Republican plan could be test case for restoring public lands to tribal control

Slippery Ann Creek at the confluence with the Missouri River in east central Montana

Restoring and rewilding American ecosystems are parts of the Green New Deal.

Former pastor and South Dakota legislator, Steve Hickey has asked me not to publish it but I have a rough draft of an abstract written by his daughter, Katherine, that seeks reconciliation with tribal nations whose lands were seized through colonization with land repatriation as reparation.

The South Dakota Democratic Party should advocate for paying the tribes and settling the Black Hills Claim, dissolving the Black Hills National Forest, moving management of the land from the US Department of Agriculture into the Department of Interior in cooperation with Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Forestry and Wildfire Management. Mato Paha (Bear Butte), the associated national grasslands and the Sioux Ranger District of the Custer/Gallatin National Forest should be included in the move.

The Anthropocene is now and time to rewild some of the American West eventually becoming part of a Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge connecting the CM Russell in Montana along the Missouri River through North Dakota to Oacoma, South Dakota combined with corridors from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon in the north and south to the Pecos River through eastern Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, western Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Clear the second growth conifers and restore aspen habitat, prescribe burns, begin extensive Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids, empower tribes, lease private land for wildlife corridors, turn feral horses from Bureau of Land Management pastures onto other public land to control exotic grasses and buy out the welfare ranchers Tony Dean warned us about.
A proposal by Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) to transfer the National Bison Range – 18,800 acres – to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) has run into opposition on the grounds that it is simply another part of the Republican Party’s federal land “give away” program. Such claims are nonsense. Moreover, if the transfer happens, the land will still be under the trusteeship of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The case for transferring other federal lands to Indian tribes applies to national monuments. [The case for transferring federal lands back to Native Americans]

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