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Montana Native Americans Ask Government for help in Reintroducing Bison

The American Indian Caucus recently wrote a letter to the Biden Administration pleading the Interior Secretary to help them draft a bison reintroduction plan for Glacier National Park and the Charles M Russell National Wildlife Refuge (CMR) in eastern Montana. The tribes plead that bison hold a huge cultural significance to them for food and other necessities that their ancestors once had. 

State Rep. Tyson Running Wolf said the American Indian Caucus concluded that the Biden Administration was more apt to help them out since Governor Gianforte cancelled the previous reintroduction plan of his predecessor. The Blackfeet tribe has their own bison herd as do all other reservations that want them, but they want to expand the amount of bison to Glacier Park, the Rocky Mountain Front, and beyond. They also plead for the reintroduction of bison to the CMR. So why is the American Indian Caucus advocating for bison on federal lands and not adjacent to reservation land? 

An environmental group financed by Hollywood money called the American Prairie Reserve has been buying up land the past several years and currently owns over 1 million acres in eastern Montana. Their mission is to acquire 3 million acres of contiguous temperate grasslands in Montana with the intent to restore everything back to the way it was before it was settled by ranchers and farmers. This means converting farm and ranchland back to prairie where necessary with only bison and other native wildlife allowed. As you can imagine this is very controversial with landowners who utilize the land for farming and ranching. Stockgrowers see bison as competition for grazing land and animals that carry disease that could infect their cattle. As you can imagine the APR and stockgrowers don’t get along too well. If you have hunted the Missouri breaks you have seen signs that say “Save the Cowboy, STOP the APR”. 

This resistance has been quite the bump in the road for the APR as ranchers refuse to sell them their land no matter the price. With Governor Gianforte nixing the previous reintroduction plan it appears the APR and the American Indian Caucus are working together to get bison reintroduced on federal lands and bypass state government. This could be the most controversial issue that Montana will face this decade and for years to come. We will keep you updated with any future developments. 

Where do you stand on widespread bison reintroduction?

About Dan Pickar

Dan Pickar

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4 comments

  1. Bring the dinosaurs back then as well. Need a different big 5 to hunt.

  2. Reintroduce Bison, lets not be cynical they have already been reintroduced. We have already seen reintroduction of wolves and likely more reintroductions coming for Grizzly to added states and they love eat bison, they will need more food as they expand out of control, so bison are a great option for them. The federal bison management program is very exclusive. Its really good because I draw a Bison tag every year, and its dirt cheap, fills the freezer big time. They are just giving away Bison tags since we have a tremendous surplus. Its not $4000 for an out of State tag in Wyoming is it or $5,500 in Arizona etc. Its dirt cheap. Native Americans have no idea of how to manage native game animals, just look at how bad the hunting is on the White Mountain Res or the Jicarilla or San Carlos. Who would hunt there, its awful and no trophies. Ranchers have right to complain and those damn native bison have no place in todays managed structure, we have an industry to provide us meat. If we allow Native Americans to buy back the land they technically (owned/inhabited) it will be a total disaster. They never have had any respect for wild animals, not like the respect shown by White/English/Europeans have ! White man historicallytb has the deepest reverence for N American animals, hell they even created to mangage them because nature could not do it. Natives tried to manage them and almost wiped out all indigenous animals. Wonder what elk tags will cost once the balance is achieved using wolves for another decade or 2? Elk are so overabundant like bison hoping we see $4,000 dollar tag fess one day for elk? Its all working out according to the natural plan that someone/somehow put in place. Are things probabilistic or deterministic that’s the question ! Don’t see any complaints that about the crazy idea of reintroduced elk in Pennsylvania or Kentucky or Michigan etc? Why no complaining about elk reintroduction ?? Hmm be careful

    • Curious why we cater to the people that took Whiteman scalps for trophies. They were the kings of torture. They tortured every enemy they caught. And we kowtow for what reason’s. They took women and children for slaves and wives. They have destroyed every fishery there is in this state. 6 of them killed over 60 bulls last year while wasting most of the meat on each one. They took heads and backstraps only while using rifles in archery season. Disgusting group of humans.
      Buffalo carry disease and do not stay inside fencing unless it built for dinosaurs.

  3. White people are Native to N America, they belong here they were here 1st. Natives not
    Only relied on hunting as lifestyle that English / Europeans still don’t understand they hunted the weaker tribes and it created a balance with human populations to preserve hunting ! They hunted to survive, you hunt for sport or enjoyment face it !!! You buy everything you own from a store, a system. You buy tags and license and compete with other whites for hunt areas and bigger animals. The beauty of scalping and brutality is it puts fear in your Ass and u will respect it out of the fear that’s still inside you. You have never made a bow, gone a full week without eating or feeding your relatives/ tribe. Ever lived with no rules (called laws now). ? Where do these rules, crap written on paper, made up by a system centered on the East coast in place soon to become a State. What was the “State” for natives ??? Answer – no States – it’s a made up thing on paper by whites. Don’t hunt in my state “my” like u own it ? Fences and boundaries ? Made up stuff, natives had no fences or boundary ? If u entered my hunt area you died and scalped ur ass, or wiped honey on you and staked u to an ant hill ! Get the point – native justice – was it written in law on paper voted on by a “democracy” that represents everyone. The tribe made rules based on survival. You don’t need to survive today – the system provides for u – just go to the store. If I come on your property to take ur food – what would u do? Kill me? What if more of my family kept coming day after day ? Would u make point and scalp me and hang me in the yard so others get the point ? Justice – what’s that ? Whites don’t understand raw survival ! Natives do. Farming and ranching – not normal not native ! You cannot grasp that in a made up society structure written on papers. Natives ate meat, that was it, they hunted. You like to hunt they hunted to survive; you will never ever hunt to survive ever !

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