07
May
08

BuffaloAllies.org new Web site

Our new group, Buffalo Allies of Bozeman, has just moved to a new Web site.  All further posts and information to the group are being posted there, including events calendars, more about the group, resources and information related to the buffalo in Yellowstone, essays, etc.

We’re now at http://www.buffaloallies.org .  Please check us out

01
May
08

Buffalo Allies of Bozeman (BAB) meeting decisions and highlights for April 30, 2008

These are the highlights from last night’s Buffalo Allies of Bozeman (BAB) meeting. To get more involved with our group, please join out announcement listserve by sending a blank email to bab-announce-subscribe@lists.riseup.net.

Media/Outreach:

1. We decided to purchase the domain name buffaloallies.org to be the home of our new Web site. (for now, keep using http://bozemanactivist.wordpress.com )
2. We decided to host the new Web site on a server owned by a friend of Jim’s at no cost, though we are donating $50.
3. We decided to create two listserves, a moderated announcement and an unmoderated discussion list (see previous emails – or for more information, email Jim at jsmacdonald@riseup.net.)
4. We decided to give specific administrative and content decisions regarding Web and listserves over to the Media/Outreach working group, though any member may raise the issue and propose changes at any full meeting.
5. We decided to draft a press release for the group to review, amend, and approve at the next meeting. A draft will be posted to the listserve (discuss, if it is ready) before the next meeting.
6. The working group will next meet in combination with the Solidarity with Other Groups working group on Monday at 2 PM at Jim’s house (424 S. Bozeman Ave.) Anyone, that includes newcomers, are invited to participate.

Legislative/Legal:
1. No decisions or meetings announced; however, Joe made us aware that Montana FWP met at 9:30 AM this morning (Thursday) to talk about what to do with quarantined calves.

Solidarity with Other Groups:

1. Outreach is ongoing with groups such as HOBNOBS (Horse Butte neighbors), Bear Creek Council (in Gardiner), outside tourists interested in making public statements this summer in Yellowstone.
2. Group decided to host a potluck supper on May 25 in a local Bozeman park (TBD), sponsored by Buffalo Allies of Bozeman (we will have an information table there); group also explored ways to invite Bozeman’s homeless population for the food.
3. To plan the potluck and discuss other working group issues (for example, mapping work as a service to other groups, getting supplies for BFC), will be meeting on Monday at 2 PM at Jim’s house (424 S. Bozeman Ave.) Again, all are welcome to participate. Please help.

Campaign:

1. Chris presented two possible campaigns for BAB to focus our work on; “Buffalo are wildlife!” and “Brucellosis is a myth”; group saw advantages of rolling the latter into the former, with some focus on the recent CUT deal and the IBMP in general. Chris will incorporate changes to the proposal, present them in draft form via the listserve (discuss, if it’s ready and has adequate membership), and propose it at next Wednesday’s meeting.

Outreach discussion:

1. Group discussed ways to involve more people in the group. Group talked about more tabling, making the press release a media event, and more educational events (as well as venues). It was generally agreed that people would be more likely to help planning if there were specific activities in which to plug into.

Once again, here are the working group point people. Contact them if you are interested or have questions about becoming more involved.

Media/Outreach – Jim, jsmacdonald@riseup.net
Legislative/Legal – Mel, redmellie@gmail.com
Solidarity with Other Groups – Chris, lodgepole@riseup.net

25
Apr
08

Buffalo Allies of Bozeman Meeting Notes April 23, 2008

Buffalo Allies of Bozeman
April 23, 2008
7 PM
Montana State University Student Union Building (2nd floor cafeteria – NW corner)

Meeting Notes
Attendees: 5
Facilitator: Mel

Introductions

Updates:

Group discussed the deal made for grazing rights with the Church Universal & Triumphant, the history of the IBMP, and the high numbers of dead buffalo, including worries for their current condition.

Group Name:

Group considered several names, including:

Bozeman Organizing Group (BOG)
Bozeman Activist Group (BOB)
Bozeman Is Seriously Organizing Now (BISON)
Bozeman Bison Support Group (BoBiSG)
Bozeman Allies for Bison (BAB)
Bison Allies in Bozeman (BAB)
Allies for the Buffalo in the Bozeman Area (ABBA)
Bozeman For Living Organisms (BFLO)
Bozeman Supporting Nature (BSN)
Gallatin Conservation Alliance (GCA)
Yellowstone Conservation Alliance (YCA)
Yellowstone Environmental Alliance (YEA)
Gallatin Allies for Buffalo / Bison (GAB)

In the first cut, the group agreed that bison (or buffalo) should be in the title of the group. That eliminated several names. Using an instant run-off voting process (with preferential voting), the winner was Bozeman Allies for Bison (BAB).

A friendly amendment was accepted to change the name to Bozeman Allies for Buffalo.

The group reached agreement on this name by consensus; however, later in the meeting, a group member proposed that we go with a slight revision of one of the other choices, Buffalo Allies of Bozeman.

The new name was accepted with unanimous consent.

From this meeting forward, our group is named Buffalo Allies of Bozeman (BAB)

Mission Statement:

A strawman mission statement was proposed to the group:

We are a consensus-based grassroots organization in the Bozeman, Montana area focused on:
- stopping the slaughter and hazing of Yellowstone’s wild buffalo herds;
- promoting the natural expansion of free-roaming buffalo outside of Yellowstone National Park;
- protecting the natural habitat of the buffalo herds;
- allying with and giving solidarity to groups working on related missions; and,
- supporting a diversity of strategies and tactics to achieve the previous tenets of our mission.

The group considered the proposed mission. One member suggested adding a tenet: “acquiring buffalo range into public ownership.” However, this was not added because it was considered to be implicit in the 2nd and 3rd tenets. Also, it was urged by one member that this was a strategy for those tenets that would be possibly proposed later in the group by the final tenet.

Friendly amendments were accepted to delete the word “natural” before “expansion in the 2nd tenet as well as changing the word “protecting” in the 3rd tenet to “conserving.”

The mission that was unanimously consented to with friendly amendments:

Buffalo Allies of Bozeman is a consensus-based grassroots organization in the Bozeman, Montana area focused on:

- stopping the slaughter and hazing of Yellowstone’s wild buffalo herds;
- promoting the expansion of free-roaming buffalo outside of Yellowstone National Park;
- conserving the natural habitat of the buffalo herds;
- allying with and giving solidarity to groups working on related missions; and,
- supporting a diversity of strategies and tactics to achieve the previous tenets of our mission.

Table at Gallatin Earth Celebration:

The group had previously agreed to table at the Gallatin Earth Celebration. An ad-hoc working group was created to ensure our presence and materials for the event.

Chris discussed the needs for the event, including creating a banner, the sorts of flyers needed, etc. Chris offered to pay for the $10 tabling fee.

Our table is in Bogart Park from 10 AM – 3 PM. Those interested in helping should contact Chris at lodgepole@riseup.net .

Refining target proposal:

At a previous meeting, a member had proposed that we consider a target (or campaign) for the group to consider so that the working groups and members of the group could focus their various strategies and the tactics in service of them.

That proposal had been tabled so that the member could make a concrete proposal on the issue.

This week, the member came back and proposed that we consent to the idea of a target / campaign approach to our group. By this idea it was not meant to exclude the group from working on broader issues related to the buffalo, merely that as a matter of process, that going with this approach would help focus and unify the work of the working groups.

Some possible targets and campaigns might include:

  1. Working to fight against / inform the public about the latest CUT deal
  2. Buffalo Field Campaign support
  3. Exposing the myth of brucellosis

A fourth was also suggested: a legislative focus working on changing the law to respect buffalo as wildlife in Montana and eliminating their classification as a disease-control issue. Whether this is a strategy or a target/campaign was left open.

It was consented to that this member would write to the listserve explaining the approach and offering up a detailed explanation of the various targets or campaigns we might pursue. The hope is that the next meeting might come to consensus around a campaign or target, or at least move forward on it.

The group consented to using the target approach as our process for figuring out next action steps.

Working groups:

At the previous meeting, the group consented to three standing working groups:

  1. Media / Outreach (which includes Web and technology and meeting logistics)
  2. Legislative / Legal (which includes support of the Gallatin Wildlife Association legislative initiatives)
  3. Solidarity with Allied Groups (which among groups includes at least Buffalo Field Campaign).

The group called for volunteers for point people. Point people are responsible for moving the work forward of the working groups, working to build the working groups, and organizing meetings for those groups. The working groups should be working to bring proposals back to the main group so that they can move forward with their work.

The point people are:

Media / Outreach: Jim – jsmacdonald@riseup.net

Legislative / Legal: Mel – redmellie@gmail.com

Solidarity with Allied Groups: Chris – lodgepole@riseup.net

Announcements

Next Meeting: Wednesday, April 30, 2008
7 PM
Place: MSU Student Union Building 2nd floor cafeteria (NW corner)
Facilitator: Chris

To join our list, please send a blank email to bozeman-activist-subscribe@lists.riseup.net

23
Apr
08

Buffalo Allies of Bozeman is born; mission adopted

At tonight’s meeting, local Bozeman activists, focusing on the Yellowstone buffalo situation have adopted a name and a mission.

We are now the Buffalo Allies of Bozeman.

Here is our mission adopted tonight.

Buffalo Allies of Bozeman is a consensus-based grassroots organization in the Bozeman, Montana area focused on:

- stopping the slaughter and hazing of Yellowstone’s wild buffalo herds;

- promoting the expansion of free-roaming buffalo outside of Yellowstone National Park;

- conserving the natural habitat of the buffalo herds;

- allying with and giving solidarity to groups working on related missions; and,

- supporting a diversity of strategies and tactics to achieve the previous tenets of our mission.

16
Apr
08

April 16 meeting notes

Thanks to everyone who could make it tonight.

Here is a quick summary of the major decisions made this week:

- We will be tabling the Gallatin Earth Celebration on April 26th from 10am to 3pm in Bogert Park
– We will break out into three standing working groups:
    * media/outreach
    * legislative
    * cooperation/support strategies for allied groups
– An ad hoc working group for the tabling event was created, and Chris is the point of contact (POC)
– We will meet again next Wednesday night, April 23rd at 7 PM at the same location (MSU Student Union Building, 2nd floor cafeteria in the NW corner) – Mel will facilitate for the first hour, and Jim M. the second hour.

The following decisions will be made in the next meeting, so please be prepared to weigh in on the following:
– our group name (see suggestions below, and please propose additional names)
– our focus within the broader scope of the buffalo issue

In detail, here are the meeting notes.

Facilitator – Alex R.
Present – 7

7pm – 7:05 meeting opening, introductions, review of agenda

7:05 – 7:25 updates
– There is a meeting between YNP Supernintendo Suzanne Lewis and Governor Brian Schweitzer tomorrow at the Gallatin Field Airport at 1:30, where they will be speaking on the Interagency Bison Management Plan.
– The Prayer Ceremony at the Stephens Creek facility yesterday was well attended (110+ people), discussed possible strategies in Bozeman with other organizers such as targeting the Clinton and Obama offices in town
– Slaughter count is nearly 1600 now, as almost 100 more have been shipped from Stephens Creek this week.

7:25 – 8:20 agenda items
– Table at Gallatin Earth Celebration
    * Interest in using Glenn’s map, create flyers, etc
    * create ad hoc working group to work on table
    * consensus was reached in tabling this event
    * unresolved issues – $10 fee, group name required, statement of our connection to “sustainability”
– “Targets”, or structuring campaigns around particular issues within the scope of broader buffalo issue
    * idea that these would increase focus on particular groups or strategies, such as:
        > CUT deal
        > brucellosis myth
        > bison classification
        > legislators with undesireable voting records
        > agencies (DoL, NPS, FWP, FS, APHIS)
    * concern that this “targeting” focus would create limitations on future diversity of actions
    * response to concern that care would be taken to allow for multiple targets, non-restriction and flexibility
    * interest in creating a mission statement, next week proposal
    * interest in refining target proposal, list generation and discussion next week
– Working groups
    * proposed that we create three groups
        > media and outreach, also involved in public education
        > legislative, involved in legal aspects, possible lobbying efforts, petitioning
        > cooperative strategies and support for allied groups, including BFC,
GWA, and Bear Creek Council
    * interest in flexibility dynamic to allow for issue-oriented work, rotations
    * volunteer points of contact (POCs) to be determined for groups
    * consensus on the establishment of proposed three working groups

8:20 – 8:50 group name decision making
– proposal to determine names from list using instant runoff voting
– consensus on using this decision-making process for determining group name
– suggested list for next week IRV (please add to list by next week!):
    * Bozeman Activist Group (BOG – the Cranberry People!)
    * Bozeman Organizing for Bison (BOB)
    * Bozeman Is Seriously Organizing Now (BISON)
    * Bozeman Bison Support Group (BoBiSG)
    * Bozeman Allies for Bison or Bison Allies in Bozeman (BAB)
    * consensus on IRV decision next Wednesday, contributions from other group members pending.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, April 23, 2008
7 PM
Place: MSU Student Union Building 2nd floor cafeteria (NW corner)
Facilitator: Mel S. (1st hour) and Jim M. (2nd hour).

10
Apr
08

Bozeman activist group meeting notes April 9, 2008

I’ve typed up and made some small edits to Mel’s excellent meeting notes (thanks, Mel!).  For those of you not there or not on the list, I want to highlight a few major points in the notes:

1. The group decided to have a central focus on the Yellowstone buffalo situation.
2. The group decided, for now, to continue using the consensus process.
3. The group decided to meet next Wednesday, April 16, 7 PM at the same location (MSU Student Union Building, 2nd floor cafeteria in the NW corner) – Alex will facilitate (thanks, Alex!)

In more detail, here are the meeting notes.

Bozeman ad hoc activist group meeting
April 9, 2008
7 PM
Montana State University Student Union Building (2nd floor cafeteria – NW corner)

Meeting Notes
Attendees: 8
Facilitator: Jim M.

Introductions: 7 – 7:15 PM

Overview of Consensus Process: 7:15 – 7:25 PM

- group makes decision together, not majority rule

- people raise concerns

- proposal modified to meet concerns

- blocking concern – a concern that can’t be met w/compromise (will kill proposal, very serious)

- standing aside – when there are still concerns, no opinion (does not kill proposal)

- process is not set in stone for the group; can be changed as group evolves

Agenda: 7:25 – 7:30

- discussion whether or not to have break out session

- we will see what issues are brought up and then decide from there

Bison update: 7:30 – 7:50

- overview of management plan and recent news

What is this group: 7:50 – 8:30

- Share activities the group is interested in

o Ideas:

§ 1. action to take w/bison

§ 2. Free market in the park

· Would be a good way for the group to advertise concerns

§ 3. Free school at MSU

· Dance, bike maintenance, education on issues, etc.

§ 4. Our group could help us connect to local issues and other active groups, ways to bring those groups together.

§ 5. petition related to bison management

o Talk over ideas

§ 1. Free market:

· Concern – labeling by others because of “socialist” values

· Concern – not enough time for individuals to give energy

· Concern – will it spread group too thin, should we have multiple paths

§ 2. Should this group have multiple small groups or one main concern (e.g., bison).

· Focus on bison is the main reason most people are at meeting

· Or allow the group to expand

o Decision – Discussion:

§ 1. Should we focus on bison in Yellowstone?

· Group was okay w/focusing and name would reflect that

· Bison are primary reason why this group is here

· Free market/college maybe for another group

· We should allow our group to evolve

· As to the free market, 1st date (May 1) would be a symbolic act then could lead to further dates and could be used to advertise bison issue

o Descision – Consensus

§ Everyone in the group (with no stand asides) agreed that the purpose of the new Bozeman organizing group would be the Yellowstone bison.

Goals: 8:30 – 8:55 (Discussion ideas that came out by individual members)

- focus on YNP, keep other bison issues in mind

- Create a digitalmap that describes issues

- Get issue out to public

- Use skills of members to optimize contribution to bison issue

- Disseminate info

- Support Buffalo Field Campaign specifically

- Support legislative agenda for bison

- Support a diversity of tactics and strategies (legislative, solidarity with other groups, direct action) depending on energy of group

Next Meeting: Wednesday, April 16, 2008
7 PM
Place: MSU Student Union Building 2nd floor cafeteria (NW corner)
Facilitator: Alex R.

The group agreed to continue using the consensus process.

Announcements:

Tuesday, April 15, Chief Arvol Looking Horse prayer service for buffalo (near Gardiner at Stephens Creek Road)

University pow-wow May 2 – 3 at MSU

Bring proposals for actions, a name for the group, and other group-defining ideas next week

07
Apr
08

Meeting this Wednesday, April 9th at 7 PM

Wednesday, April 9th at 7 PM in the Strand Union Building on the MSU Campus

Look for us in the cafeteria near the northwest side of the 2nd floor!

As many of you may be aware, the count of buffalo slaughtered by the DoL and NPS is now over 1400. This is more than 300 animals from when we last met two weeks ago! While the relentless slaughter continues, there are forces of opposition converging. Our initial meeting allowed us to get to know each other, and we know we aren’t alone in our shock and disbelief. Let’s channel that energy into some concrete ideas about how we can raise awareness and make our voices heard.

While the buffalo bring us together, we also have much to learn from each other, and each one of us has something unique to contribute to the group. To prevent a power imbalance and to allow for everyone to contribute their ideas equally, we will initially work in a consensus-based decision making process that allows us all to give input into the actions we decide to take. In addition to strategies to create awareness or contribute to efforts in stopping the bison slaughter, please take the time to think of the changes you would like to see in our community. There are many folks in the valley volunteering for a lot of great causes. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel, but what will make our group unique is the way in which we make decisions democratically. No presidents or officers will be elected, and we will not be governed by a board. It is up to each one of us to make this work!

If you haven’t done so already, sign up on the listserv by sending an email to bab-announce-subscribe@lists.riseup.net .

Please come prepared to speak to the following issues:
– what effective actions we can take to stop the slaughter
– what kinds of environmental or social justice issues need to be addressed by our group
– what kinds of creative events can we participate in to get our message across
– events taking place that would be of interest to the group
– ideas for the name of our group

We hope to see you all Wednesday!




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