Montana Public Radio

Blackfeet Reservation

A bear warning sign.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Last Thursday the Interior Department announced that it’s removing Yellowstone-area grizzly bears from the endangered species list. It’s expected that grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) will be de-listed in 2020.

For the first time in a lifetime, grizzly bears in the NCDE  have been roaming far east of the Rocky Mountains following drainages, streams and food into the tan waves of farmland stretching out from the forest edges of the Rocky Mountain Front.  

In the town of Valier, where about 500 people live along a lake an hour and a half drive from the mountains to the west, the community is still adjusting to living among grizzlies.

Watercraft inspection station sign.
Katrin Frye

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — Blackfeet tribal leaders have reopened some reservation waters to motorized boats after approving new regulations in response to the threat of aquatic invasive mussels.

The Flathead Beacon reported last week that motorized crafts are limited to four lakes (Duck, St. Mary, Mission and Four Horn lakes).

The Cut Bank voting center.
Corin Cates-Carney

Colleen O’Brien didn’t know her usual polling place wouldn’t be open for Montana's May 25’s special election to fill Montana’s U.S. House seat until last week.

"It's making it incredibly inconvenient at best, and it is disenfranchising an underserved, underrepresented population at worst," O'Brien says.

Two Medicine River, in the Badger-Two Medicine area.
Courtesy Gene Sentz

A Texas oilman is suing the federal government after they canceled his lease, along with two others, in the Badger Two-Medicine area south of Glacier National Park in Montana.

The area is a sacred site for the Blackfeet Nation.

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.

Western Montana’s in for yet another round of winter weather, including heavy snow, rain and even some more freezing rain.
National Weather Service Missoula

Western Montana’s in for yet another round of winter weather, including heavy snow, rain and even some more freezing rain. National Weather Service meteorologist Travis Booth says this latest storm is moving into the region this afternoon.

Solenex well site is the last remaining oil lease in Badger-Two-Medicine.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The U.S. Interior Department Tuesday canceled the final two oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area between Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Reservation. The undeveloped leases were first issued in the 1980's in an area that is sacred to the Blackfeet Nation.

U.S. Senate Approves Blackfeet Water Settlement

Sep 16, 2016

The U.S. Senate has approved a $420 million water rights settlement with Montana's Blackfeet American Indian tribe as part of the larger Water Resources Development Act.

The Blackfeet Nation is working to restore bison to the species’ native range, which extends beyond the boundaries of their reservation into Glacier National Park and the nearby Badger-Two Medicine area on National Forest land.
Mike Albans

Most of the 50 people visiting Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park for a workshop this week have never seen a bison. They flew in from as far away as South Africa, Russia and Iran to learn about ways countries can work together to manage wildlife, rivers, reefs and landscapes.

Every four years, Americans line up at the polls to vote in a new executive. We call it nation-building. But the nation-building that Americans will do in November pales in comparison to what members of the Blackfeet Tribe are doing right now.

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