Special Alerts

---------Action Alert! Action Alert! Action Alert! Action Alert!------------

Please support the Western Shoshone and Goshute Shoshone Resistance
against U.S. Nuclear Weapons and waste dumping programs on Shoshone
Ancestral Land.

When: May 7-10th 2004

Where: Peace/Action Camp at the Nevada [Nuclear] Test Site Near
Mercury, Nevada.
65 Miles morthwest of Las Vegas, off Nevada Highway 95.

For a map and directions to the site, check on the web-

Link to "Mothers Day Gathering" at the top of the homepage.

Then link to "Directions to Peace Camp" at the bottom of the
Gathering Page

What: During this weekend, May 7-10, we will support the Western
Shoshone Nation and the Treaty of Ruby Valley, signed between the
Western Shoshone and the United States Government, during the
Mothers Day Gathering for All Life across from the main entrance to
the Nevada Test Site. This will be a weekend of Ceremony, Education,
Planning and Nonviolent Direct Action to challenge the Test Site's
existence and "Reclaim the Land for All Life."

These events are being organized with the guidance of the Western
Shoshone National Council and have a strict policy prohibiting
alcohol, drugs, and weapons. Please be respectful of the traditional
customs of Western Shoshone hosts. There will be daily sunrise
ceremonies and sweat lodges open to all.

Please go on the web for information about Western Shoshone customs
and protocol-


Link to "Mothers Day Gathering" at the top of the home page

Then link to "Ceremonies and Western Shoshone Protocol" at the
bottom of the Gathering page.

There will also be posters outlining camp protocols displayed at the
registration tent located near the camp entrance. As well, we will
be distributing information packets at the registration tent for
participants to keep for reference. Camp staff will also be on hand
to answer questions and help the event go smoothly.

Why: This past year the U.S. Government has made moves to resume
full scale nuclear weapons testing and to open the Yucca Mountain
nuclear waste dump in Newe Sogobia, the Western Shoshone Nation, and
to move forward with the world's largest "temporary" high-level
nuclear waste dump on Goshute Shoshone land in Utah.

Newe Sogobia is already the most bombed nation on earth. Since 1951
over 1000 full-scale nuclear weapons explosions have shook the
desert here. Sub-critical nuclear weapons testing continue here, and
the Nevada Test Site has become the US Government's largest low-
level nuclear waste dump.

The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump is located in the heart of
Western Shoshone land. It is mired in conflict. It has been proven
time and again to be scientifically infeasible, continues to
generate widespread opposition, and is in serious violation of
international law- to the point of seriously violating standing
international human rights agreements signed by the United States.

As well, a tragedy continues to play out under the shadow of the
world's largest proposed "temporary" high-level nuclear waste dump.
This is located on the Skull Valley Goshute Indian reservation, 45
miles upwind of Salt Lake City, Utah. This project is linked to the
Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Project on Western Shoshone lands in
Nevada. Both proposed dumps exploit Indigenous Nations and threaten
everyone downwind and downstream of their operations.

Western Shoshone people suffer from the Nevada Test Site and the
Yucca Mountain dump. Traditional Goshute Shoshone people are
struggling every day to survive against the Skull Valley project.
Your help is needed.

How: Please be prepared for camping in a high desert environment,
where the climate can be either hot or cold, dry or wet.

For Elders and people with special needs, please email
shundahai@shundahai.org or call 1-800-471-4737, and we will discuss

To volunteer for camp staff positions, also contact us at the info
indicated above.

We will be asking for a $10 per day registration fee to offset the
cost of camp logistics, food, special accomodations, etc. No one
will be turned away for lack of funds- all are encouraged to

To pre-register please call 801-533-0128 or 1-800-471-4737 and we
will send you a registration form and Participant's Information

Thank you, and we hope to see you in May!

In Peace,
The Shundahai Network

You have received this email because you have either requested
Shundahai Network Alerts, or you have signed a contact list at a
Shundahai Network sponsored event. We appreciate your care for these
issues, however, if you wish to be removed from this alert list,
please reply to shundahai@shundahai.org with the message "remove
from alert list" in the subject heading.

SHUNDAHAI NETWORK--Dedicated to Breaking the Nuclear Chain

Shundahai is a Newe (Western Shoshone) word meaning "Peace and
Harmony with all Creation"

Shundahai Network
PO Box 1115
Salt Lake City, UT 84110
Office: 801.533.0128
Fax: 801.533.0129


It's in our back yard... it's in our front yard. This nuclear
contamination is shortening all life. We are going to have to unite
as a people and say no more! We, the people, are going to have to
put our thoughts together to save our planet here. We only have One
Water...One Air...One Mother Earth."

Corbin Harney -Newe (Western Shoshone) Spiritual leader, Founder &
Chairman of the Board of The Shundahai Network

Tribal dispute on hold

COURT: A judge will study whether disenrolled members' rights have
been violated.

09:28 AM PDT on Tuesday, April 20, 2004

By TIM O'LEARY / The Press-Enterprise

Adult Pechanga members ejected from the tribe in March:


Total, according to those affected, when children are included:


Tribal members before the disenrollment action:


Workers at the tribe's casino and resort on the southeast

edge of Temecula:


Number of workers expected to be added when future

expansions are completed:


Acreage of the Pechanga Reservation:


RIVERSIDE - A Riverside County judge empathized Monday with ejected
members of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, but declined to
rule whether he has jurisdiction in their dispute with the Temecula-
area tribe.

Remarking that tribal sovereignty does not outweigh Indians'
constitutional rights, Superior Court Judge Charles D. Field
nevertheless said he needs more time to sort out the legal issues

After hearing arguments from both sides on the tribe's request to
dismiss the lawsuit, Field said he has much to learn about Indian
law. Then he added that the courts would seem a likely place to
resolve such a dispute.

"I don't think the notion of tribal sovereignty trumps due-process
rules," he said. "There's no question Native Americans are citizens.
I find no cases that the Constitution doesn't apply to the full
extent to Native Americans."

The hearing came about one month after the Pechanga enrollment
committee formally ejected more than 130 adult members of an
extended family from the southwest Riverside County tribe. The
decision had far bigger ripples, however, because many of those
ejected have children who might otherwise be eligible for casino
profit payments, health insurance and other benefits.

The family filed suit against the tribe's enrollment committee
before its members were formally ejected. The family in question
traces its roots to an early tribal member, Manuela Miranda, who
died in 1956.

Family leaders have complained that they were unfairly targeted in a
bitter turf war and that the process is biased and unfair.

Field's comments Monday thrilled members of the disenrolled family
and their attorney.

"We're very encouraged," said Jon Velie, an Oklahoma attorney hired
by the extended family. "I'm very happy to live and fight another

Tribal attorneys, current and former Tribal Council members, and
other key leaders of the band declined comment after the hearing.
They referred questions to Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro.

Macarro, who did not attend the hearing, declined to comment later.
He previously said any remarks would be premature because the
outcome of the case is still pending a review of the family's appeal
to the Tribal Council.

At a previous hearing, Field declined to issue a restraining order
stopping the potential ejection. At that time, Field said he might
assert jurisdiction later.

On Monday and at previous court hearings, tribal attorneys argued
that membership issues are tribal matters that do not come under the
jurisdiction of state or federal courts.

I. Nelson Rose, a law professor at Whittier Law School in Costa
Mesa, said Field's research might ultimately show that many
constitutional rights such as free speech are not guaranteed on
Indian reservations.
Rose, who has written extensively on Indian gaming law, said the
Constitution was adopted to protect citizens' rights from federal,
state and local governments. Indian tribes may not fall under those
safeguards, he said Monday afternoon in a telephone interview.

"He's doing what any judge or lawyer would do. He's assuming the
Constitution applies until he does more research," Rose said. "It
doesn't apply, which is always shocking when you find out."

As of early this month, the ejected members stopped receiving their
casino profit-sharing checks and bonuses, which, according to their
lawsuit, total more $120,000 a year each. They also no longer have
access to health insurance and benefits such as tribal education and
senior and youth programs, according to the ejected members and
others with ties to the tribe.

The tribe, which had about 1,460 members before the disenrollment
decision, operates one of the state's most successful Indian

The Riverside County court case has drawn widespread interest across
California and the nation as numerous tribal disenrollment disputes
have surfaced along with the growth of Indian casinos. In
California, more than 50 tribal casinos make up an industry
estimated by economists and state officials at several billion

The scene inside and outside Field's courtroom mirrored that intense
scrutiny. With only limited seating available, representatives of
both sides grumbled and jostled for position close to the courtroom
door before the hearing began.

Meanwhile, a process server for the ejected members distributed
subpoenas for depositions to leaders of a tribal faction that has
long pressed for the disenrollment.

"People will go to any lengths rather than move on with life,"
Raymond Basquez, a former Tribal Council member who signed a
petition in favor of the disenrollment, said after he received his

Moments after the courtroom doors opened, all 44 seats were quickly
filled and many onlookers turned away.

"This is a case of interesting dimensions. Apparently it is for a
number of people," Field said at the start of the half-hour
hearing. "We seldom have this court so full."

Field said he will accept additional briefs and legal motions from
both sides before he rules in the case. He cautioned the attorneys
not to expect a decision soon.

"I believe the matter is of real importance and real substance," he



Help Protect Our Environment and Families from Power Plants' Mercury Emissions!

Please help tell EPA Administrator Leavitt that we are concerned
about mercury emissions from power plants and how they affect
the health of our environment and families. Encourage him to
follow the law and set standards that will reduce mercury
emissions at least 90% by 2008.



United Native America ask for your support in getting South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle out of office.

Please offer your support to candidate John Thune.

John Thune for U.S. Senate

United Native America Press Release on U.S. Senate Race In
South Dakota
Time to vote Senator Tom Daschle out of office

Over the years our UNA group has watched Daschle in office, he is a senior Democrat in the senate. As we see it, the over all life of Indians in his state have not changed for the better. Daschle is more concerned about taking care of the Democrat Party than people in his state.

UNA has been contacted by groups in South Dakota asking us to help them get him out of office, we are now joining them. When it comes to Indian issues Daschle is a no show, when Indian people try to talk to him at meetings in the state about their issues, he walks away from them, not even taken time to hear what they have to say on any of their issues, this we know to be a fact.

As a U.S. Senator, Daschle's time in office could have brought about much needed change in the South Dakota Indian community. From the time Daschle has been in office, one only has to look at the facts concerning Indian life in his state to see he has not done his job for the people, it's time for new leadership.

The word is going out now that the Indian community should vote Daschle out of office and demand that the next person voted in should do their job for the people. Housing in the Indian community is a national sick joke, the same goes for Health, education and poverty issues, again just check the state records covering these issues.

We are sending a letter to Daschle to let him know where the Indian community stands on him staying in office, he will hear from a lot of voters in his state and around the country, his record in office speaks for it's self.

United Native America has over 10,000 on line members, we reach over 6,000 more people on Internet egroups, we have the support of over 200 Indian groups around the country that support us with their membership, UNA supports them as well on their issues.

Mike L. Graham
Founder United Native America


Letter to: Tim Giago, editor and publisher of the Lakota and Pueblo Journals
We have no faith in Senator Daschle standing up for the American Indian community in South Dakota, he's had plenty of time in office to bring about the much needed change for Indians in South Dakota. Daschle is more concerned about taking care of the Democratic Party than the people in his state. He will send letters out on Indian issues but, he will not and has not used his office to push for health, education and economic changes for Indians in his state.

Most Americans know South Dakota is on the bottom of all issues stated above, Daschle has been in office long enough to have changed the plight of Indians overall in his state. What makes it worse, people like yourself have to stand up to him to even get him to come to the Indian communities to hear what they have to say on issues.

We have seen reports after reports where Daschle has showed disrespect toward Indians asking him question on issues. He makes it a point not to answer their questions and to walk away from them. He is not a leader for the people he is in office representing.

We need a person in office that will take the lead on South Dakota issues at the federal and state level. Federal money is not coming to South Dakota as it should be. Senator Daschle is missing in action on this economic front for his state.

If our elected representatives in office will not stand up for our people then the people should vote them out of office and put someone in office that will stand up for them all the way, because their heart is for the people. Daschle's heart is just for the Democratic Party and how he can help them.

United Native America is calling on voters in South Dakota to put their support behind John Thune. John Thune is willingly going to the Indian communities now to hear what they have to say on their issues and how they feel they should be handled. We feel John Thune's heart is for the people, not his party. He deserves a chance to prove himself.
John Thune for U.S. Senate

In closing, I thank you for all you have done for the Indian community during your life time.

Mike L. Graham
Founder United Native America

Governor Mike Rounds
First Summit On Indian Education In South Dakota


United Native America would like to thank everyone that contacted Governor Mike Rounds of South Dakota during the past three months, concerning the serious issues confronting Faith School, SD. Your demands to the governor about the state school system not working for our children are being heard and action is being taken to solve these problems state wide.

At state level many investigations are on going toward Faith School over the mistreatment of Indian children. As soon as UNA is notified of the outcome of these investigations we'll pass the information on to our members.

Our united front to governor Rounds and state Rep's has forced South Dakota representatives to deal with Indian issues. The American Indian community has to send a strong message to all South Dakota representatives, federal and state to do their job or be voted out of office.

American Indians are the second largest voting group of people in South Dakota, the lack of Indians in office throughout the state is because of the way districts are now set up. A lawsuit is now pending against the state to make them stop grouping Indian populations into one large district block, the way the state has it set up now let's white voters have control of most districts across the state. The same practice is used to set up school boards, most school boards are controlled by white members even though most children in the school district are Indian, The ACLU has filed the lawsuit, it is now pending before South Dakota courts.

American Indians have to get involved at local, state and federal level to start bringing about the changes they want. Each of us have to take time to contact our elected officials and let them know how you feel about issues in your community. Each of you need to give serious thought of starting a local voting group in your area and unite with other groups in your state. Working together we can bring about change from the bottom to the top concerning politics.


Information on Faith School


Update on demonstration held at Florida State University
Against their "Integration" Statue and FSU use of Indians as mascot's

Send your letters of protest against the Florida State University "Integration" Statue and FSU use of Indians as mascot's to:

T.K. Wetherell President, Florida State University
Email: president@mailer.fsu.edu

Florida State University Board of Trustees
Email: trustees@www.fsu.edu

The demonstration at Florida State University April 10th went very well, around 50 to 60 people attended, this is understandable since it was a holiday weekend. Our message against the "Integration" Statue and FSU use of Indians as mascot's was well received.

Students at FSU now understand what the issue is truly about. On Thursday, April 15, 2004, Jonathan Luna held a panel discussion of: "Misconceptions and Stereotyping of People of Color in Mainstream Society" in the FSU Student Life Building, at this event a lot more FSU students learned about the misuse of our Indian heritage by Florida State University.

Our side of the issue is out there now for all FSU students to know where the FSU Indian Student Union and the American Indian community stand on the misuse of our heritage. United Native America will now try to bring about a class action suit against Florida State University.

T.K. Wetherell, president of FSU and the FSU board of Trustees are still saying the statue and the Indian mascot will stay as is. UNA has tried to contact the Florida Seminole tribe to discuss the use of our Indian heritage by FSU, to this date they have not returned our calls. Contact information for the FL. Seminole Tribe is: 808-683-7800 or 954-966-6300, web site:

Feel free to contact them.

We need each of you to contact FSU President T.K. Wetherell and the Florida State University Board of Trustees demanding they hold meetings with the FSU Indian Student Union to resolve the issue over the Integration Statue and FSU Indian mascot.

T.K. Wetherell President, Florida State University
Phone: 850-644-1085 Fax: 850-644-9936
Email: president@mailer.fsu.edu

Florida State University Board of Trustees Contact Information
Phone: 850-644-1085 Fax: 850-644-9936
Email: trustees@www.fsu.edu

FSU American Indian Student Union Web Site:

News Reports on FSU Event and issue

Picture of original head dress use by FSU homecoming queen and news report



Finally, I have some good news from Alaska: as of April 30th, aerial gunning and land & shoot hunting have stopped for the season. Today should be much safer for wolves to leave their dens, but we cannot rest yet. The fall will bring an expanded aerial hunting program.

This season, over 145 wolves were killed, and next season, aerial gunmen will be allowed to kill up to 500 wolves. We must organize now to protect wolves before aerial gunning starts up again in the fall. Help us work aggressively over the summer to build increased awareness across the United States.

We need your help now to raise money for hard-hitting media campaigns before next wolf-killing season starts. With your help, Care2 and Defenders of Wildlife raised nearly $98,000, but unfortunately, that won't be enough. We fell short of our goal to collect an additional $90,000 needed to allow Defenders to:
Purchase targeted media ads across the country. Expand and mobilize our grassroots activist base in order to motivate ALL citizens to protest these killings.

While gunmen no longer fill Alaska's skies in their hunt for wolves, we must take this chance to prevent a new slaughter in the fall.
We know that your help will make a difference. In fact, just recently the New York Times ran an editorial on the brutality of aerial wolf-killing. People are starting to listen.

By donating today, you can help us make everyone in the U.S. aware of the plight of wolves in Alaska. Together, we can stop the hunt this fall.

Thank you for caring,
Randy Paynter
President, Care2 &
The Petition Site

We're breaking new ground with our quick and powerful response to the atrocities committed against gray wolves.

Defenders of Wildlife


We urgently need your help to protect one of the most pristine regions in
Canada's Heart of the Boreal BioGem.

Please go to
and send a message urging Manitoba's minister of conservation to extend
protections that will keep industrial development out of the Poplar/Nanowin
Rivers Protected Area.

The Poplar/Nanowin Rivers Protected Area's two million acres of boreal
evergreen forests, granite outcroppings and pristine rivers contain rich
songbird breeding grounds and prime caribou and wolf habitat. This spectacular
ecosystem has also sustained its first inhabitants, the Poplar River First
Nation, since time immemorial.

The current status of the Poplar/Nanowin Rivers area forbids industrial
development on these sensitive lands. But this vital protection is due to
expire soon, and the Manitoba government will decide in the coming weeks
whether to extend the interim protection or allow it to expire. Without legal
protection, this region will once again be open to development, with
potentially dire consequences for its native people and wildlife.

Right now, the Poplar River First Nation is preparing a land management plan to
help permanently protect this ecosystem for future generations. But if interim
protection is not extended while the Poplar River First Nation completes its
work, it may be too late to save this area from logging, roadbuilding and other

Thank you.


John H. Adams
Natural Resources Defense Council


Diverse group shares goal: Save burial ground


Monday, May 03, 2004

By Elizabeth Shaw
eshaw@flintjournal.com, 810.766.6311

GAINES TWP. -- Three years ago, they were strangers: a Clare man in search of his roots, a former Flint attorney, a Swartz Creek history buff and two University of Michigan-Flint anthropology students.
Their paths converged in an abandoned Gaines Township field overgrown by weeds and brush just south of the Swartz Creek city limits.

Today, Friends and Descendants of Native American Cemeteries is breathing new life into a decades-long effort to save a well-known but long-neglected American Indian burial ground.
Incorporated last year, the new nonprofit group is working to acquire the site through a private donation. If successful, it will be the group's first preservation project.
Deep in the heart of the field, a rusted and bent wire fence encloses a circle of ancient pines rearing up toward the sky like an outdoor cathedral, their massive trunks leaning toward the rising sun from years of westerly winds.
The ground is marked only by a thick green blanket of periwinkle, once cherished for its magic and medicinal powers. But Richard Ritter of Clare can tell you of a Chippewa chief buried there beneath the pines and periwinkle, along with many of his family and tribal ancestors.
"Because they were meant to be in a natural state, many burial grounds are considered abandoned when, in fact, they're not. It's just the difference in cultures. That's why so many have ended up sold or lost one way or another," said Ritter, who traces his lineage back to David Fisher, whose father, Kawgogezhic, was one of the Chippewa chiefs who signed the 1819 and 1836 treaties that took the last tribal lands in Genesee County.
Fisher was a signer of the 1866 treaty that established the Isabella County reservation still in existence today.
Kawgogezhic and Fisher purportedly are buried at the Gaines Township site.
"All we're pushing for is to get it safe from taxation so it can be preserved," said Ritter. "It's family, and you've got to protect that heritage. Knowing where you come from is everything. That hits right to the center of your soul."
Early records
Swartz Creek Area Historical Society records indicate the burial ground existed long before 1860, when former Michigan Gov. Henry Crapo founded a dairy empire outside what had been Miller's Settlement.
Family memoirs refer to Crapo setting aside the "ancient burying place" for tribal descendants who remained on the farm as laborers. The last recorded burial in 1933 was of Lyman Chatfield, a tribal descendant who married into the Fisher line.
When Crapo Farm was sold in 1955, much of it was developed into subdivisions in Gaines Township and Swartz Creek. But the burial ground and other parcels fell into a lengthy property dispute. At one time, there was even talk of locating an amusement park there.
In 1966, local Rotary and Kiwanis clubs erected a 300-square-foot fence around 17 recorded graves. But the monuments vanished, and several graves were tampered with. A 1977 Shiawassee Gazette article noted that human bones were frequently plowed up in adjacent fields.
In the 1970s, former Flint attorney Ron Douglas headed the Genesee Indian Center's unsuccessful bid to acquire the site.
"We had the funds, but they refused to sell it to us," said Douglas, a former tribal judge who now lives in Mount Pleasant. "Then the center folded when state funding dried up and didn't get reestablished until last fall. By the time I left Flint, I'd just lost track of it.
In 1983, local tribal descendants cleaned up the site to maintain its visibility and protect it from further vandalism, but they lacked funds to buy it.
In 1999, a Grand Blanc couple unwittingly acquired it along with several other parcels through a delinquent tax sale.
"They'd bought it as an investment without knowing it was a burial ground and couldn't be developed, so they were pretty much stuck with it," said Gaines Township Supervisor Paul Fortino, whose board refuses to allow a building permit for the site. "Actually, it should never have been put on the tax rolls in the first place."
The current effort
That's where things remained until three years ago, when Ritter journeyed to Swartz Creek in search of his family roots.
At the same time, local historical society founder Bill Morgan was restoring the city cemetery, where many of the area's original white settlers were buried. Efforts to trace the grave of an infant named Fisher led him to the ancient burial ground.
"I was dismayed to find the site in great disrepair, with some people claiming the headstones had been removed and others claiming there had never been any," said Morgan. "When I found out the property had gone into tax sale years ago, I became obsessed with getting it back into the hands of the Indians."
Morgan followed the paperwork trail to the current owners, then tried to enlist the aid of NAGPRA officials, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. They put him in touch with Douglas and Ritter.
UM-Flint anthropology students Frank and Nicole Raslich soon joined the effort.
"Protecting burial grounds can be very sensitive issues because of fears that one tribe is trying to expand its territory. That's why Friends and Descendants isn't affiliated with any one tribe," said Frank Raslich, a Saginaw Chippewa tribal member whose academic focus is Mesoamerican culture.
"It isn't just Chippewa buried there because of all the intertribal marriage. We're working for the good of the burial ground itself."
Raslich said he hopes to get permission to scan the site and surrounding fields with ground-penetrating radar.
"We want to locate the graves and identify the number of people buried there. We also hope to resolve the controversy over just how big an area the original burial ground covered."
But in the end, time itself could prove to be the project's worst enemy. The group is currently tied up in the lengthy legal process to gain tax-exempt status, necessary to receive donations.
The owner of the land, who asked not to be identified, told The Flint Journal she hasn't committed to the project yet but "the possibility of a donation is under discussion."
Meanwhile, the group discovered Friday an animal had unearthed part of a human skull, which was lying exposed on the ground. There's no way to know what further damage might yet occur.
"A cemetery is legally protected and regulated, but a burial ground has no protection except you can't dig up remains without state permission," said Douglas. "That means unless you dig up remains, you can do anything you want with it. That's the tragedy we're hoping to prevent."

© 2004 Flint Journal. Used with permission


Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC)

With the lengthening days of spring, our volunteer patrols are in the field from 4AM to 9PM, and sometimes overnight. The Department of Livestock (DOL) has ordered its agents to haze buffalo on a daily basis, an order they have carried out with militaristic zeal. We have been busy in the field protecting the buffalo and documenting every action made against them. But our volunteer numbers are beginning to dwindle, and our financial resources are stretched. If you can help us--by joining us in the field or sending a donation--we can continue to bear witness in the field and keep our volunteers properly fed and equipped. The overwhelming majority of our funding comes from individual contributions and our ability to be here is dependant upon your support.

Pregnant buffalo have been giving birth by the day, and the newborn calves-like other members of the herd-find themselves continuously hounded by agents on ATV's, horseback, and trucks. Firing loud explosive charges ("cracker-rounds") from shotguns, the agents disrupt the entire ecosystem. We have documented negative effects on many species including elk, eagles, trumpeter swans, and sandhill cranes.
But buffalo are the target of such operations, and buffalo bear the heaviest burden. Local DOL agent Shane Grube is relentless in his determination to keep buffalo away from public lands in Montana. We routinely watch him chase buffalo through barbed-wire fences, ripping their hides in the process. On Tuesday of this week an agent took aim directly at a bull buffalo and pelted him on the side with a cracker-round, which bounced to the ground and then exploded. There is no reason for such cruelty.

This winter and spring are the worst in our seven-year history. DOL and National Park Agents have slaughtered 277 buffalo, and the killing season isn't over. Buffalo are being kept from Montana to supposedly protect cattle from brucellosis, but there are serious problems with this rationale. For one thing, there are no cattle within miles of the area, and there won't be for months. For another, in the century that buffalo have been known to carry brucellosis, they have never transmitted the bacteria to livestock. Elk, who also carry brucellosis, are free to exit Yellowstone at will and do so unmolested.

The real reason for the hazing and slaughter, of course, has nothing to do with brucellosis. This is a range war, a battle of control of our public lands. Montana's powerful livestock industry is unwilling to tolerate buffalo outside park boundaries because they are afraid of the example it will set. They are afraid people will flock to the area to see buffalo, that buffalo will boost the local economy, and that people will begin to wonder why wild buffalo are confined to one national park when they used to inhabit the entire continent. Livestock producers played a large part in the 19th century eradication of buffalo from much of their range, and their modern-day counterparts want to keep the West free of buffalo so they can continue to monopolize the grass on the public range with their subsidized livestock. Cattle is king in Montana, and the livestock industry rules with an iron fist.

Below you will find information on our International Week of Action for the Buffalo, with events planned in West Yellowstone and Helena, Montana; Washington, DC; and Perth, Australia. If you live in or near one of these areas, or would like to organize an event in your hometown, please contact us.

The Yellowstone buffalo are irreplaceable.

Thirty million buffalo once graced North America. They migrated in response to the seasons, rain and availability of grass and were the largest concentration of mammals ever known to exist. By the early 20th century, all but a fraction of the teeming herds had been slaughtered. By 1902, the last 23 wild buffalo had taken refuge in the remote Yellowstone back-country. Their direct descendants, the only continuously wild population in America, are alive today in and around Yellowstone National Park.

But their survival is in jeopardy once again. In recent years the State of Montana and the federal government have resumed the buffalo slaughter, killing more than 3,700 native buffalo. Every winter, snow and ice obscure the buffalo's forage and hunger pushes them to lower elevations across the park boundary. When they cross this invisible line, the buffalo step into the cross-hairs of government rifles. America's last wild bison are chased (hazed) by snowmobiles,
helicopters, and ATVs; trapped and confined in pens; and shot dead on their native range. The Montana Department of Livestock, an agency representing the livestock industry, and the National Park Service, the National Forest Service, and other public agencies dictate the bison's fate. 277 wild buffalo have already been killed this season and they are being hazed as you read this.
Take this opportunity to use your lunchtime to find out what you can do to help assure that the last wild buffalo are protected for future generations.

Buffalo Field Campaign
PO Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
(406) 646-0070


Back to Top