MTPR

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Boat inspections are mandatory at City Beach and Whitefish Lake State Park this season
Nicky Ouellet

As the state ramps up its efforts this year to screen boats for invasive species, some local groups have taken inspections into their own hands.

The City of Whitefish and the Whitefish Lake Institute, for example, have been running two city-funded mandatory check stations since Memorial Day at the only public boat launches on Whitefish Lake. The Whitefish Lake Institute, a local nonprofit that monitors water quality on the lake, also runs a decontamination station.

The Service is drafting comprehensive conservation plans, or CCPs, and accompanying environmental analyses for two areas: one for the National Bison Range, and a separate CCP for the rest of the units within the refuge complex.
Mike Albans

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was in Polson and Kalispell this week, seeking public input on a pair of management plans for wildlife refuges in northwest Montana.

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

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is hosting two public meetings tonight and tomorrow night about planning efforts for the National Bison Range.

Stakes High For Tribes In Republican Health Bills

May 30, 2017
Kevin Howlett is director of the Confederated Salish and Kootenia Tribes' Health and Human Services Department
Eric Whitney

As one of the states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, more than 77,000 Montanans now have access to healthcare, and more than 11,000 of those with coverage are Native American.

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.

Georgia Smies, an aquatic biologist for the Flathead Tribes, plays a game about the impacts of aquatic invasive species with students from Lolo
Nicky Ouellet

This week, the shore of the lower Flathead River west of Ronan is the biggest classroom in Montana. Fourth and fifth graders from across western Montana are here for the River Honoring, an annual event hosted by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, where they learn about the plants and animals native to the reservation.

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."

Jim Elser, director of the Flathead Biological Research Station, answers questions at a public meeting on aquatic invasive mussels.
Nicky Ouellet

Zebra and quagga mussels are aquatic invasive species, quick to colonize and very difficult to get rid of. They’ve caused millions of dollars of damage since they started popping up in Great Lake states in the 1980s, and they have a lot of people in the Flathead Valley concerned right now.

Quagga mussels cover an outboard motor at Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
National Parks Service (PD)

Even one confirmed detection of quagga or zebra mussels could have devastating economic and environmental consequence for the Flathead Reservation. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are mounting a campaign to prevent that from happening.

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.

Voters in Clinton, MT cast ballots during the 2016 elections.
Rebekah Welch

A Republican representative from Kalispell says voters should be required to show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot. Representative Derek Skees introduced his proposal to change Montana’s law during a House Committee meeting today, while opponents argued the bill would make it harder for some people to vote.

Vernon Finley, Chairman of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes delivered the State of the Tribal Nations Address in the state Capitol on Wednesday. Here Finley is greeted with applause as he enters the House chambers.
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

The Chairman of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes delivered the State of the Tribal Nations Address in the state Capitol on Wednesday.  

CSKT Chairman Vernon Finley stood in front of lawmakers and statewide officials, in the Montana House, asking them to remain civil through their disagreements this legislative session.

For Esperanza Orozco-Charlo, a school trip to New York City last March was truly life changing.
Esperanza Orozco-Charlo

School field trips can be a time of wide-eyed wonderment, of seeing new people in new places, and maybe even seeing yourself with fresh eyes. But for Esperanza Orozco-Charlo, a school trip to New York City last March was truly life changing:

"I feel like I can make a story," Orozco-Charlo says. "I'm a girl who came from nothing. But when I go to New York, it’s like, 'oh my god, look at this girl, she came from Montana! What’s it like, what’s it like?'"

A legislative proposal to slap a $25 tax on out-of-state bicyclists visiting Montana turns out to be a big joke, but it's going over like a lead ballon.
PD

A proposal to connect existing bike paths in western Montana received widespread support at a meeting on the Flathead Reservation today. The big hurdle now is securing funding.

The proposed 34-mile multi-use path would follow U.S. 93 from its intersection with Interstate 90 to St. Ignatius.

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).

Montana Supreme Court Temporarily Halts 'Marsy's Law'
(PD)

Lake County Commissioners are asking Montana’s legislature to withdraw from an agreement that lets the state prosecute felonies for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

Senator Jon Tester
Eric Whitney

Senator Jon Tester is asking for feedback on what would happen if Congress and the Trump administration repeal the Affordable Care Act as they’ve been promising.

On Friday and Saturday he visited Libby, Kalispell, and Missoula to meet with health care providers and leaders at hospitals, clinics and public health departments.

One of the paper menorahs Love Lives Here is distributing in Whitefish this Hanukkah
Nicky Ouellet

A few days before the start of Hanukkah, a small group gathered on a street corner in downtown Whitefish, holding stacks of paper menorahs. Joan Vetter Ehrenberg, a volunteer for Love Lives Here, a branch of the Montana Human Rights Network, reads an explanation from the back of the menorah:

"Obviously in response to the anti-semitic targeting of our local friends and neighbors in Whitefish, Love Lives Here invites everyone in the valley to hang a menorah in the window ..."

Whitefish, MT rail depot.
Flickr user Roy Luck (CC-BY-2)

A bipartisan group of Montana’s top elected officials today condemned a series of anti-Semitic, online attacks happening in Whitefish.

U.S. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines, along with Congressman Ryan Zinke, Governor Steve Bullock, and Attorney General Tim Fox released a joint statement saying that groups with anti-Semitic views will “find no safe haven here.”

Rep. Ryan Zinke is President-elect Trump's nominee for secretary of the Interior.
Courtesy Ryan Zinke

On Thursday morning, Congressman Ryan Zinke issued his first press release since media outlets broke the news he was President Elect Donald Trump’s top pick for Secretary of the Interior. In it, he wrote, "I am honored and humbled to be asked to serve Montana and America as Secretary of Interior."

The confirmation unleashed a mixed bag of reactions.

Watch: Salish Honor Ancestors In Return To Homeland

Oct 23, 2016
On the 125th anniversary of the forced removal of the Salish from the Bitterroot, a group of Salish people and supporters honored their ancestors with a three-day walk returning to their homeland.
Courtesy Tailyr Irvine (www.tailyrirvine.com)

On the 125th anniversary of the forced removal of the Salish from the Bitterroot, a group of Salish people and supporters honored their ancestors with a three-day walk returning to their homeland.

(PD)

Half a dozen health care systems in Montana are sharing more than $700,000 in grants to make mental or behavioral health care easier to get.

The Montana Healthcare Foundation says it's making the grants to support better healthcare for people who have a combination of medical problems and mental illness and/or addiction. It plans to award more than $3 million to the initiative over the next two years.

Salish Walkers Retrace Exodus From The Bitterroot

Oct 13, 2016
Logo of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
Josh Burnham

Today through Saturday, the Salish Pend d’Oreille tribal community will be remembering their ancestors by retracing their steps. This Saturday will mark 125 years since the Bitterroot Salish were forcibly removed from the Bitterroot Valley, traveling three days to the Flathead Reservation in Arlee.

Audio Pending...

The Salish and Pend d’Orielle Tribes on the Flathead Reservation are trying something new to save their language — an app. The Tribes’ Culture Committee released the app last month.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to turn over grizzly bear management to Montana, Idaho and Wyoming by late July. The states plan to allow limited bear hunts outside park boundaries.
Flickr user Nathan Rupert (CC-BY-NC-ND-2)

Federal and tribal wildlife agencies are offering a $4,000 reward for information about the illegal shooting of a female grizzly bear north of St. Ignatius. The bear was discovered mortally wounded by a shotgun blast two weeks ago by Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes biologists.

Seli’š Ksanka Qlispe’ Dam, formerly Kerr Dam
Bill Barrett (CC-BY-SA-3)


Death and taxes are supposedly two certainties in life. But at the moment, in Lake County, property taxes aren’t so certain.

 

The county is suing the state Department of Revenue over one property -- the Seli’š Ksanka Qlispe’ (say-LISH kuh-ZAHN-kuh kud-LEE-speh) Dam, formerly known as the Kerr Dam, which the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes bought from NorthWestern Energy last year.

 

The sale was negotiated in 1985 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

 

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.

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

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Friday said they’ve modified their proposal to take over management of the National Bison Range.

The tribes released draft federal legislation in June that would transfer management of the range to them from the agency that’s in control now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Montana Lawmakers Push For Tribal Bison Hunts In Yellowstone

Sep 15, 2016
The Service is drafting comprehensive conservation plans, or CCPs, and accompanying environmental analyses for two areas: one for the National Bison Range, and a separate CCP for the rest of the units within the refuge complex.
Mike Albans

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana legislative committee that wants to limit Yellowstone National Park's growing herds of bison from leaving the park sent a recommendation Thursday to park officials for American Indian tribes to be allowed to hunt bison inside the park.

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