|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
JOINT NEWS RELEASE
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Confederated
Salish and Kootenai Tribes
September 5, 2003
Matt Kales U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: (303) 236-7917, x.257
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes met at the Service’s regional office in Denver on September 4 and 5 to continue negotiating an annual funding agreement, under which CSKT would perform certain programs, services, functions, and activities, and portions thereof, at that portion of the National Bison Range Complex within the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana.
During the meeting, representatives from the Service and CSKT discussed a variety of topics related to the annual funding agreement. While no agreement was reached, the sides made significant progress.
"The Service and the CSKT worked hard to understand one another’s perspectives, identify outstanding issues, and generally move the process forward. I am impressed with the parties’ willingness to pursue an annual funding agreement that meets all of our collective objectives and is in the best interest of the resource," said Paul Hoffman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, U.S. Department of the Interior.
According to the CSKT Chairman Fred Matt: "I feel progress was made, and I think we can reach an annual funding agreement with which all parties will be happy."
The Service’s regional office staff and the CSKT leadership agreed to meet again soon to continue the negotiations and in the interim, will convene working groups to clarify and exchange information on technical matters.
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