Comment now on restoring Bison Range land to Tribes
News from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
MOIESE — The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes today announces the formation of the Bison Range Working Group, a forum for conservation groups, non-governmental organizations, and citizens to provide comments on the Tribes' draft legislation to: Restore the lands of the National Bison Range to federal trust ownership for the benefit of CSKT; continue bison conservation purposes; and continue public access.
In early February, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approached CSKT to discuss the idea of restoring management of the Bison Range to local control, while keeping the ownership of the land in a federal trust for CSKT. CSKT carried those discussions forward with the Montana Congressional delegation and local conservation groups, and drafted the legislative language now being made available for public comment.
The Bison Range was created more than a century ago by President Theodore Roosevelt and Congress, which authorized funding to establish the range in 1908. The 18,500-acre range sits in the heart of the Flathead Reservation and is home to hundreds of healthy buffalo.
"The Bison Range is a treasure and, as good neighbors, we want to ensure that everyone is able to review and comment on the legislative language before it is finalized." said Rob McDonald, spokesman for CSKT.
The draft bill language is now available at www.BisonRangeWorkingGroup.org . The site allows for comments to be sent via form submission, or sent directly via email, at BisonRangeWorkingGroup@gmail.com .
The comment period will open on Friday, June 10 at noon MDT and close on Friday, June 24 at noon MDT. CSKT will release a summarized report of comments provided through this forum once the submission period is closed.
To learn more, visit www.BisonRangeWorkingGroup.org .