Buffalo Field Campaign
News From the Field. June 6, 2002

In This Issue:

* Update From the Field 6/6/02
* Press Release: Two Bull Bison Shot Near West Yellowstone
* to all...

* Update From the Field 6/6/02

Looking into big bull buffalo eyes you can almost see the future. They hold stories of freedom and wondering, of never giving up, yet being so calm and passive that tiny birds can live on their back. Buffalo Field Campaign volunteers spend weeks on end getting to be with you, learning of your playfulness and always giving spirit, the gift you give to all of us.

On June 5, 2002 the Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) brought out their guns to end this season. Two big bull buffalo were the MDOL's target. One was on public lands on the Gallatin National forest, the other was on the private ranch of the Munn's family. The Munn's were the permitees of the grazing allotments on Horse Butte that were canceled by a fedreal judge in Washington DC, pending an environmental impact statement to be written by the Forest Service.

The bull already had been captured, tested, shaved, tagged and released by MDOL after testing negative for the disease. Out of the 202 buffalo killed this season 135 were not been tested for the disease. This sends a clear message that the MDOL is not worried about disease, they just want to kill buffalo.

The buffalo that wander into the state of Montana are not Montana's buffalo. They belong to all Americans. They are our last wild, free roaming, and genetically pure buffalo in our country. One of the only truths taught to us in our History books is the slaughter the millions of buffalo from this continent. Here we are 130 years later doing the same thing, with only the cattle interests in mind. It is time to stop. BFC is committed to fight for the rights of the buffalo until justice prevails. We cannot do this without your support. Please continue to write letters, make phone calls, spread the word and donate if you can. Know that together we are making a difference.

With the Buffalo,
Mike Mease

Buffalo Field Campaign
P.O. Box 957 West Yellowstone, Mt. 59758
Phone (406) 646-0070 Fax (406) 646-0071
E-mail buffalo@wildrockies.org.

Contact: Mike Mease (406) 646-0070

Two Bull Bison Shot Near West Yellowstone

West Yellowstone, MT: Montana Department of Livestock agents shot and killed two bull bison in the West Yellowstone area on Wednesday afternoon. One bull was killed on private land at Horse Butte, the other on National Forest Land east of Highway 20. These were the first bison shot in Montana since a bull was killed at Red Canyon last December.

BFC spokesperson Mike Mease said, " This is just one more example that this slaughter has nothing to do with brucellosis. Of the 202 buffalo killed this year, 135 were never even tested for the disease."

A recent court ruling has barred cattle grazing at Horse Butte until Gallatin National Forest completes an Environmental Impact Statement to reauthorize the grazing allotments there. With no cattle in the area, it is unnecessary to kill bison that leave Yellowstone National Park.

BFC volunteer Joe Strusz said, "These agents have no heart, and as long as they keep killing, I'll be here to try and stop it."

The Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) is the only group working in the field, everyday, to stop the slaughter of Yellowstone's wild buffalo. Video and still photos available.



to all...

I often ask myself if the planet is just going to boot the humans out, if the Earth will purge itself of all the degradation. I pray for a hard rain tonight, a hard cleansing rain after what i've witnessed today. There is much blood on the soil today. On such a beautiful summer afternoon in Yellowstone, gunshots rang loud like thunder in the desert, and the Earth lost two incredible buffalo.

The details you can read in the press release... all I feel and know is emptyness. Loss. Helplessness. But I know that if myself and the other volunteers weren't documenting, the world wouldn't even HEAR about this terrible event, and maybe they wouldn't be out there shooting bison. I watched the two huge buffalo pass by on the trailer, exposed on a flat bed to all who wanted to see. One was starting to bloat, the other had blood dripping from its nostrils and head. They drug them with a winch into the Duck Creek capture facility where they butchered them, with no ceremony, no respect, no gratitude. And hauled it all off in the backs of white men's pick up trucks. To go where? Who knows? All I know is hours before, these bison were roaming, their hooves in the earth, their bellies full.

I am pretty numb at this point. These men, those who call themselves upholders of the law and represent us as government officials, have tasted and smelled blood after their killing party today. Department of Livestock. Fish Wildlife Parks. Park Service. Forest Service. Zero tolerance.

As I close, I hear rain outside. My hope was fulfilled. All the blood shed today will sink deep into the soil.
Someday, the buffalo will roam free.