Interior Dept to look into bison range management

Moises, Montana (AP) March 2010

The Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General will look into management issues at the National Bison Range in western Montana at the request of a Washington, D.C. environmental group.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility announced during March it had received a letter from acting Inspector General Mary L. Kendall confirming the investigation.

The targets – the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes – say they will cooperate.

PEER says the bison range has law enforcement, environmental and management deficiencies and blames tribal involvement. Jeff King, FWS project leader at the bison range, has said many of the issues raised by PEER were present before the tribe became involved.

PEER opposes the involvement of the CSKT at the bison range and believes it should be run only by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.