Riding the range no more - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Riding the range no more

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The Blackfeet nation range rider program is hit hard and will even result in job loss. That is what Blackfeet Tribal Chairman Harry Barnes said. All because of a move made in Washington DC.

He said when he got the letter from the Department of the Interior it came as a huge surprise.

"Someone dropped the ball back in Washington DC because that's where the decision was made back there one ever asked the Blackfeet tribe nor did they even tell us," said Barnes.

The tribe runs the range rider program. 
"The five individuals that work in that program are charged with enforcement of grazing leases as far as the number of head that are grazing on any particular spot," said Barnes.
He said they make sure there is no overgrazing on leased land.

Barnes said the program is funded from a three percent fee which is transferred from the BIA to the tribe. Now that will go directly to the treasury and  not the tribe. 

"There is no money to reimburse tribes so we feel very strongly, I have sent a letter to the Secretary of the Interior they did acknowledge receipt of the letter and they are looking into it," said Barnes.

His biggest concern is the change was made without consulting the tribe.
"The US Government has an obligation to consult with tribe anytime they take action that have an adverse effect on tribes," said Barnes.
Barnes means any tribes within the us
This is a mandated federal agreement put in place by President George W Bush. 
n a statement from the BIA  they said in part the program is not ending but they didn't  fully explain the minor changes being made to the program. 

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