Buffalo Field Campaign
Update From the Field
October 24, 2002
Greetings Buffalo Supporters,
As the 5:45 AM alarm pulls me out of my warm tipi bed this morning, two inches of fresh snow extinguish my hopes for a delayed winter. After a quick cup of black tea I am out the door and on patrol. Locating the lone bull buffalo in the frosty dawn, the morning's peace is quickly shattered by the arrival of three agents from the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL). The agents quickly wake the old bull with their noisy engines and he is not amused. He jumps up and snorts, hops his heavy body around, and swings his back end from side to side, catching air in the process.
As the agents' horse and 4x4 trucks close in the buffalo darts off toward the woods. The bull rakes his head through small trees eyeing the DOL agents all the while. At one point he takes off running and then suddenly turns in a new direction, on a dime, with the grace of a butterfly. But this butterfly weighs more than a ton.
As the DOL agents chase the bull down a private road two Buffalo Field Campaign video cameras document their every move. Landowners come out of their houses, tell the DOL agents that they are trespassing, then return to their homes to call the police. In and around West Yellowstone the buffalo have many friends, the DOL few. Still the authorities do the dirty work of the DOL. When BFC volunteers trespass we are immediately sent to the Bozeman jail. But the law won't come down on the trespassing agents, as the livestock industry still controls Montana. This type of selective law enforcement is the standard in these parts.
We are very thankful that the old bull is still alive. The DOL left him alone after hazing him to Yellowstone. But he will be back. This morning's snowfall was just a taste of what's to come. In the coming months Yellowstone will fall under a deepening blanket of snow and the buffalo, seeking survival, will leave the park for the surrounding lowlands, where they can access the grass from which their bodies are built. When they do they will find themselves in the cross-hairs of Montana's rifles, and many will likely be slaughtered. We will be here with the buffalo to protect them, to the best of our ability, and to share their stories with you. Together we will make a difference.
A special thanks to all of the people helping us get our kitchen set up and to those who have contacted us to donate VCRs. If you have ever thought about coming out to volunteer, please come this year. It's going to be a difficult one and we need all the help we can get. Thank you all for continuing to spread the word of the buffalo and for your never-ending support.
With the Buffalo,
Buffalo Field Campaign
PO Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
A Note from the Kitchen
Many thanks to all the folks who have responded so quickly to our requests for kitchen equipment!! We have received many of the items we are in need of but our wish list is still considerable. With hazing operations already in full swing we need to be able to have the kitchen ready immediately so that people can be well fed to put their energy into patrols. If you can donate any of the items on this list please let us know with a phone call or an e-mail as soon as possible!
Thanks for the love and kindness,
10 and 20 quart stainless steel stockpots with lids
Stainless steel hotel pans with lids (deep and regular size)
20-24" professional sautee pans
Large stainless steel pressure cooker
Industrial strength food processor (robocoup)
Kitchen Aid mixer
Champion juicer Large peanut grinder to (make our own peanut butter)
Industrial size coffee grinder
4 lg. hot pots for transporting hot liquids
2-4 quality cleavers
Non-aluminum hot water maker(for tea)
Large stainless coffee percolator
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I will be posting articles on the Yellowstone region on the discussion forum, especially AP stories reported in the Casper Star-Tribune. This paper has a lot of useful stories, especially from the Grand Teton region, but they roll their stories off every few days. I want them up much longer. This discussion forum only rolls off as it gets too large.
Buffalo Field Campaign
Update From the Field
October 31, 2002
Have you ever just stared up into a snowstorm? Well today, I think I spent too much time doing it. I have always known that each snowflake has its own pattern and is different from all the others. Today I concentrated on how each one's flight is also unique. Some come down straight, some sway, some come sideways, some start down then go up and then back down, expressing their own freedom of flight. There is no controlling the freedom of a snowflake. Unfortunately, if you have four hooves and you leave an arbitrary manmade boundary your freedom is limited.
Some of us two leggeds do not have much freedom either, and local law enforcement officials here in West Yellowstone Montana make sure of it. In our efforts to document the slaughter of the only free ranging buffalo with continuously wild ancestry, our rights seem to be nonexistent. This week marked the third time in recent months that an illegally arrested BFC volunteer had his charges thrown out of court. Vince Godby, arrested in May for trying to document the buffalo slaughter, had to waste six months of his life dealing with this illegal arrest before his charges were dropped. Meanwhile the guilty sheriff still walks the streets and continues his unlawful ways.
On the front lines the DOL gave the taxpayers a break this week, they only had one agent down here in West Yellowstone most of the week. The weather kept him indoors and in front of his TV for most of the time, with a couple of recons to justify his presence. On Thursday another agent showed up, disturbing the taxpayer funded vacation of the other agent. Today, once again a lone bull buffalo was pushed by DOL back towards the Park from Horse Butte. BFC volunteers followed the operation until the agents trespassed onto one of our supporters' yards. When we told them they were trespassing on a "buffalo safe zone" and that the owner did not want them there, the DOL lied and said that they had permission. This marks the second straight week in which DOL agents have violated private property rights and trespassed where they are not welcome. The local police have been informed and still have done nothing. The word justice around here seems to mean "just us." The good news is that once again the wise old bull buffalo outsmarted the DOL and disappeared into the woods.
Until the buffalo are once again free we will stand strong with them.
With the Buffalo,
The response to our requests for kitchen equipment continues to be wonderful. A special thanks to Francis Carroll who sent us a brand new stainless steel coffee percolator and three big pots.....what an incredible act of kindness! Francis please contact us with your address so we can send you a proper thank you.
We are in full swing with food production and things are getting easier as the supplies come in, but we could still use a few things. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to help supply our kitchen. If you can help in any way please let us know. Whatever you can give will be put to heavy use for years to come.
Thanks again to all you wonderful folks out there who love the buffalo.
Greetings! Friend of the Buffalo -
Just a reminder that BFC is a grassroots group. That means you and your efforts are vital to help us truly protect the last wild buffalo. With winter settling in, please take a moment and evaluate what you can commit to doing for the Buffalo!
Can you commit to:
* one letter and one 37 cent stamp a week to write an official responsible for this travesty?
* 2 weeks in West Yellowstone?
* asking a local business to host a Bucks for Buffalo spare change jar?
* hosting a showing of our video and distributing newsletters in your community?
* collecting computer cartridges and recycling them for the buffalo?
* passing these updates on to your friends and family and newsgroups that you are on?
* posting a link to our website?
* holding a fundraiser for the buffalo?
Each of these actions can help! We don't have any fancy offices or high paid staff - just dedicated volunteers working 365 days a year to win true protection for the last wild buffalo. Contact us with any questions or ideas. Together we can make a difference!
For The Buffalo