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Editorial: Let tribes control their own destinies

"Float a proposal that would truly give tribes a bit more control over their own destinies and the special interests and bureaucrats that rule in Washington suddenly turn paternalistic, and begin treating tribes pretty much like they treat the rest of us � as if we can�t be trusted to manage our own affairs.

An excellent, if ironic, case in point is presented by the special-interest groups rising to oppose a plan that would allow the Salish and Kootenai tribes to jointly manage Montana�s National Bison Range with the federal government. During the past year, an agreement has been negotiated between the tribes and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for shared responsibility for the 18,500-acre reserve, beginning next year.

But now that a draft plan has been released, federal bureaucrats and environmental groups are throwing up obstacles for patently self-serving and condescending reasons. National wildlife refuge managers apparently oppose the arrangement for fear that it could cost them staff and diminish their budgets and bureaucratic domains. They also worry that teaming with tribes could highlight the benefits of privatization."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Indians can't shake feds' paternalism (The Valley Morning News 10/25)

Relevant Links:
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes -
National Bison Range -
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility -

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