Some still question tribal role at National Bison Range

The second of two informational meetings on a funding agreement between the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took place Thursday night.

Under self-determination and self-governance laws, the tribe is going to handle certain duties at the National Bison Range in Montana. Tribal officials wanted to manage the range completely but accepted a lesser role in five areas: management; biological program, including habitat management; fire; maintenance programs; and visitor services.

Still, some employees and local non-Indians are questioning the tribe's ability to carry out the duties and are worried about the significance of the agreement. Tribal and federal officials assured people that the Fish and Wildlife Service will remain final authority over any activities.

The funding agreement is being reviewed by Congress. If there are no objections, it will go into effect.

Get the Story:
Pubic airs range of perspectives (The Missoulian 9/10)

Relevant Links:
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes - http://www.cskt.org
National Bison Range - http://bisonrange.fws.gov
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility - http://www.peer.org

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