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Bipartisan U.S. Senate Bill Aims to Boost Bison Tribal Management, Restoration

Caption for photo: A herd of buffalo in Northern New Mexico. Credit: Shaun Griswold / Source New Mexico

OCTOBER 10, 2023

Excerpt from article in Source New Mexico

By Blair Miller, Daily Montanan

Sen. Heinrich joins Oklahoma Republican to introduce act that would give Interior Department ability to expand programs.

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has again introduced a bill that aims to create a permanent bison program within the Department of Interior to help bolster tribal involvement in the restoration and management of the creatures on tribal lands.

The Indian Buffalo Management Act, introduced Sept. 22 by Sens. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and Markwayne Mullin, R-Oklahoma, has received backing from the InterTribal Buffalo Council, of which seven Montana reservations are members, and several other bison management groups.

A similar version of the bill, sponsored by the late Republican Alaska Rep. Don Young, passed the House of Representatives in late 2021 but stalled in the Senate. Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., voted against the bill in the House.

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