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

Confirmed Speakers

Speaker information will be posted here as they are confirmed.

Tom McDonald

Division Manager, Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation Division, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

The Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation Division employs approximately 75 resource specialists and professionals for fish, wildlife and recreation management on the 1.3 million acre Flathead Indian Reservation and within the aboriginal territory of the Tribes. Tom has been working for the Tribe’s Natural Resources Department in various capacities for the past 28 years and possesses a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management from The Evergreen State College. His work experience over the past 34 years is varied from management of wild and prescribed fire, conducting fish and wildlife population surveys and transplants, writing wilderness and fish/wildlife management plans, and acquiring and restoring critical wildlife habitat and travel corridors on sensitive landscapes. He is an active member of the Montana/Wyoming Tribal Fish and Game Commission and the Native American fish and Wildlife Society. Additionally, Tom has developed long term hunting and fishing agreements and partnerships with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and has secured positive relationships with various non-governmental organizations.

Mike Carter

Tribal Deputy Manager, National Bison Range, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Mike’s past experience includes over 14 years with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation serving as Field Director for five years covering 15 Northeastern states, five years as National Director of Field Operations, and four years as Regional Vice President for the Southwestern United States. He also served as Regional Fish and Wildlife Supervisor for the Illinois Department of Conservation for 10 years. A former high school biology teacher and coach, his education includes a B.S. in Zoology Education with minors in Botany and Chemistry and a Master’s Degree in Wildlife Management from Eastern Illinois University. A native of southeastern Illinois, Mike now calls Montana his home.

Whisper Camel

Associate Biologist, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Whisper Camel is an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. She received her B.S. in Wildlife Biology (2003) from the University of Montana and her M.S. in Fish and Wildlife Management (2007) from Montana State University.  Her master’s project was part of US 93 pre-construction wildlife monitoring efforts.  Whisper’s studies focused on which landcover variables were common in locations where deer where crossing and being involved in vehicle collisions along the highway.  She was also involved in the animal tracking and deer density studies headed by The Western Transportation Institute in conjunction with US 93 pre-construction wildlife monitoring.  Her main work focus includes US 93 re-construction consultation, monitoring wildlife mitigation effectiveness (US 93 post-construction), and wetland mitigation projects. Whisper is an active member of The Wildlife Society (TWS) on a national and state level.  In 2008, she received certification as an Associate Wildlife Biologist based on academic and work experience. During 2009, she was accepted in and completed work for the TWS Leadership Institute, which is aimed at developing and promoting leaders in the field of natural resources and wildlife management.  Whisper was elected president of the Montana Chapter of TWS in February 2010.  Other club affiliations include the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society and past membership in the Society of Conservation Biologists.

Craig Barfoot

Fisheries Biologist, Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation Division, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Gloria Flora

Executive Director, Sustainable Obtainable Solutions

Pat Jamieson

Outdoor Recreation Planner, National Bison Range, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Clayton Matt

Director of Tribal Services, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Robert McDonald

Communications Director, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Tim Miller

Deputy Project Leader, National Bison Range, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Patrick Saffel

Fisheries Manager, Missoula, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Art Soukkala

Wildlife Biologist, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Garrit Voggesser

Senior Manager, Tribal Lands Conservation Program, Rocky Mountain Regional Center, National Wildlife Federation

Germaine White

Information and Education Specialist, Natural Resources Department, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Seth Makepeace

Hydrologist, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Rusty Sydnor

Botanist, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes