Update from the Field 6/2/05
Buffalo Field Campaign
Update from the Field
June 2, 2005
** This is the season's last weekly email Update from the Field.
They will begin coming out twice a month starting June 16th.
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In This Issue:
* Update from the
* Three Things You Can Do Today to Protect the Buffalo
* The Buffalo Family
* Last Words
* Update from the Field
Migrations are underway. Nearly all of the buffalo that haven't
been needlessly forced to do so, have, of their own accord, returned
to the high country of Yellowstone National Park.
As usual, the Montana Department of Livestock's (DOL) pushing,
shoving, harassing and slaughtering for the past nine months was
utterly rude, excessive, and entirely unnecessary. But, hey,
they got to feel self-important while they spent your tax dollars
harassing, slaughtering and domesticating the country's last wild
buffalo. They got to terrorize human and animal neighborhoods to
the point of driving many inhabitants away. They got to break
rules the rest of us must follow, entering into areas that are closed
to humans to protect the wild. They got to ride around on (and
trash) expensive, rented motorized toys, exhaust their horses, fly
their choppers, and enjoy meals all on U.S.. They got to hang
out in one of the most beautiful places in the world, only to wreak
havoc, disrupt the stillness, shred the landscape, make a lot of
noise, and shove wild buffalo around. Why must these wasteful,
harmful actions continue every year? They don't have to.
True, it's all written in "the Plan" and people say,
"well, that's the way it is." We must refuse that way
of thinking. Like the wild buffalo refuse to be told where they
can be, we must refuse acceptance of "the Plan." This
year alone agencies cited the Interagency Bison Management Plan as a
reason to kill 98 of our last wild buffalo. The same agencies
are holding 17 yearlings prisoner, to be raised in domestication.
The government officials calling the shots are not allowing themselves
to think outside the very tight box they've constructed for
themselves. A box that kills, manages, collars, tags and drives
wildness away. This horrible plan is a government plan, and the
government is still of the people and for the people, so if we don't
like it, we must change it. It's not only our right, it's our
duty. We can change the status quo - rust the livestock
industry's iron fist - and reclaim the land for the last wild buffalo!
Human migrations are also underway. Like the buffalo, BFC
volunteers are on the move. Selfless souls, brave in their
hearts, strong in their minds, heavily touched by the mighty buffalo.
After an intense field season these eco-warriors are now on their way
to their "other lives". We give thanks for these
incredible people we were so blessed with this year. There is
not a one who did not give everything of him/herself. Each
person's dedication to the buffalo, and to the campaign, is what makes
it work. We were brought together by the buffalo, and the buffalo
bind us forever now. Parting is hard. To name you all, to
thank each of you, would not be possible. But you know who you
are...Thank you! Here's to the great friends we have made, and to
meeting again in the snowy fields of West Yellowstone and standing in
defense of the last wild buffalo for as long as it takes.
We now enter the season of telling. This is the time BFC
volunteers go from the fields, back to the cities and neighborhoods,
and tell the buffalo's story. This is the time for sharing with
others what we have experienced, what the buffalo endure. This
is the time to increase the herd, gather to our cause of wild free
buffalo the voices that will speak up, the hands that will lift camera
or pen, the minds that will open.
Some of us will spend our summers tabling in the park, sharing
information on the buffalo with thousands of people who visit the
park. Already we have met tourists asking why so many of the
Yellowstone buffalo are wearing big and ugly collars, ear tags, and
stripes down their backs. People are shocked, and rightly so, to
learn that some of the wild Yellowstone buffalo are treated more like
cattle than America's wildest buffalo.
Later in the summer and in the fall we will engage upon our West
and East Coast Road Shows. If you live near one of the coasts,
and would like more information on arranging a BFC presentation in
your community, please get in touch. Send an email to:
firstname.lastname@example.org and bring the buffalo's message to your
Save the Herd, Spread the Word!
Stephany & Dan
* Three Things You Can Do Today to Protect the
1. Support the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act, call your
Thanks to the leadership of U.S. Representatives Maurice Hinchey
and Charles Bass, HR 2428, the Yellowstone Buffalo Preservation Act,
is currently gaining support in the US House of Representatives.
This legislation will ensure greater protection for buffalo entering
Montana from Yellowstone and will mandate the dismantling of the
Stephen's Creek trap inside Yellowstone.
To learn more about HR 2428, check our web site:
To find the name of your Representative and to contact him/her,
2. Contact Montana's Governor Brian Schweitzer
Montana's governor has the potential to be a great friend of the
buffalo. Call Governor Schweitzer at (406) 444-3111 and urge him
to protect America's last wild herd of buffalo. Remind him that
the majesty of Montana is in its vast wildness, and that wildness is
complete and whole with free-roaming buffalo. No matter if
you live in Montana, or anywhere in the country, the Yellowstone
buffalo herd is our country's wild heritage. They are the last
living link to the tens of millions that once roamed the entire
country. Urge Montana's governor to be proud of this, and honor
and respect the last wild buffalo, giving them room to roam freely in
Montana. Make his phone ring off the hook! Call
Governor Brian Schweitzer at (406) 444-3111. Thank you!
3. Contribute to the BFC. The Buffalo Field Campaign
is a true grassroots organization applying all its resources to
Buffalo protection. We work everyday, all year, to document what
happens to the buffalo and share their story with the world. We
envision a day when wild buffalo will be honored and respected in
Montana. Help us realize this vision. You can send a
tax-deductible contribution to the address listed below or make a
quick and secure donation by clicking the "Donate Now"
button on our web site
https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?id=1807. Thank you
for your support!
* The Buffalo Family
The buffalo circle is strong and unbroken. Buffalo are
steadfast in their ties to one another. So much so that they
willingly risk their freedom for the right to stand where they chose
to. So much so that they would give everything of themselves for
family. Even those loners, the great old bulls, they too
will come to each other's rescue or defense when the situation calls
Over the weekend, from every direction, past volunteers came
pouring into the West Yellowstone area to celebrate the wedding of two
very special people. We stood together on the banks of the
Madison River, at the heart of the buffalo's habitat, and formed a
circle. Returning volunteers who we haven't seen in years stood
beside volunteers who showed up for the first time this winter and
whose dedication wouldn't let them leave until the buffalo are
The theme of commitment kept reasserting itself. Yarrow and
Yote exchanged beautiful vows, as much to the land and the buffalo as
to one another. Justine and Roman, presiding over an inspired
ceremony drawn from their own experience of marriage, paid tribute to
the ecosystem and reminded us how the buffalo are represented in each
of the four directions. We gave tours of the area to Yote and
Yarrow's friends and families, and even had a BFC table set up at
their wedding reception. We danced and celebrated and we also
remembered suffering, and in that we reinforced our commitments to the
buffalo and to each other. A special thanks to everyone who
shared in such a special time, and to the families of Yarrow and Yote
who hosted the events and made the celebration possible.
* Last Words
"The buffalo represent everything that is GOOD."
~Hunter, BFC Volunteer
Media & Outreach
Buffalo Field Campaign
P.O. Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
BFC is the only group working in the field every day
to defend the last wild herd of buffalo in America.
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