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Hi, my name is Jim Macdonald, and I have an odd assortment of interests. In no particular order, I love Yellowstone, I am an anti-authoritarian activist and organizer, and I have a background in philosophy, having taught at the college level. My blog has a lot more links to my writing and my other Web sites. In Jim's Eclectic World, I try to give a holistic view of my many interests. Often, all three passions show themselves interweaving in the very same blog. Anyhow, I think it's a little different. But, that's me. I'm not so much out there, but taken together, I'm a little unusual.

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    Saturday, March 08, 2008

    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


    Blogger Mike McCord said...

    The “plight” of the buffalo? How do you people take yourselves seriously? I mean, really. The population of the bison herd in Yellowstone was at an all-time high this winter. And you, yourself pointed out that historically, there may have only been around 1,000 buffalo in Yellowstone before conservation measures sent their numbers to the current level.

    I will agree with ya’ll on one point, capturing bison where there aren’t any, and won’t be any, cattle is stupid. Okay? I’m with you there. Hell, I’ll even agree that calling the roundup “disease management” is BS. It’s more like “keep ‘em in the park” management. But with numbers beginning to exceed optimal population levels for the environment to support them, where does the “plight” part come in?

    Is there something going on that I’m not aware of? Are they getting ready to into Yellowstone itself and wipe out every last one of them shaggy beasts? Are they on the verge of extinction? Are they?

    What happened after record numbers of bison were killed the last time? Nothing! Their numbers rebounded, and at the beginning of winter 2007-2008, there were a record number of them in and around Yellowstone. So take an educated guess as to what’s going to happen after this winter. My money is on the buffalo.

    All of you buffalo-people act like they’re slaughtering them on the field and leaving their carcasses to rot. Which brings up another point. You had to have seen the article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle some weeks back that talked about what some of them Nez Perce were doing: Letting meat go to waste, shooting from the road, leaving gut piles and heads where respectable folk could see it. Where was your outrage then? I didn’t see one note of it from you, and if you did, point it out to me and I’ll apologize. Or is it “Lo, the poor Indian,” and “curse the evil government” with you people?

    And I think I’ve mentioned this before, the elk population in Rocky Mountain National Park, in Colorado, is out of control, and they’re getting ready to actually go into the park and start getting rid of some of them. Are ya’ll going to go down there and protest, or are you strictly for bison?

    I think that’s what bugs me the most is that all I ever hear and read is buffalo, buffalo, buffalo. You know there’s also a problem with jackrabbits in Yellowstone. Yeah. There aren’t any, anymore. Got a serious problem with wolverines too. And what about the white pine nut beetle infestation?

    Nope. It’s the end of the world! They’re killing buffalo! Our whole society . . . nay, the future of mankind, depends upon ending the senseless slaughter of buffalo in Yellowstone!!!

    So, say they do. Then what? What will be your next crusade, Jim? Say you fight the good fight and win. What will you do? I’m betting that because you seem to have such a hard-on for these creatures, you’ll find some other indiscretion against them to complain about. They won’t have enough land to roam on. There’ll be too many of them and they’ll be starving, and then you’ll want the government to feed them. Or there’ll be poachers that the government isn’t doing enough to protect them from. There’ll always be something.

    Now, I know you think I hate buffalo. I don’t. I’m pretty fascinated by them myself. I’ve read “Where the Buffalo Roam” by Anne Mathews. I agree with the whole idea of restoring bison to historic rangeland that’s no longer in use. And if the Indians want to go out and have good old-fashioned hunt on horse-back with bow and arrows, or if they want to run ‘em off of a cliff like they used to before they had horses, I’ll volunteer to sell the tickets to the event so we can all watch. You know, to raise money so more land can be bought to put more buffalo on. I think the whole experience would be beautiful.

    I often think about what it must have been like for Lewis and Clark to travel across the continent, about what they must have seen. About what we will never see. About the things that we can only imagine. Herds of buffalo in the hundreds of thousands, an endless brown sea of undulating backs thundering across the plains, spooked by God-knows-what.

    No, I’m not against buffalo. I’m not against Indians either. Neither am I necessarily for the cattle people. What I’m against are you whiny, cry-baby sons-a-bitches with a single-track mind that think you have to save something, and so you focus in on one thing, whether that be trees, or owls, or wolves, or frogs, or bison, and then you anthropomorphize that thing until suddenly, they’re not killing buffalo, they’re killing Grandma.

    (weeping) “How can they kill Grandma???”

    I know, you have never (at least as far as I know) compared rounding up bison and sending them off to be processed, with killing an elderly member of your family. And much of the time, when I say “you,” I mean people like you. Mike Mease comes to mind.

    I’ve sat here and watched for years as you people have protested and tried everything short of actually murdering other people to keep those animals safe. And for what? You’re never going to bring back old days when they could roam wherever, whenever. There’s too many people. Too many people competing for land that buffalo and bears and wolves and elk need to wander on. Life is a zero-sum game, my friend. If they’re not being shipped off and fed to people that need the meat, which you and your kind never seem to mention, then they’ll be starving because of a harsh winter and not enough food to feed them, or maybe they’ll be underfed, because there’s too many of them, and other predators will take advantage of their weakened condition. In the wild, as everywhere, Death is always hovering . . . waiting.

    So what do you consider to be an acceptable death for bison? Starvation? Old age? Predation? Good old-fashioned Indian hunt? What?

    I’ve already said that agree that calling this thing going on in Yellowstone “disease management” is a load of crap. I know that there’s never been a reported case of brucellosis being transferred from buffalo to cattle, and that elk are full of it, and do transmit the disease, and that no one is calling for them to be kept inside the park. Wouldn’t want to disrupt the fall hunt, after all. K? I’m not a completely ignorant red-neck.

    But I honestly believe that you people create more problems than what you solve. You stir people up, make them believe that life for a wild animal is completely sanitary, and somehow holy, and that the evil government and cattle barons are out there to crucify them like Christ.

    Get over yourselves. You want to tell a story? Tell the real story. Life is cruel, everything ends in death, whether by the government’s hand, or by predation or starvation, or by their own horns during mating season. Life for a wild animal is a short, endless struggle for survival. There’s no such thing as a “good death.”

    The bison in Yellowstone are fine. If they kill another thousand of them this winter, they’ll still be fine. Why don’t you put your considerable energies towards a cause that can actually do people some good, like lowering housing costs in Bozeman, or creating a homeless shelter, or a program to get those same people off of the streets and into jobs, or anything else that will make the human “plight” better. I mean, it must be nice to be able to waste time trying to save something that doesn’t need saving.


    P.S. Can’t wait for that meeting. I’m sure it’ll be hoot!

    3/9/08, 5:29 PM  
    Blogger Mike McCord said...

    I just wanted to thank you, Jim. Because of you, I've decided to start my own blog. I call it "Irritated Under The Big Sky."

    I was going to call it "Pissed Off In Montana," but that seemed a little harsh.

    Either way, you've inspired me to take my rants to a wider audience. Even if no one reads it. I don't really care.

    What matters is, you're the first one to have gotten my blood going again in a long time. You, and your little blog have given me hours of entertainment, frustration, and motivation. Motivation to sound off about all the other crap that bugs the hell out of me (I know, you thought it was just you . . . but it isn't).

    So thanks again. I don't know exactly what my blog will be, but it sure won't be a tree-hugging, buffalo love-fest.

    Feel free to stop by some time!

    And by the way, I plan on attending that little meeting of yours. I may even dress up.

    See ya then!

    3/16/08, 6:33 PM  
    Blogger Jim Macdonald said...

    :) - thank you - As for what you wrote, I believe I took on most of it in Indybay, and I have gone after a lot more of your points (at least those that are not raised in the previous discussion) in an article in National Parks Traveler.


    3/16/08, 11:41 PM  

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