a safe and quiet neighborhood."

Horse Butte is completely cattle-free year-round and there's no reason whatsoever that wild bison should not be given freedom to roam there. Visit our Horse Butte Bison Habitat page to learn more about the efforts of Horse Butte residents in their legal battle to gain some ground for wild buffalo, and if you haven't yet, please sign the petition to support the locals who support having wild bison in their neighborhood.

Many thanks to everyone who has signed this petition and who has contacted the involved agencies. Our numbers are growing! Save the herds, spread the word!
* Wood Cut Weekend October 11 & 12
Volunteers have been hard at work gathering lots of wood for BFC's '08-'09 field season, and now it's time to cut and stack the cords. We need your help! Please join BFC during the weekend of October 11 & 12 to help us finish this critical annual project. Room and board are provided. Bring friends and chain saws. Please RSVP with barb at buffaloatwildrockies.org or call 406-646-0070. Thank you for helping to keep the camp fires burning!
* NEW BFC T-Shirt Designs Available!
Buffalo Field Campaign introduces a brand new t-shirt, featuring the message "Wanted: Room to Roam." The woodcut artwork was created by Cindy Rosin, a very talented and dedicated BFC volunteer. T-shirts are $20 plus $3 shipping and handling with all proceeds going directly towards BFC's front lines work.

Shirts can be ordered by sending a check or money order (no cash please) to BFC, PO Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758. Please be sure to specify size. Alternately, you can order online.
P.S. The t-shirt image is best viewed on web browsers other than Safari.
* BFC West Coast Road Show Wrapping Up
BFC's Mike Mease is on the road again, underway with a short but sweet West Coast Road Show. He's travelling with talented Native American musicians Good Shield & Seventh Generation Rise and After Buffalo. There are only a few more shows to go, so if you are in California, you can still get a chance to join them. Check out the West Coast Road Show schedule.

Our gratitude and respect to Good Shield & Seventh Generation Rise and After Buffalo for sharing the stage with us and for being such strong advocates for BFC and the last wild buffalo. You can learn more about these great bands and their music on the road show page of our web site.
* Last Words
"... And the American bison: their hordes would hide a prairie from horizon to horizon, great heads and storm-cloud shoulders, a torrent of life --- How many are left? ..."
~ Robinson Jeffers, Passenger Pigeons

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