Environment | Opinion

Opinion: Montana tribe deserves managing role for bison range






Bison in the National Bison Range in Montana. Photo from Facebook

Tom France of the National Wildlife Federation says the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes deserve a management role at the National Bison Range in Montana:
The Salish and Kootenai have a strong record of conservation management on the Flathead Reservation. That’s why the National Wildlife Federation in 2012 named the Tribes recipient of its National Government Conservation Achievement Award. Over the past three decades, the Tribes have been leaders in establishing a tribal wilderness area, protecting grizzly bears, improving water quality and quantity, insisting on road projects that better protect many wildlife species, and in acquiring lands for conservation purposes.

In addition to their long and strong track record of wildlife management, the Tribes also bring cultural, historical and geographic connections to the Bison Range and its mission. Working together with FWS, greater tribal involvement will benefit the Bison Range and the people who cherish it. Having the Tribes helping lead bison conservation work within the borders of their reservation is something we all should support.

The Salish and Kootenai Tribes helped save the bison from extinction in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and they will continue to protect the bison, other wildlife species and natural resources on the National Bison Range for future generations. It has taken far too long to recognize their commitment to bison by providing a leadership role for the Tribes on the Bison Range.

Get the Story:
Tom France: National Bison Range: Tribes bring management, connection (The Missoulian 8/24)

Federal Register Notice:
National Bison Range Complex, Moiese, MT; Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Annual Funding Agreement With the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (August 5, 2014)

Related Stories:
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes eye role at bison range (08/05)
Montana tribe seeks management role at National Bison Range (7/26)