LETTER: Disappointed in Bison Range Ruling

By Beacon Staff

Regarding the ruling that rescinds the funding agreement maintaining the Bison Range, I am grievously disappointed. It’s difficult for me to believe that in the years of dispute prior to this agreement that such an important document would not stand up under thoughtful review. There was simply too much at risk for both sides: US Department of the Interior and Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes.

I believe that there is a larger story beyond the NEPA required “categorical exclusion.” Native Americans have a 14,000-year spiritual relationship to this land, which includes all forms of life and that which sustains it. Does the letter of the law trump this?

Without due diligence, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling threatened more than the jobs of twelve CSKT Bison Range employees. It once again divides a community that needs to concentrate on moving forward together. How does the National Environment Policy Act lose its vision of the common good? Where is the dedicated wisdom in our justice system?

I hope, with faith, that the U.S. Justice Department will apply such vision and wisdom in its review.

Nancy T. Glueckert
Polson, Montana