Tour Description

Journey to the Flathead Indian Reservation and the majestic Mission Mountains to explore the intersection of traditional culture and natural resource management. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are at the forefront of asserting sovereignty rights over natural resources. Along the People's Highway (aka US 93), check out the ecologically friendly features, including a dramatic wildlife overpass and underpasses that protect extensive wildlife corridors. Stop at the National Bison Range to learn about disagreements over how much authority the tribes should have in managing bison. A swing through the Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge may yield sightings of migrating waterfowl, including reintroduced trumpeter swans. Other topics may include water rights negotiations, Flathead Lake and native fire management. Depart at 7:30 a.m., lunch included, $30 fee; Drive time — 3.5 hours. Register Now

Monday, June 7, 2010

Getting Out to Scout

Following a few months of preliminary phone calls and emails to potential speakers for our all-day tour, I'm getting pumped for our on-the-ground scouting trek next week. I always love a good road trip, but along the Mission Mountains is particularly special. When I first moved to Missoula and drove up this way to get familiar with my new home, the concentration of wildlife was clearly evident. Not only is the Flathead Indian Reservation home to rich, intensively managed wildlife complexes — including the bison range, the reservoirs, and the refuges — but its expansive landscape also supports a variety of wild habitats and natural corridors. However, like most places where wildness intersects with human communities, the management challenges are nearly as diverse as the habitats themselves. Nowhere, perhaps, is that more true than in Indian Country, where traditional and progressive Native cultures, non-native residents, state interests, and federal entities must come together in order to move forward for mixed use and conservation of these resources, as well as preservation of this region's special nature.

Next tuesday, Joan and I will have a full schedule as we begin to solidify the route and topics we'll share with everyone who joins us in October. Our first stop will be at the National Bison Range near Moiese. From there, we'll travel along Highway 212 and get back on to Highway 93 near the Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge. Heading north, we'll stop in Pablo, where the main Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe (CSKT) offices are. Up in Polson, we'll talk to some of the key natural resource managers on the Flathead Indian Reservation, and tour a few of the wildlife corridors along this highway. I especially hope we get a chance to see a variety of waterfowl at the Ninepipe refuge on our way back to Missoula.

After our scouting trip, I'll be highlighting on this blog the places, people and issues that our SEJ tour group will explore with us in October. Look for photos, speaker information, topic/issue teasers, and links to related news articles and research sources every couple of weeks leading up to the tour date of October 14, 2010. Become a blog follower or join the SEJ listserv to keep up with new developments!

No comments:

Post a Comment