FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chris Klatt
May 12, 2008
Buffalo Allies of Bozeman Is Founded to Take Action against the Slaughter and Hazing of Wild Buffalo
New group takes a grassroots approach toward advocacy of buffalo in the Yellowstone area.
(Bozeman, Mont.) – In a winter where more wild buffalo have been killed than at any time since the 19th century in and near Yellowstone National Park, concerned local residents in the Bozeman area have formed Buffalo Allies of Bozeman – a new grassroots group taking action on behalf of the American bison.
“We believed we needed to build a community of action so that the slaughter we have seen this year, where over 1,600 animals have been killed, never happens again,” said Mel Schroeder, one of the members of Buffalo Allies of Bozeman.
The theme of community is at the heart of the new group, which is open to everyone in the Bozeman area who accepts the group’s mission. Buffalo Allies of Bozeman calls for 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 mission. All those participating at meetings make decisions together on events and actions.
“What makes us a little different than some of the larger environmental groups is that we depend entirely on the energy of the public for making decisions,” said Schroeder. “There is no Executive Director or President; we all roam on this path together.”
Buffalo Allies of Bozeman held an educational event in March, featuring Mike Mease of Buffalo Field Campaign. On May 25 at 7 PM, the group will be hosting a potluck in Bogart Park that is open to the public. In June, the group will host a forum on the various ways Bozeman residents can take an active role in buffalo advocacy.
The group will also be working with the Gallatin Wildlife Association on changing Montana law so that buffalo are respected as wildlife and not treated as a disease control issue. Furthermore, Buffalo Allies of Bozeman will be speaking out against the recent deal made between state of Montana, the National Park Service and the Church Universal & Triumphant. According to Schroeder, “This is a bad deal that, contrary to what some have said in the media, is not a step forward for a single buffalo. The more I learn about it, the more I realize that this does not actually provide habitat, safety or respect for any buffalo – and at an exorbitant cost to taxpayers.”
Buffalo Allies of Bozeman meets every Wednesday at 7 PM at Montana State University’s Strand Union Building. For more information, please visit: http://www.buffaloallies.org.