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Weekly Update from the Field October 30, 2008
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* Update from the Field
* URGENT ACTION: Comments Needed on CUT Lease
* Buffalo in the News
* Last Words
* Kill Tally

* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Volunteers and coordinators are beginning to gather in West Yellowstone for the coming season of wild bison defense. Thankfully, the field is peaceful for the time being, though the Montana Department of Livestock has already started harassing buffalo. About two weeks ago DOL agent Shane Grube chased a couple of bull bison away from the Duck Creek area. Duck Creek is a significant wildlife migration corridor along Yellowstone's western boundary and it is a favorite for buffalo. Like the rest of Montana, it is land to which the buffalo are refused access, except, of course, during the so-called hunt which begins November 15.

Due to last season's massive slaughter and continued harassment by the DOL, it's possible most bison hunters could go away empty-handed this year. Fewer than 3,000 bison survived last season's slaughter. We are hopeful for a mild winter, which could mean a much-needed respite for the buffalo. But if deep snows obscure the grass the buffalo need, they are going to do what it takes to survive by moving to lower elevation habitat, regardless of their low numbers or the politics that attempt to dictate their future.

As always, and only with your help, Buffalo Field Campaign will be here in the field, standing with the buffalo, monitoring the migration, documenting all actions made against them, and advocating for their lasting protection. We ask you to continue to stand with us, for the buffalo.

* URGENT ACTION: Comments Needed on CUT Lease
Your comments are needed by 5:00 pm, MST, Friday, October 31, 2008, on a tentative agreement involving a 30-year lease of grazing rights from the Royal Teton Ranch - between state and federal agencies, some conservation groups, and the Church Universal & Triumphant (CUT). If this land lease goes through, CUT will receive $3,300,000 for leasing their land for a mere 30 years so that a handful of captured, tested, and tagged bison could temporarily occupy portions of their native range outside Yellowstone's north boundary.

The agencies are pressing forward with a decision and have now prepared an environmental assessment for public comment. BFC opposes the terms of the land deal that degrade wild buffalo and subject them to invasive and unnecessary hazing, capturing, testing, collaring, and implanting telemetry devices in pregnant females. Restrictive fencing, arbitrary limits on the number of buffalo allowed to roam there that break social group and familial bonds, provision for another potential capture pen, and drop dead time lines including forced removal back to the Park by April 15. If these provisions are removed, BFC could support using taxpayer money to permanently remove cattle from Church Universal & Triumphant lands.

Please forward this to everyone you know who cares about wild bison!

For more information, and to take action, please click here.
Thanks to everyone who has already commented!
* Buffalo in the News
REMINDER: Buffalo Field Campaign will send you a FREE BFC T-shirt if you get a buffalo-friendly letter to the editor published! Just send a clipping of your published letter along with your T-shirt size and mailing address to BFC-Media, P.O. Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758 or email it. Be a strong voice for the buffalo and get a FREE BFC T-shirt! Consider responding to one of the articles below.

10/30/08 - Great Falls Tribune
FWP's Hagener: Brucellosis is a problem for all, not just wildlife

10/29/08 - NBC San Diego
Bush Administration Proposes Second Interagency Group for Bison

10/29/08 - Forbes
Vets back Yellowstone-area livestock disease plan

10/28/08 - Department of Interior Press Release
Secretary Kempthorne Launches Bison Conservation Initiative

10/17/08 - Billings Gazette
FWP proposes corridor for bison

10/17/08 - Yellowstone Insider
New bison management plan fails to impress
* Last Words
Last of the Bison (Excerpt from The Vision Quest)
Can you not see that clouds whisper the soft-dying day and enfold grassy-plains in golden hue; yet not a single bleat shall stir from half-grown calves with downy coat. Nor night hawks in the darkening hour shall gather over endless herds.

Then fears that they may cease to be before my eyes in eternity.
Before high-bluffs where lookout held, when endless waves would thunder through. Then think that I may never trace their shadowed forms in endless space; or shall I see them evermore, across the plain with boundless hooves.~ by Dick Williamson, PhD
* 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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