"Interior: In About-Face, Zinke Opposes Giving Bison Range To Tribes"

"The Interior Department no longer supports legislation that would transfer the National Bison Range to the tribes whose reservation it's located within.

'I took a hard look at the current proposal suggesting a new direction for the National Bison Range and assessed what this would mean for Montana and the nation,' Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said today in a statement. 'I recognize the Bison Range is a critical part of our past, present, and future, which is why I have changed course.'

Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service last year considered backing legislation that would give the so-called crown jewel of the national wildlife refuge system back to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

But Montana's senators weren't ready to introduce legislation authorizing the transfer.

Then, two days before the end of the Obama administration, FWS announced in the Federal Register that it would prepare a draft comprehensive conservation plan for the range. That notice listed three alternatives, including the agency's preferred management option: congressional transfer of land to the tribes."

Corbin Hiar reports for Greenwire April 13, 2017.

Source: Greenwire, 04/14/2017