Opinion: Let Tribal Members Hunt Inside Yellowstone Natl Park
Here we go again. The white liberals in Washington always think they know what's best for us and how best to manage our lands here out West.
I remember seeing this story a while back in The New York Times. Native American tribal members with historic hunting rights here in Montana and Wyoming were allowed to hunt bison outside of Yellowstone National Park. Big city environmentalists freaked out because they thought too many bison were killed in such a relatively small area.
As The New York Times reported back in April:
Under historic treaties bestowing the rights to take buffalo, members of the Nez Perce, Blackfeet, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, Northern Arapaho, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the Crow and Shoshone-Bannock Tribes traveled to the region and harvested nearly 1,100 bison.
The New York Times also showed a photo of a billboard outside of Livingston, Montana which read, "There is no hunt. It's a slaughter." That billboard was paid for by the white liberals with the Alliance for the Wild Rockies who were attacking tribal members exercising their historic treaty rights.
Some of the environmentalists quoted in the piece complained that too many hunters were consolidated in one area. That's because, of course, too many bison were consolidated in one area.
Here's the problem. We have too many bison in the park. Too many bison in the park is bad for the rangeland in the park. In other words, too many bison is BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. Ranchers outside of Yellowstone are also concerned about too many bison in the park pushing outside the boundaries and infecting cattle with brucellosis.
So here was a question I raised back in April: why not allow tribal members to hunt inside the park?
This would help to lower the number of bison in the park to a more sustainable number. It would be better for the environment. It would be better for neighboring ranchers and roadways. And, it would spread out the hunting opportunities for tribal members to a much larger area.
Right now, tribal members do not have the right to hunt bison inside Yellowstone National park. But you may recall, it was just a few years ago when none of us were allowed our right to bear arms inside of the park either. We now have that right. Is it time for tribal members to now have this right, once again, also?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this idea. E-mail aaron (at) montanatalks.com