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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Somehow the Montana Legislature is seeking to get around the sovereignty of the Indian tribes in their state---------This time, after the year ago reintroduction of Bison onto the Ft Peck Reservation, these misguided Officials are designing bills that would ban the tribes from further restoring wild bison on their lands.............These bills would ban wild bison — an animal that has lived here for centuries — from having any future in Montana...............

Guest opinion: Let tribes restore wild, healthy bison to Montana

After the great bison slaughter of the 1800s, fewer than 25 wild bison remained in Yellowstone. Their descendants are some of the only bison on earth free of cattle genes and the only continuously wild herd in America. They are critical to bison conservation, yet thousands have been sent to slaughter over the years for roaming outside the park. In 2005 an effort began to quarantine some of these roaming bison rather than send them to slaughter. Those that proved free of disease would start new conservation herds elsewhere. Tribal lands were at the top of the list of potential new sites.

On March 19, 2012, 61 of these bison returned to their historic range at Fort Peck Reservation amidst a great community celebration. Tribal members from Fort Belknap Reservation helped with the transport and attended the celebration. We are next in line and have spent more than $100,000 for bison fencing and infrastructure in preparation. Now, some in the Legislature want to put an end to this dream.

House Bill 249, sponsored by Rep. Alan Doane, would allow unlimited and unregulated slaughter of bison that stray onto private land, including those that walk across the boundary of Yellowstone National Park, effectively ending tribal hunting rights and future Yellowstone bison restoration to tribal lands. This bill turns bison into vermin with no protection or regulation.

Senate Bill 143, sponsored by Sen. John Brenden, goes one step further. It would order Montana officials to kill or remove all bison migrating into Montana and end efforts to restore wild bison elsewhere. Sen. Brenden made his intent clear back in 2009 and in 2011 when he sponsored similar bills: prevent bison relocation to tribal lands. Tribes had to work hard to kill those bills; it is astounding that we have to do so yet again.
These two legislators did not even bother to meet or talk with tribal agencies or governments prior to submitting their bills.

These bills would ban wild bison — an animal that has lived here for centuries — from having any future in Montana. These bills would reverse decades of progress in tribal-state relations.

We invite Montana's legislators to work with us rather than against us. Come visit and learn why bison are so important.

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