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The Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

 

04-47 July 14, 2004

For Immediate Release Contacts:

Matt Kales, (303) 236-4576
Sharon Rose, (303) 236-4580

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Publishes Notice of Availability of Draft Annual Funding Agreement with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Federal Register

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today published in the Federal Register a Notice of Availability of a draft Annual Funding Agreement with The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Under the draft agreement, which was negotiated pursuant to the Tribal Self-Governance Act of 1994, the Tribes would conduct certain activities on those portions of the National Bison Range Complex in northwestern Montana. The draft agreement applies only to those units that lie within the boundaries of the Flathead Reservation: National Bison Range, Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge, Pablo National Wildlife Refuge, and waterfowl production areas within the Reservation. The Service would maintain ownership of and management authority over all lands and buildings at the complex.

The publication of the draft agreement signals the start of a 90-day public comment period. The public is encouraged to review the draft agreement and provide comments by Monday, October 11, 2004. Comments may be submitted in writing to: National Bison Range, 132 Bison Range Road, Moeise, MT 59824, or via e-mail at: draftafapubliccomments@fws.gov.

Copies of the draft agreement may be obtained by contacting the National Bison Range at the above address or by telephone at: (406) 644-2211. Copies may also be downloaded at: http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/cskt-fws-negotiation, or by contacting the Tribes at: The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, P.O. Box 278, Pablo, MT 59855; (406) 675-2700.

Following the 90-day public comment period, the Service and the Tribes will determine whether revisions to the draft agreement are necessary, after which a final agreement will be transmitted to the U.S. Congress for a 90-day Congressional review period.

The National Bison Range Complex, part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, consists of the National Bison Range, Swan Lake, Lost Trail, Pablo and Ninepipe national wildlife refuges, and the Northwest Montana Wetland Management District. Established in 1908 to conserve the American bison, the Bison Range and ancillary properties provide important habitat for a variety of species such as elk, pronghorn antelope and migratory birds.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

FWS

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