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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


An essay about the need for local activism in Bozeman

One of the people helping organize this effort, Jim Macdonald, has written an essay entitled Revolution of the small: The uselessness of global action and the need to take local action (here in Bozeman, Montana).  In the essay, Jim plugs our film and discussion on March 26, emphasizing the empowerment that comes from smaller local organizing as opposed to electoral politics, filling out online petitions, giving money to large national organizations, or by trying to influence private industry through one’s wallet.  Instead, efforts like this film and discussion can be used to find our voice a different way, namely the kind that comes from organizing in smaller groups where each of us has a voice.

Check out his essay, and don’t forget to come on Wednesday.  For more details, go here.  And, go here if you would like to download some flyers.


Downloadable flyers for – “Fighting for the Buffalo” – film and discussion

032008_buffalo_teach-in.jpgSince we announced our teach-in on March 26, a lot more buffalo in Yellowstone have been sent to slaughter and/or captured. When the newest batch of buffalo is shipped to slaughter, the Associated Press says that the total of dead will soon be 1,090 dead buffalo.

For us, this makes the event all the more poignant and necessary. While we fully plan on taking on issues of environmental, economic, and social justice over and above the plight of America’s buffalo in Yellowstone, it’s important for those of us working on this project that stopping the slaughter and providing the means for a wild and free roaming population of wild bison be part of that effort.

Please help us get the word out. We have created a flyer for you to download and distribute. Below, you can download a full page and a quarter page flyer to get out the word. Send the announcement to listserves and mailing lists that you are on. Bring some friends. And, if you want to help organize this and be part of a group that works on these and other issues, please contact us. The first step is to join the information listserve we have organized. If you cannot come to the event, this will be an important way to stay in touch. If you can come to the event, our hope is to know you so that we can plan initial organizing meetings.

This group can be what you want it to be. Let’s make it happen. Too many buffalo are dying, and those who have labored so long to stop the slaughter need our support.

Below are the flyers. Click on the image of the full page and quarter page flyers, print them and help us distribute. If you create your own flyers, we’d be happy to post them here as well.

Thanks again for all of your help and hope to see you all on March 26.

full page flyer quarter-page flyer


Fighting for the Buffalo – discussion and film – March 26, 7 PM, in Bozeman

By early March, more than 800 of the buffalo living in and around Yellowstone National Park will have been killed. Concerned residents of Bozeman are beginning to organize to stop the slaughter and hazing of these magnificent creatures.

As we organize in Bozeman for the buffalo and other local issues, you are invited to attend a discussion, with Mike Mease of Buffalo Field Campaign, featuring a film documenting recent years in the bison’s struggle. This event will happen Wednesday, March 26, 7 PM, at Montana State University’s Procrastinator Theater (in Linfield 125 – on S. 11th Ave).

Mike Mease is the co-founder of Buffalo Field Campaign, a year round grassroots organization actively in the field trying to document and stop the slaughter of buffalo in and around Yellowstone.

All are welcome to attend, and admission is free.

For those interested, we will be organizing a meeting following the presentation to consider next steps.

For any other information, please sign up for the Bozeman Activist listserve by sending a blank email to:

For any particular questions, contact Chris Klatt at:

This presentation is being organized by local Bozeman residents with the intention of building a grassroots consensus-based activist organization concerned with environmental, economic and social justice issues in Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley. The possibilities are endless, and all with a heart for justice are encouraged to get involved.