How to help
There are numerous ways that you can help Buffalo Allies of Bozeman, as well as the wild buffalo in Yellowstone. We hope that one of the advantages of having a public, grassroots group in Bozeman is that it offers you in the Gallatin Valley the opportunities to do something and make a meaningful impact on improving the situation for the buffalo. And, for those of you outside of this area, there are still ways that you can help us out directly.
Ways to help:
1. Help us organize in Buffalo Allies of Bozeman. There are numerous ways of doing this:
- Come to our weekly meetings every Wednesday (unless otherwise noted) at Montana State University's Strand Union Building (2nd floor cafeteria, NW corner) at 7 PM and participate. At meetings, you can get to know other people who care, you can bring organizing ideas, you can volunteer for ongoing work. There's nothing more empowering than direct involvement; and since there is no group without direct involvement, we really need you to be involved.
- Can't come on Wednesdays? Get involved in one or more of our working groups. Over time, working groups will grow and evolve as the group evolves; however, at the start, we have three standing groups. Media and Outreach (which includes the Web as well), Legislative/Legal, and Cooperation/Support (solidarity with other groups - for instance Buffalo Field Campaign). Please contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get involved with Media/Outreach, Mel at email@example.com for Legislative/Legal, and Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org for Cooperation/Support. Also check the events calendar for upcoming meetings; you will be welcomed if you show up to help out and participate.
- Meetings aren't your thing, but you want to share ideas or participate in events? Well, besides this Web site, an even better way to stay on top of the discussion, find out about events, and give feedback and ideas is to join one of our two listserves. See the Stay Informed section for more information on the lists and how to join them.
2. Help us with needed tasks. This is a small but not exhaustive list of things we could use support on:
- Listserve moderators. It takes time to keep our lists running, especially our moderated announcement list. Wherever you live, so long as we trust you are friendly to our mission, we could use help making sure that our lists run smoothly.
- Web site editors and contributors. A site like this is a major undertaking. For it to be useful, we can always use volunteers to monitor and respond to comments, provide and edit content, and generally make sure that this is a useful advocacy tool.
- People to help create flyers. Creating flyers for events is a time-consuming process. If you have flyers for us, we'll use them.
- People to help flyer and table. After we get flyers for events, we could use people to spread the word out throughout the valley, whether by passing out or posting flyers or by sitting at an information table. The more we get the word out, the more successful we believe we will be. Since most of the community won't be looking at this Web site, we need people to reach out directly.
- Help with electronic outreach. While the Web and the lists are good tools, they don't reach the places online everyone goes. Those who can help post information to various Web sites or to relevant lists are dearly important to us. Whereas people who flyer and table need to be in this area, those who help with electronic tasks can live anywhere, even if they are still trying to reach local people.
- One of our goals is to provide wish list items for Buffalo Field Campaign, the only year round group in the field working for the buffalo. Since we are close to them geographically, we would like to help provide them materials. We need people who will help scour garage sales or other cheap or free sources of items they need so that we can easily get them goods.
- Also in terms of Buffalo Field Campaign, we would like to help them find volunteers in our local community. If you are interested, we can arrange with BFC to show you the ins and outs of what it takes to volunteer in the field, even if only for a single day.
- Anyone who is strong with media skills, especially media outreach would be welcome.
- On the legislative/legal front, we really could use people with time to write letters, make phone calls, and even occasionally travel to Helena to lobby. Here we are working heavily with the Gallatin Wildlife Association as they work on legislation that would ensure that buffalo are treated as wildlife and not as a disease control issue. It doesn't hurt to have a few lawyers as well!
- Several in our group are interested in various scientific angles of the buffalo issue, not simply on the issue of brucellosis but also in terms of mapping and geography. If you want to help in those areas, we have people to plug you into.
This is just a sample of what's needed and what's possible. If you can help, we need you. There's a place for almost any skill set. If you are an artist, a writer, a scientist, a lawyer ... if you are someone who just wants to do something - anything - we can find something for you to be doing. At the same time, if you want to be directly involved in how we go about things, what we actually do, and the organizing of a group, you have every opportunity to find your voice in our group.
The buffalo and what their plight represents is that important to us. We hope you will take the time to get involved. If any one of these things interest you, start by sending an email to email@example.com.