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Weekly Update from the Field October 2, 2008
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* Update from the Field
* Support Buffalo Field Campaign with a Tax Deductible Contribution
* Wood Cut Weekend October 11 & 12
* NEW BFC T-Shirt Available Now!
* Last Words
* Kill Tally

* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Thanks to all who wrote to the Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDG&F) in regards to the wild bull buffalo that was shot by the agency after migrating from Yellowstone to the Island Park region of Idaho. IDF&G has been telling folks that they contacted the wrong office, stating Idaho's Department of Agriculture (IDOA) manages buffalo. True, IDOA manages *ranched* buffalo, but not wild bison. Sadly, there are currently no known wild bison in Idaho because whenever they migrate into the state they are lethally removed. IDF&G agents shot the wild bull bison, and so your emails have indeed been going to the right place. Thank you for being a voice for the buffalo!

Many of you have forwarded an email you received this week from the Montana Cattlemen's Association. After looking in to matters, we are fairly certain that the MCA sent many of us this message because we had taken action for the buffalo by contacting this organization or the Montana Department of Livestock.

The issue that the MCA's email discusses is that of a Draft Brucellosis Plan crafted by the Montana Department of Livestock who is considering split-state brucellosis status. If adopted, split-state status would create a zone where ranchers who insist on raising livestock in critical wildlife habitat where brucellosis is known to occur (the Yellowstone region), would be subjected to strict testing and quarantine requirements. Should any brucellosis transmission occur in that region, only ranchers within the region would be affected while the rest of the state's ranchers would not lose their brucellosis-free status.

There are some positive points to split-state status, but, of course, most of these are being left out of the livestock industry's plan. These include removing brucellosis-susceptible cattle from the Greater Yellowstone Region while allowing wild bison to occupy their native range within the zone. Buffalo Field Campaign presented this buffalo-friendly idea to Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer when he first took office, but so far, neither the Governor nor the cattle industry has considered allowing wild bison any room to roam within Montana. As it stands, the split-state status plan would only benefit the cattle industry, while wild bison - and now elk - would suffer continued mismanagement as guided by the livestock industry. Split-state status unfortunately also gives credit to the brucellosis argument, which is being used by the government and cattle industry as a means of controlling the land and the movements of migrating, grass-eating wildlife. But, perhaps, if split-state status makes it more challenging for ranchers to raise livestock around Yellowstone they may eventually abandon the Yellowstone region, and we could see the doors open to wild bison.

BFC is looking at the Draft Brucellosis Plan now. The DOL is accepting public comments on the plan until October 10. Take a look at what the cattle industry is proposing and watch this space for suggested talking points to make in your comments.

For the Buffalo!
~ Buffalo Field Campaign
* Support Buffalo Field Campaign with a Tax Deductible Contribution
As we make preparations for our 12th season in the field defending the wild bison, Buffalo Field Campaign faces a funding shortfall. With the economy in such a sorry state, we know that hard times have fallen upon people around the country but this doesn't diminish our need for strong support. Rising costs of fuel, food, and equipment mean that we'll need to tighten our belts and make fewer dollars go further.

Buffalo Field Campaign is a grassroots effort comprised of volunteers and supporters from across the country and around the world. Our continued existence hinges on the support of people like you. Tax-deductible contributions allow us to be in the field with the buffalo and to tirelessly work in the policy arena to gain lasting protection for America's last wild buffalo. Please send a contribution (no cash, please) to BFC, PO Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758 or click here to make a secure online donation today!

We are also in need of a good quality all-in-one laser printer/scanner/photocopier. If you have access to one and would like to donate it, please contact barb at (406) 646-0070 or email her at buffaloatwildrockies.org.
* Wood Cut Weekend October 11 & 12
Volunteers have been hard at work gathering firewood 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 a nice woodcut buffalo with the message "Wanted: Room to Roam." T-shirts are $20 plus $3 shipping and handling with all proceeds going directly towards BFC's front lines work. Order by sending a check or money order (no cash please) with t-shirt size to BFC, PO Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758, or order online today!
* Last Words
"[The buffalo are] the dark force of the plains - the living muscle of our history. Perhaps no other animal represents so well that richness which we once had, and which we so savagely squandered and mutilated."

~ Rick Bass, acclaimed nature writer and environmental activist.
* Kill Tally
AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2008-2009 Total: 1
2008-2009 Slaughter: 0
2008-2009 Hunt: 0
2008-2009 Quarantine: 0
2008-2009 Shot by Agents: 1
2007-2008 Total: 1,616
Total Since 2000: 3,682*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts

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