Bison Range agreement set to be signed

Moise, Montana (AP) 6-08

An annual funding agreement that will put Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal employees back to work at the National Bison Range is expected to be signed soon.

Lyle Laverty is assistant secretary in charge of fish, wildlife and parks at the U.S. Department of the Interior. He told the Missoulian that the signing is scheduled for June 19 in Washington, D.C.

The agreement will then be submitted to Congress for a 90-day review period.

ItÂ’s been more than a year and a half since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service abruptly canceled a previous agreement and locked tribal employees out of the range amid much finger-pointing on both sides.

The Interior Department stepped in and said it wanted another funding agreement put in place that put tribal workers back on the Bison Range.