The meeting yesterday was the typical lack of respect and responsibility by Fish Wildlife & Parks and ranchers and the strong supportiveness of individuals and environmental groups.
There were about 40 people there with only 6 or 7 who were against relocating buffalo onto wildlife management areas (WMA's). A few of the supporting groups were Buffalo Field Campaign, Western Watersheds Project, Gallatin Wildlife Association, Yellowstone Buffalo Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resource Defense Council, and Helena Hunters and Anglers. One Native from Fort Peck and one from Fort Belknap were there inaddition to the InterTribal Bison Cooperative's lawyer. The opposing groups were obviously, Stockgrowers and Cattlemen's Association plus at least one rancher and 2 individuals who live near Spotted Dog Wilderness Area (the proposed relocation site).
At present there is a lawsuit filed by Western Watersheds Project, Gallatin Wildlife Association, Buffalo Field Campaign, and Yellowstone Buffalo Foundation against FWP over FWP giving Ted Turner Yellowstone bison which is nothing more than the privatization of the Yellowstone bison. This lawsuit has become an excuse for FWP to deny the tribes buffalo. FWP Director Joe Maurier said, "If we give them [buffalo] to another nation, it could be seen as the ultimate in privatization. So, until we can resolve that issue, I will not be able to do much. But it's still under consideration." Maurier has also said, "If the suit continues, we will fight it all the way. If the suit goes away we will continue to talk with our tribal friends. It's my understanding that we did make some promises and some tribes did what they said they would do with fencing. We need to get this little issue resolved and we are ready to go."
Mike Fox, Fort Belknap tribal council member has said, "If they go to the tribes it's not privatization because we have a government-to-government relationship. We are ready and willing to help with this project."
At the end of the meeting yesterday Maurier again restated to the tribes that buffalo cannot go on their land until the plaintiffs drop the lawsuit. He said when this happens they can move forward.
Mike Mease, co-founder of Buffalo Field Campaign, filmed this entire meeting. When the video is available I will post it.
The one thing that was lacking in the meeting was knowledge. FWP has alot of facts about the relative, but lacks knowledge--Vedic Science, the knowledge of Natural Law--how the universe works and organizes itself in perfect harmony. The tribes have this knowledge, making them more than capable of taking care of buffalo. When the knowledge of how nature works becomes the basis of all FWP's and the Department Of Interior's and Bureau of Land Management's decisions, then balance will be restored to Montana's environment.