DOI cutting herd, staff at National Bison Range

Effectively immediately, the Interior Department is reducing the bison herd and cutting the staff at the National Bison Range in Montana.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will start shipping some of the animals to other reserves. The decision was criticized by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

"Tribal members started this herd," a spokesperson told the Associated Press. "To see the herd broken up and sent in a dozen different directions is heartbreaking."

In addition to the reduction in herd, the staff at the range will be cut down from 17.5 full-time employees to just 6.3. FTEs.

The tribe entered into an annual funding agreement to handle some of the duties at the range, which is located entirely within reservation boundaries. The contract was abruptly canceled, then reinstated earlier this year, but a new agreement hasn't been reached.

Get the Story:
Bison range work force cut (AP 4/12)
U.S. to cut staffing at Montana bison refuge (The Great Falls Tribune 4/12)

Evaluation Report:
Implementation of the Annual Funding Agreement (May 2006)

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

Related Stories:
NPR: Tribal management at bison range in Montana (03/05)
Tribe's role at bison range faces numerous probes (02/13)
Top DOI officials visit Bison Range in Montana (1/24)
Montana tribe hopes for new bison agreement (01/03)
Montana tribe to fight for bison range contract (12/13)
DOI cancels tribe's contract for National Bison Range (12/12)
Montana tribe seeks full control of bison range (11/22)
Bison Range employees complain about tribe (10/19)
Report looks at tribal bison range management (07/31)
Hearing planned on tribe's bison range agreement (03/17)
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Changes proposed in tribe's role at bison range (12/06)
Senator seeks delay to tribe's bison range contract (11/01)
Editorial: Let tribes control their own destinies (10/26)
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