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Weekly Update from the Field December 11, 2008
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* Update from the Field
* View & Vote! Bison, bison: The Haze
* Sale of Children's Books to Benefit Buffalo Field Campaign
* Last Words
* Kill Tally

* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
Wild buffalo remain absent upon Montana's landscape for now. The weather has recently turned a bit colder and some snow has fallen, so it is possible that buffalo - who many times move ahead of changing weather patterns - may soon be on the move to lower elevation habitat.

But what habitat is there currently available to wild buffalo outside of Yellowstone's boundaries once the snows get too deep for them to find the grass they need to survive? And if the cattle industry continues to get their way, it will not be just wild bison that suffer nefarious mismanagement; as we feared and warned would happen, elk inhabiting Montana are about to be placed in the cross-hairs as well. It seems that no cost is too high that ranchers are willing to have others pay to keep their power firmly entrenched over our native wildlife.

The Montana Board of Livestock has made its decision on a Brucellosis Management Plan to regain Montana's brucellosis-free status. A heavy focus is placed upon actively managing elk. Cattle ranchers in seven counties in southwest Montana are only required to test their cattle for brucellosis (Brucella abortus) anti-bodies. The cattle industry is forcing native wildlife off the land while they seek to have Montana taxpayers foot the bill; a whopping $2.4 million a year.

Outlined in the plan, if the rancher requests it, a cattle herd management plan will be done at taxpayer expense. The Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) as well as the state's wildlife management agency, Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) will provide personnel and assistance. FWP will be required to send out staff to haze (chase) elk off cattle ranches, while also providing ranchers game-proof fencing.

Apparently, cattle ranchers can't manage their own private lands.

Furthermore, there is looming discussion of reducing the Madison Valley elk population by 3,000 animals in an effort to further subsidize cattle interests. These are the same voices that complain that wolves are eating all the elk.

This latest plan is another aspect of the brucellosis fraud narrative; the ranchers get additional control over native wildlife and we the taxpayers pick up the tab, while FWP acts at the behest of the cattle industry, wasting money better spent on acquiring habitat for wildlife. Cattle ranchers are not interested in disease control, but bison and elk control.

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is a spectacularly majestic landscape. While it is just a spot of green on the map, it gives us a glimpse of the native flora and fauna that have coexisted for tens of thousands of years. But for a few centuries now, cattle and those who perpetuate their production are stripping the integrity away, killing the wild animals, fencing in and hoarding the habitat, while making taxpayers foot the bill. Currently, one invasive species - the cow - is dictating the life and death of bison, wolves, elk, grizzly bears, pronghorn antelope, moose, eagles, swans, and badgers. The cattle industry continues to poison, shoot, and slaughter anything that threatens their economic interests; the wildlife that survives is pushed into the rugged mountains while the industry fills up the valleys with cow dung and barbed wire.

The cattle industry's status quo is not set in stone, nor is it sustainable. With your help, we will continue to fight to restore wild bison to their native range and create a living landscape for native flora and fauna that respects and protects the wild integrity of this majestic ecosystem.

Roam Free!
Buffalo Field Campaign
* View & Vote! Bison, bison: The Haze
Michael Van Laanen is a filmmaker from Montana State University who has documented the bison issue extensively. He's recently created an eight-minute piece called "Bison, bison: the Haze." Michael has worked closely with Buffalo Field Campaign over the past few years and in this film, as in his others, you'll see that he has incorporated a lot of BFC's footage from the field. You can also meet a few BFC folks in some of the interviews Michael included for this film. This lovely piece is up on Current TV and has the potential to make it to mainstream television if it gets enough favorable reviews.

View and vote for the film today!

Many thanks to Michael and his outstanding film crew for helping to powerfully tell the buffalo's story.

Vote up for the buffalo!
* Sale of Children's Books to Benefit Buffalo Field Campaign
BFC is pleased to announce our collaboration with The Ecoseekers, an independent publishing house and eco-enterprise that connects kids (and adults) with nature and environmentalism through original stories, products, and community.

Buffalo Field Campaign and The EcoSeekers share a similar goal of educating the public about bison and protecting bison in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. That's why we decided to work together. Bison are a main focus of the award winning mini-series, THE LAND OF CURIOSITIES.

The EcoSeekers Book Collection consists of historical fiction adventure stories about public lands and defining events and themes in the history of environmentalism, as told through the experiences of courageous young fictional characters. Each book includes a 'real history' section with facts and photos. Recommended for ages 8-14 (and loved by adults too!).

Buffalo Field Campaign will receive 30% of proceeds from the sale of books and other items ordered by following instructions HERE.
* Last Words
"By removing cattle from the landscape... we're effectively reducing the risk of brucellosis transmissions."
~ Mel Frost, spokesperson for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
* 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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