buffalo field campaign yellowstone bison slaughter Buffalo Field Campaign
West Yellowstone, Montana
Working in the field every day to stop the
slaughter of Yellowstone's wild free roaming buffalo

Total Yellowstone
Buffalo Killed
Since 1985
7,842
(past counts)

Yellowstone Bison Slaughter
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Weekly Update from the Field February 28, 2008
Subscribe to our email list and receive our weekly Update from the Field
* Citizen Blockade Closes Horse Butte Trap for 15 Hours!
* Update from the Field
* BFC's Responds to Lousy "Deal" Proposed for Bison on CUT Land
* Thank You Idaho State University!
* Photo of the Week
* Last Words

* Citizen Blockade Closes Horse Butte Trap for 15 Hours!
On Monday morning, Horse Butte patrols arrived to see an amazing sight. When they approached the area of the Horse Butte bison trap, they saw a 40-foot bipod holding bison advocate, Nathan Drake, up on a platform inside the trap. Suspended from his platform was a large banner that read: "I called, I wrote, and no response.... This is my response." It was a beautiful sight, and by taking this direct action, Nate rendered the trap inoperable for 15 hours. He was even visited by a young buffalo, who broke through the police tape surrounding the trap site. Around 4pm that afternoon, agents arrived to discover their buffalo trap was closed. Unfortunately, within about two hours, he was cruelly removed by deputized Department of Livestock inspectors, Gallatin National Forest law enforcement officers, and a Gallatin County Sheriff. He was charged with three misdemeanors: trespassing, resisting arrest, and obstructing a peace officer. He was released on $5,000 bail, an enormous amount for such an action.

Nathan Drake is among our heros. As others have before him, he felt strongly enough to put his life and freedom on the line for the buffalo. And he also did this for each and every one of us who have raised our voices time and again in protest, going through the channels of democracy, without being heard.

Here is Nate's statement, his story about why he did it, and what happened while he was up there.
http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/media/press0708/pressreleases0708/statement022808.html

Footage of Nate's occupation of the trap, and subsequent removal can be viewed on our home page: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org.

WE LOVE YOU AND THANK YOU, NATE!!!!
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* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
It is always so difficult to begin these updates by telling you more buffalo have been killed, despite all of our collective efforts to stop the slaughter. Even despite the direct action taken by Nathan Drake. But we won't let this dampen our fire. Instead, we will turn the heat up on the decision-makers responsible, holding them accountable for these atrocious actions, and demand the slaughter to stop. We will do this until they have no choice but to hear us and take appropriate actions that set the buffalo free. We can't thank you all enough for being a voice for the last wild buffalo and for continuing to fight for their freedom.

Keep it up: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/politicians.html

Since February 11, Yellowstone National Park and the Montana Department of Livestock have slaughtered 505 of America's last wild buffalo. Yellowstone Park Rangers have captured 607 wild buffalo in the Stephens Creek bison trap, located inside Yellowstone National Park.

The day after Nate was removed from the bipod, the Department of Livestock showed spite. They captured 30 buffalo in the Horse Butte trap, then transported them to the Duck Creek bison trap, and Wednesday morning they transported them all to slaughter. You can see video footage of an interview at Horse Butte with local buffalo advocate, Ann Stovall, during Nate's occupation, as well as footage of the DOL's capture here http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org.

All of the captured buffalo are being shipped to slaughter without even being tested for exposure to brucellosis, the supposed reason for the mismanagement scheme. But all the science and logic points directly to this *not* being about brucellosis at all, but about the grass and who gets to eat it. The cattle industry is trying to maintain control over grasslands, so taking beef off of your menu is another way you can help the buffalo. Don't give these killers your money!

Hunting has slowed down a bit since we last wrote, though three buffalo were taken by Nez Perce treaty hunters in Gardiner this week. Today, an interesting thing happened. The Nez Perce killed two buffalo on the West side of the Yellowstone River, outside the state's hunt zone. They took the buffalo in an area called Beattie Gulch, National Forest land that dissects the border of Yellowstone Park and Church Universal and Triumphant (CUT) land. While they were field dressing the buffalo, they saw 114 buffalo being hazed into the Stephens Creek bison trap by Park Rangers. They were very upset to see this happening, and we are hopeful that their witnessing this incident will encourage them to help us stop the government and cattle industry from such insane actions. BFC patrols documented the incident and got some good interviews with the Nez Perce hunters which we will have available on the web site by the weekend.
It's a very difficult time for all of us witnessing this buffalo death, but most importantly, it is difficult for the buffalo. We suffer with the buffalo, to be sure, and many volunteers are having a hard time processing all of this. But the buffalo teach us how to be a strong family, and so we are able to help each other through the dark times, so that we can carry on to help the buffalo. They are strong survivors, as is evidenced by the fact that they have existed since prehistoric times. In the face of it all, they persist, resist, and endure.

Some of you will recall about three years ago, a Lakota medicine man came and did a very sacred ceremony with us for the buffalo. He let us know then that things would get worse before they get better. We have been told the same by other Native American Buffalo Culture voices as well. And we are certainly seeing it happen. But things WILL get better. This will not go on forever. And as Rosalie Little Thunder recently said, the pendulum can only swing so far before it swings back in the other direction.

Roam Free,
~Stephany
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* BFC's Responds to Lousy "Deal" Proposed for Bison on CUT Land
Yesterday, Buffalo Field Campaign released a letter to the Church Universal and Triumphant and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks on a proposed 30-year lease to allow some captured, tested bison to be on Church lands from December 1 to April 15 west of the Yellowstone River from Beattie Gulch, on the Park's northern border, to Yankee Jim Canyon.

Buffalo Field Campaign has long advocated that wild bison migrating along the Yellowstone River in the Gardiner Basin be allowed to range on public lands under U.S. Forest Service authority, and lands acquired and conserved under the taxpayer funded $13,000,000 Royal Teton Ranch land deal agreed to in 1999 with the Church Universal and Triumphant.

There is a valid concern that what the public has already paid for with taxpayer money appropriated by the U.S. Congress - with no benefit to wild bison despite its promise to provide a "safe haven for the bison" - will be paid for again by the public through a multi-million dollar 30-year lease to remove cattle from Church Universal and Triumphant lands west of the Yellowstone River.

Buffalo Field Campaign encourages you to contact decision makers to let them know how you feel about the lack of accountability and the broken promises made in the taxpayer funded Royal Teton Ranch land deal.

Senator Max Baucus was instrumental in securing funding to acquire and conserve wildlife habitat on the Royal Teton Ranch in the Gardiner Basin, critical winter range for migrating bison. As long as Church cattle remain, the National Park Service will capture bison for slaughter inside Yellowstone National Park at Stephens Creek. So far this winter 631 bison have been captured and 475 slaughtered by the National Park Service.

Representative Nick J. Rahall, II and Representative Maurice Hinchey requested the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate and report on the Interagency Bison Management Plan, which covers the Royal Teton Ranch land deal.

The GAO's report is due to be released soon, and the findings will play an important role in formulating Congressional legislation to help protect America's last wild bison herd and its native habitat in Yellowstone.

BFC will soon have a web link up (http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/legal/rtr.html) sharing our letter and additional information you can use to inform yourself and contact your member of Congress. Stay tuned and check back over the weekend. Darrell Geist, BFC habitat coordinator------------------------------
* Thank You Idaho State University!
A special thanks to the staff, facility and students of the Sho-Ban High School for welcoming Mike Mease to visit and make a presentation about the Yellowstone buffalo. Also that night he spoke at Idaho State University sponsored by Portneuf Valley Audubon Society, Sierra Club and Student Volunteers for the Environment. An extra special thanks to David Mead and Mr. Cosgrove.
------------------------------
* Photo of the Week
Nathan Drake occupies and shuts down the Horse Butte bison trap for 15 hours. Outside the trap is DOL agent Shane Grube, wondering what to do about this little wrench in their buffalo killing plans.
http://gallery.buffalofieldcampaign.org/v/photo_of_the_week/HorseButteTrapClosed.jpg.html
------------------------------
* Last Words
We received this in response to Nathan Drake's occupation of the Horse Butte bison trap - thank you Sea Shepherd!"A Message of Solidarity from the crew of the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin off the coast of Antarctica.

From the 33 International volunteers on the Steve Irwin from Australia, New Zealand, Spain, the U.S.A., Canada, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Sweden and South Africa.
Good work with the buffalo mates.
There is a connection between your efforts to protect the bison and our efforts down her intervening against the Japanese whaling fleet. We have the killers shut down and on the run down here. Good luck and give the killers hell.

For the whales and for the buffalo.
Captain Paul Watson and the crew of the "Steve Irwin"

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