Author Archive for Jim Macdonald

08 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 .  Please check us out


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


1. We decided to purchase the domain name to be the home of our new Web site. (for now, keep using )
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
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.

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.


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,
Legislative/Legal – Mel,
Solidarity with Other Groups – Chris,


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



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 .

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 –

Legislative / Legal: Mel –

Solidarity with Allied Groups: Chris –


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


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.


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.


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


Bozeman residents come out for the buffalo and plan next organizing steps: Next meeting set for April 9 for action on buffalo and other local issues

“Fighting for the Buffalo” - March 26, 2008Last night, at Montana State University, local residents joined Mike Mease of Buffalo Field Campaign for a couple short films and a discussion of the buffalo slaughter in and near Yellowstone National Park. This winter, more than 1,200 buffalo – a record number and more than 1/4 of the entire herd – have been killed. The event featured a short narrated film showing the hazing of buffalo and their treatment at capture facilities. Later it also featured new footage of wild elk in capture facilities near Pinedale, Wyoming (see story about their capture). The point being that even the elk – wildlife prized by hunters – are increasingly being harassedBuffalo by government agencies and compromised as wildlife.

The night also brought news of the arrest of two volunteers with Buffalo Field Campaign, who locked themselves down in the Visitor’s Center at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. Mike Mease, the featured speaker, reported CNN as being on the scene taking footage of the event. CNN had also interviewed Mike, who says that it will probably air sometime next week.

There were two dozen people in attendance, most of whom were sympathetic to the cause of the buffalo. A spirited discussion took place on the exact cause of the problem, the role of brucellosis in the problem, and the influence of the livestock industry in preventing solutions to the problem. Mease pondered why it was that vaccinated cows in the Tetons have been able to co-exist with bison infected with brucellosis without a single transmission of brucellosis, and yet in Montana, the common sense solutions that might allow bison to wander while protecting livestock interests have been ignored. The general trend in the conversation was that brucellosis was not the real issue behind the slaughter.Elk being harrassed at a capture facility

From the standpoint of Bozeman activists, the exciting part of the evening was seeing the energy for various next steps. More details will be forthcoming, but those interested in pursuing actions locally on the buffalo and other local issues related to environmental, economic, and social justice will be meeting Wednesday, April 9, at 7 PM in the Montana State University Student Union Building. To find out more, to get involved, and to post and receive announcements related to activism in Bozeman, please sign up for the listserve by sending a blank email to And, keep checking

A few further notes about the group in formation.

1. The intention of the group, as understood by those organizing it – subject to change by the group itself – is that it will focus not simply on the buffalo but on all issues of concern from an environmental, economic, and/or social justice perspective.

2. This new group has no and will have no designated leaders (over the whole group) and will make decisions based on some form of consensus process.

3. All ideas are welcome; if you have something to offer, bring it. The group belongs to everyone, and we welcome all energy and a diversity of means for bringing about action.

4. We aim to be a community encouraging action; bring that spirit with you when you get involved. We may not all be energized by everyone else’s ideas or may not agree with each other, but let’s not dampen the energy of others and do what we can do to support them.

5. We aim for an organizing space where people are respectful of each other and encourage others to step forward and speak out. As much as we can to empower the space for everyone to have a say, we will do that. If it means breaking into smaller groups so voices are heard, making sure that some of us who talk more talk a little less, then that’s what we’ll do to meet our goal.

So, come out on Wednesday, April 9. Wherever you are in our local region, whoever you are, if you have a passion for something and want to see it through, wander on in. We know we’ll be talking about buffalo, but what else? That’s up to you!


MEDIA ADVISORY – “Fighting for the Buffalo” film and discussion – March 26 in Bozeman


Contact: Chris Klatt
March 23, 2008

“Fighting for the Buffalo” – Film and Discussion on the Bison Slaughter in Yellowstone
Local Bozeman residents organizing for the buffalo and other local environmental, economic and social justice concerns

(Bozeman, MT – March 23, 2008) A record number of buffalo – 1100 and growing – have been killed in and around Yellowstone National Park this winter. Mike Mease of Buffalo Field Campaign will join concerned Bozeman residents in presenting a film and discussion on the buffalo slaughter. The discussion will be focused on what local residents can do toward ending the slaughter and supporting a wild and free roaming buffalo population. The film, which looks at the on-the-ground realities of the buffalo hunt, hazing and slaughter, is Wednesday, March 26, 7 PM, at Montana State University’s Procrastinator Theater.


WHO: Mike Mease, co-founder Buffalo Field Campaign

WHAT: Organized in partnership with local Bozeman residents (see, short films documenting the hazing and killing of buffalo in and around Yellowstone National Park, with a discussion on what local residents can do to help stop the slaughter of bison and promote a free-ranging population. Admission is open to the public and is free of charge.

WHERE: Procrastinator Theater
Linfield Hall, Room 125
Montana State University
S. 11th Avenue, Bozeman, MT

WHEN: 7PM, Wednesday, March 26, 2008

WHY: Because the slaughter of buffalo has gone on for so long and because we in the Gallatin Valley live so close to what is happening, the need to organize at the local level on this and other inter-related issues is important. The film and discussion to follow is meant to be an education for those unfamiliar with the situation, an update on the current slaughter from the point of view of those working to stop it, and a tool toward organizing a local grassroots group. The new consensus-based group will focus on issues related to the buffalo, as well as other local environmental, economic and social justice concerns.

For more information about the event, please see, or contact Chris Klatt by phone at 406-599-3629 or by email at