BROWNING — Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg toured Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana over the weekend as part of his personal challenge to visit every state this year.
He noted the beauty of Glacier park while taking a ride on a red jammer bus on Saturday and visited the “bark ranger” Gracie, a border collie who helps herd wildlife away from people at popular areas, such as Logan Pass. He also noted the park’s dwindling numbers of glaciers.
In Browning he met with tribal officials and noted the poverty and substance abuse on the reservation. He posted on his Facebook page about the need for better health care and for a government with checks and balances — a type of government voters recently rejected. Zuckerberg noted the tribe is building its buffalo herd and recently approved a compact that quantifies its water rights.
In a post on Facebook, Zuckerberg wrote, “I’m spending the afternoon at Glacier National Park in Montana with some National Park Service Rangers.
The impact of climate change is very clear at Glacier. In the last hundred years, the average global temperature has risen 1.5 degrees. But in the high elevations of Montana where Glacier is the temperature is warming at 3x the global average — enough to melt glaciers.”
From Browning, he wrote, in part, “The reservation is a microcosm of how the pillars of a fair government, strong economy, and healthy community are all connected.
The Blackfeet have been on this land for 10,000 years, and for most of that time they followed the buffalo — for food, shelter and clothing. Then settlers came, took their land through war, and implemented programs that made the Blackfeet dependent on the state. The chairman told me they ‘ripped the pride out of our chests and back filled it with alcohol.'”