Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Both points of exit from the park for the buffalo---on the north border at Gardiner, MT, and on the west border at West Yellowstone, MT---are on the brink of massacre. There are about 100 buffalo testing the waters at each limen, preparing for their annual migration out of Yellowstone National Park. Almost immediately after they cross the Park boundary, they will be captured, killed, or hazed back into the Park. Tension is starting to rise here, as if gaseous pressure were signalling the eruption of a volcano, the same fate that will eventually befall mother Yellowstone. Meanwhile, we continue to observe these wild animals in their natural habitat from a distance, and prepare for the seemingly inevitable devastation that awaits them this, as every other year.


Four days ago, I randomly had the urge to make a will, listing how I wanted to be buried, who I wanted to have the belongings I care about most, who I want to make the big decisions. Not that it will ever be rendered a legal document, I just wanted my wishes out there for the decent possibility I may die along the risk-filled journey of an adventurous life.

The next day, one of my closest relatives was finally finished off by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in her old age. While she could see the end coming for more than a year, I wonder if it really is better to personally take care of wrapping up all those loose ends at that point in life, or just dying suddenly and quickly. Strange energies this weekend move me to ponder strange thoughts perhaps. Most would probably prefer to have a buffer, but I would rather die suddenly and quickly, knowing that i lived every day as though it were my last.

Most of Western culture has a very unhealthy relationship with death. We do everything in our power to postpone death and attempt to treat it as we would some common ailment. Like financial debt, we put off the responsibilities to the things that in the deepest sense matter most to us until some later, unknown time. Life, death, the will to survive, to breed, to forge communities and relationships, all of the instincts that we attempt to manipulate and control using reason, are actually those priorities that should be given attention first and foremost.

A healthier relationship with death would necessitate a healthier list of priorities, where we love the people and things we care about most, but in such a way that accepts that these people and things can be lost forever at ANY time. Live every moment as if there will never be another chance, and you will be the definition of courage, intelligence, and creativity. Spend your time and energy on the things that matter to you most, and you will never be found discontent.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The American Buffalo is Almost Extinct!

There is a crisis here at Yellowstone National Park. The world's last genetically intact, wild herd of Buffalo is being exterminated by our national and state governments, and by private citizens of the area. No crisis is without a history, so here's a quick summary, but go to for any and all details.

In the mid- to late- 1800s, Native Americans in this area were ethnically cleansed and forcibly removed from their land. Frontier land owners from the East replaced them. This new culture was characterized by dependence upon cattle. Tens of millions of buffalo were exterminated, and a deep prejudice against both Native Americans and buffalo was forged by means of a fabricated fear of competition for resources. This prejudice festered, and over the last 200 years, Native Americans and buffalo are still losing their land and rights to life. Now, the Montana Department of Livestock, National and State Park and Forest Services, law enforcement agencies, and a handful of other government agencies are abusing and exterminating the buffalo. The official reason given is a fear for Brucellosis transmission to cattle, but it has never been proven to transmit to cattle, and the elk, which does transmit the disease to cattle is left to normal hunting permits and protected herd numbers.

Recently, Yellowstone National Park has announced plans to kill up to 700 buffalo, at least 50 of which will be detained, experimented on, and slaughtered. It has also been announced that the herd should be reduced to 3,000. Slaughter is achieved by hazing activities using helicopters, ATVs, horses, and other law-breaking methods to corral the buffalo into traps. The worst abuses take place outside Yellowstone National Park in the winter and early spring when the herd leaves the arbitrary border of the Park; and thus, the laws protecting them. Legislation has supported these actions in many ways, not the least of which because the buffalo is still not on the endangered species list, when this gentle giant species is almost extinct.

Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana gave an executive order last year that saved the lives of 800 buffalo. We are working toward similar aims this season with all signs pointing to major conflict between government agencies and the communities who love and protect the buffalo. I am here to help fulfill that role. Please visit to demand legislation to protect this species, and to help this, the only organization protecting them. Next post will give an update on my experience and on the fate of the buffalo. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!

Closing One Chapter, Opening Another

This blog is an open space for positing and responding to ideas. The space is open for any and all worldviews, mediums, hoopla, debate, profanity, creativity, emotions, and contribution. Viewpoints are respected, but should not be forced upon others. There is no room here for judgement of anyone's character, disrespect, racism, sexism, bigotry, deceit, or teaming up against anyone else in conflict. Aside from that, while the original posts made are mine, dive on in and enjoy this space! That being said...

Every time you encounter a person, you are seeing what the history of that person has created in that moment. Every new moment we live changes a person. New knowledge, loss of knowledge, death or trauma, and life-changing experiences can alter one's individuality in an instant. This story begins on the tail end of a 2-month long road trip from New York City to San Diego, 6 weeks of rest and self-recovery, and many rapid and sudden changes in outlook and in scenery. I am now near Yellowstone National Park at Hebgen Lake, Montana where I will be volunteering with Buffalo Field Campaign for several months. From here I will be embarking on a global journey that may last anywhere from 1 to 10 years.

I left a home in Southern California that was slowly closing its doors to me, and I make this journey to search for a home(s) of my own creation. In taking the time to absorb my experiences as well as contribute and create in every way I can, I am searching for a cause to commit a substantial portion of my life to. I'm looking for friends and lovers. I'm looking for family. I'm looking for a place to live and a way of life that I feel is gratifying. I want to take my last breath knowing that although I didn't get to do everything I had dreamed of doing; though I made mistakes, I was still able to use the time and resources I consumed and created something worthwhile. Do you think that's what everyone wants? I think that the purpose for life in capitalist society has been focused solely on consumption; on destruction, not creation. What worse hell can there be than ours when life itself has been co-opted for the gain and self-destruction of the very few, and at the potential cost of humanity itself?. I want for my very means of existence to stand in opposition to this worldview.

In making this transition, I have closed one chapter, only to turn the page and find another ready to begin. Who am I now? Who will I be? Who are you? Who will you be? Who are we to be together? Turn the page and read on. We'll answer those questions together...