Feds: tribes are states; BHNF, Custer to BIA?

The War Toilet tripped over the Black Hills Land Claim the other day exposing the GOP's ignorance of issues in Indian Country but ip hasn't bothered trying to get in over there yet today to get readers a link. They block my devices because of my serial, likely obsessive TP-ing of their bullshit so you'll have to get your own waders on and go in. Don't forget a pitchfork.

A persistent commenter over there (yep, guilty) is convinced that President Obama should issue an executive order reassigning the Black Hills National Forest and the Custer National Forest to the Forestry Division of the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a compromise seeking to settle the Claims lawsuits. These lands would be managed by professionals on a par with the current USDA protocols. Besides, how could they fuck it up worse than the Forest Service has?

The Black Hills National Forest should cease to exist and the proposed Tony Dean Wilderness should be folded into a deal for National Grassland, too, maybe under a cooperative Park Service/BIA charter with input from each stakeholder. I'll say it again: the Forest Service should come out of the USDA and look more like the Bureau of Reclamation.

Thunder Basin National Grassland west of Devil's Tower is at risk to the 1872 Mining Act, not to mention the ground impacted by another Canadian invasion in the form of a proposed strip mine for rare earth minerals north of Sundance. Wyoming blasts through treaty lands and leaves mercury trails in its wake.

Montana's red state earth-raping machines are fueled up and ready to rip. The Otter Creek coal development would carve wide swathes through southeastern Montana burial sites. Mal-named Custer National Forest should be under Northern Cheyenne and Crow care although this blogger has witnessed that the pine bark beetle has moved deeper into the Pryors now, too.

Last week, the EPA recognized the Havasupi as a state under Section 303 of the Clean Water Act as an essential function of tribal governance. And, today in a story from The World, a Coos Bay Lee paper, the BLM snubbed the State of Oregon and gave the Coquille tribe an opportunity to develop a sustainable forest plan for federal wildlands.

SCOTUS blog on Montana v. Wyoming. Note lone dissenter Justice Scalia, calling the majority opinion written by anti-clone Justice Thomas, "incomprehensible." From the Helena Independent Record:

Left unresolved following Monday’s ruling was the broader question of whether Montana is getting its fair share from the rivers as Wyoming builds new reservoirs, the amount of water used by the oil and gas industry increases and farms expand. Remaining aspects of the lawsuit could have consequences for Wyoming’s natural gas industry. Over the last decade, companies seeking a type of gas known as coal-bed methane have pumped billions of gallons of water from underground aquifers shared by the two states. Montana contends the companies are draining water that would otherwise feed the Tongue and Powder rivers.
Am I nuts?


Thad Wasson said...

Abolish the BIA and NFS and return the land to the Sioux tribe.

Less federal government and the First Nations can begin to heal themselves.

larry kurtz said...

That's my view, too, Thad; but it seems politically untenable especially in red states. The BIA won't go away and the FS is the logical manager in states where tribal issues are not as prevalent. My position is a compromise designed to settle land claims.

larry kurtz said...

It must stick in somebody's craw that the Sioux Ranger District with an outpost in Camp Crook is based in Billings.

Thad Wasson said...

You're right...that might lead to a race war.

larry kurtz said...

Have you been following the comments from tribal members at Mary Garrigan's story, Thad?

President Obama and the Democrats have an opportunity to slow red state collapse and make peace.