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bison

From left to right: Harry Barnes, Smokey RidesAtTheDoor, Tim Davis, Jay DustyBull sing an honoring song for Francis X. Guardipee, the first Blackfeet National Park Ranger, June 30, 2017 in Glacier National Park..
Nicky Ouellet

In celebration of the opening of Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park this week, members of the Blackfeet Tribe held an honoring ceremony.

Amid the peaks of the Continental Divide, Blackfeet men in full regalia sang an honoring song for Francis X. Guardipee, the first Blackfeet tribal member to serve as a National Park Ranger.

A major study released Wednesday now says elk – not bison - are the primary source of new brucellosis infections in Greater Yellowstone Area cattle.
Flickr User Ian Sane CC-BY-2.0

A major study released Wednesday now says elk – not bison - are the primary source of new brucellosis infections in Greater Yellowstone Area cattle.

That’s a significant change in thinking from 20 years ago when the scientific community blamed bison for most of the area’s brucellosis transmission cases. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is updating the bison range’s comprehensive conservation plan and accompanying environmental impact statement.
(PD)

Two federal scoping meetings are scheduled to help shape future management options for the National Bison Range at Moiese. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is updating the bison range’s comprehensive conservation plan and accompanying environmental impact statement. 

An informational sign at the entrance of the National Bison Range.
Josh Burnham

One month after pulling a proposal to transfer management of the National Bison Range to the tribes of the Flathead Reservation, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke yesterday made it official: Management will remain in the federal government’s hands.

Join Threshold podcast's Amy Martin at the International Wildlife Film Festival for a behind-the-scenes look at one of this year's most exciting podcasts. Amy will discuss some of her decisions as producer and editor of her podcast about the past, present and future of bison and people.

Why Yellowstone Culled More Than 1,200 Bison This Season

Apr 16, 2017
A bison sculpture in Three Forks, Montana
Eric Whitney

On NPR's All Things Considered Sunday, Amy Martin reported on the second-largest ever cull of Yellowstone Bison this winter.

More than 1,200 bison were killed, more than at any time since 2007-2008.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RAY SUAREZ, HOST:

Interior Secretary Halts Bison Range Transfer Proposal
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-2)

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has halted a proposal to transfer the National Bison Range into tribal control.

In an email to the Missoulian, Secretary Zinke says he is committed to not selling or transferring public lands, but hopes the tribes will, "play a pivotal role in our discussions about the best path forward."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is updating the bison range’s comprehensive conservation plan and accompanying environmental impact statement.
(PD)

In Montana, the Nez Perce are an indigenous tribe who face strong opposition from some who see these hunting rights as unfair and out of sync with modern society. MTPR reporter Nate Hegyi spent a day with a Nez Perce hunting party to help understand the controversy.

Bringing bison back to the Blackfeet Reservation and their historic range on land that now belongs to the U.S. Forest Service, like the Badger-Two Medicine and Chief Mountain, is a vision eight years in the making.
(PD)

Last fall, the Blackfeet Tribe announced plans to reintroduce free-roaming bison to federal land outside its reservation. On Wednesday, the tribe met with state and federal agencies for the third time this year to hash out what that would look like.

Threshold Episode 07: Oh Give Me A Home

Mar 16, 2017
Students in Gardiner, MT share their schoolyard with wildlife, including elk and bison.
Amy Martin

In the final episode of Threshold season 01, listeners will encounter pearls of wisdom from youth who have grown up with bison in their midst, and take a trip to the Oakland Zoo, which will soon receive buffalo from the Blackfeet tribe that will help jumpstart a conservation herd there. We also conjure the big ideas driving this first season - what's our future with this animal? How does that connect with our history? Can America ever have wild, free-roaming bison again?

Threshold Episode 06: Territory Folks Should All Be Pals

Mar 9, 2017
Part of the American Prairie Reserve near Malta, Montana.
Amy Martin

Visit the American Prairie Reserve, a conservation project in the heart of Montana that could eventually be home to 10,000 bison. The vision is to stitch together 3.5 million acres of public and private lands to form the largest wildlife park in the lower 48. But some nearby ranchers feel the push to build the APR is pushing them off their land, and they're mounting a resistance. We also try to solve the Great Elk Mystery: why are elk that have been exposed to brucellosis allowed to roam free in Montana, while bison are not?

Threshold Episode 05: Heirs To The Most Glorious Heritage

Mar 2, 2017
Rob McDonald and Rich Janssen of the CSKT.
Amy Martin

In 1908, the National Bison Range was created by carving 18,000 acres out of Montana's Flathead Reservation. Now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is willing to transfer the land back to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. But, a lawsuit has been filed to stop the proposed transfer. In this episode we meet tribal members who feel they are the rightful stewards of the land and the historic bison herd, and others who are trying to stop the transfer.

Bison at the Stephens Creek Capture facility north of Yellowstone Park in 2015.
Jim Peaco (PD)

On Monday the Bozeman Daily Chronicle's Michael Wright reported that more than 570 Yellowstone National Park bison have been killed so far this winter. The Park is trying to reduce the size of its bison herd from an estimated 5,500 animals to about 3,000.

The annual slaughter happens as part of compromise between the Park Service and State of Montana, which says bison numbers need to be controlled to prevent the spread of the disease brucellosis to cattle. It's controversial, and there is an alternative.

Joining us now to talk about it is Amy Martin, who spent the last year reporting on bison for her podcast: Threshold.

Threshold Episode 04: Tatanka Oyate

Feb 23, 2017

In episode four of Threshold, we meet Robbie Magnan of the Fort Peck Tribes. He believes his community can prosper in the future by reconnecting with their roots as the Tatanka Oyate — the buffalo people. Magnan has built a quarantine facility that could be an alternative to the Yellowstone bison slaughter, but right now it sits empty while more than a thousand bison are being culled from the herd. Why? We'll learn more about Magnan's vision for bison restoration, and investigate why some people are opposed to it.

Bison being released at Fort Peck Reservation, November 2014.
Courtesy of the Defenders of Wildlife

Tribal members and wildlife groups were among those asking lawmakers today to consider a bill to change how bison can be moved and sold. The bill proposed by Rep. Willis Curdy, a Missoula Democrat, would remove an existing requirement for wild bison be cleared as free from brucellosis before being transferred.

Threshold Episode 03: Born Free

Feb 16, 2017

Many cattle ranchers view wild bison as a threat to their livelihoods. But some think cattle and bison can coexist. On episode three of Threshold, you'll meet two cattle ranchers with different perspectives on wild bison — and, we'll take you on a controversial bison hunt.

Capitol Connections: Montana American Indian Caucus

Feb 15, 2017

There are 9 American Indian legislators in the 65th Montana Legislature, according to self-reporting to the Legislative Services Division. That’s about 6% of the 150 members. These 9 lawmakers have joined forces with at least 7 other legislative colleagues with American Indian constituents to form the Montana American Indian Caucus.


Threshold Episode 02: 'The Red Man Was Pressed'

Feb 9, 2017

How did we go from more than 50 million wild bison to just 23 free-roaming animals? And how does the decimation of the herds relate to the oppression of Native Americans? Find out on this episode of Threshold.

Threshold Episode 01: For The Benefit And Enjoyment Of The People

Feb 2, 2017
Find out why hundreds of Yellowstone bison are slaughtered each year, on this episode of Threshold.
Amy Martin

Yellowstone National Park is where we saved the American bison from extinction. But each year, we slaughter hundreds of animals from this prized herd. Why? Find out now on the first episode of Threshold.

Lawmakers in Helena are considering a bill that would give each Indian tribe in the state two free licenses per year to hunt buffalo.
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana is known for tall mountains, deep valleys, and expansive forests, but most of the state is comprised of vast prairie landscapes that were once home to thundering herds of American bison. Scientists and historians believe that bison in North America numbered between 3 and 6 million prior to their government-ordered extermination in the late 1800s. Millions of bison were slaughtered simply for their tongues and hides.

Each season, Threshold podcast explores one story from the natural world, and what it says about us. Season one focuses on the American bison. Dig into the history of the American bison, from their arrival in North America, to current controversies surrounding their management today. 

Subscribe to Threshold podcast now via iTunes, and most other podcast apps, or using your own player: http://thresholdpodcast.libsyn.com/rss. You can also listen online at http://www.thresholdpodcast.org

Bison and the National Bison Range.
Josh Burnham-cc-by-2.0

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced it’s assessing future management plans for the National Bison Range, including transferring control to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT).

Yearling bison inside Yellowstone National Park’s Stephens Creek bison trap.
Buffalo Field Campaign

At least 80 Yellowstone National Park bison are now trapped in government corrals. Hundreds more will soon follow suit and be sent to slaughter.

Bison Hunting On This Week's Legislative Agenda

Jan 4, 2017
Lawmakers in Helena are considering a bill that would give each Indian tribe in the state two free licenses per year to hunt buffalo.
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-2.0)

Lawmakers in Helena are considering a bill that would give each Indian tribe in the state two free licenses per year to hunt buffalo.

House Bill 108 would give tribes the licenses each year, as long as the state also issues 40 or more special licenses to the general public to hunt buffalo.

Bull bison in Yellowstone National Park
YellowstoneNPS-flickr (CC-BY-2.0)

People and bison first met 75,000 years ago, and ever since, we've been hunting them, painting them, and walking with them into new lands. Before Europeans arrived in America there were more than 50 million bison here. By 1901, there were just 23 wild bison left. Now, we have some decisions to make. Can we ever have wild free-roaming bison in North America again? Should we? What does the history of bison have to teach us about ourselves?

Yellowstone Looks At Large Bison Cull To Trim Herds

Nov 30, 2016
Bringing bison back to the Blackfeet Reservation and their historic range on land that now belongs to the U.S. Forest Service, like the Badger-Two Medicine and Chief Mountain, is a vision eight years in the making.
(PD)

Yellowstone National Park biologists say more than 900 wild bison would need to be killed or removed this winter to begin reducing the size of herds that spill into neighboring Montana.

Yellowstone National Park: Is It Really Wild?

Nov 10, 2016
© Michael Nichols/National Geographic Yellowstone National Park. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River from Artist Point.

The May 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine is devoted entirely to America's first national park: Yellowstone. It's more than just a park. It's a place where, 140 years ago, we began to negotiate a peace treaty with the wild.  David Quammen tells the story of the park in a four-part essay. He is the only author to write the entire narrative for an entire issue of National Geographic Magazine.

Yellowstone National Park: America’s Wild Idea. These stories and pictures of Yellowstone National Park's animals will surprise you.

Interior Secretary Halts Bison Range Transfer Proposal
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-2)

Debate over transferring federal public lands to state ownership or management has largely dominated Montana’s U.S. House race between the main party candidates.

Across the country, some state lawmakers and members of Congress are pushing to transfer federal lands to state ownership or control, a movement that has gained traction and created some controversy.

Incumbent Republican Ryan Zinke and challenger Democrat Denise Juneau both say their stances on these issues are clear.

Mermaids, Wildlife Politics, Murder, And Lost Love

Sep 21, 2016
Penguin Random House

In the wake of Fourth of July fireworks in Montana’s Madison Valley, Hyalite County sheriff Martha Ettinger and Deputy Sheriff Harold Little Feather investigate a horrific scene at the Palisades cliffs, where a herd of bison have fallen to their deaths. Victims of blind panic caused by the pyrotechnics, or a ritualistic hunting practice dating back thousands of years? The person who would know is beyond asking, an Indian man found dead among the bison, his leg pierced by an arrow.
 

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