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U.S. District Court issues decision on management of the National Bison Range

President Don Redfearn announced that on Sptember 28, 2010 U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly rescinded the 2008 Annual Funding Agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Confederated Salish & Kootenai tribes. 

The Blue Goose Alliance had filed a suit challenging the legality of the Annual Funding Agreement. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled the Interior Department violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and revoked the tribe's right to manage the range. In her decision, the judge said federal government officials failed to prepare an environmental impact statement before entering into the agreement with the tribe. According to the order, employees of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will resume operation of the National Bison Range.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsiblity (PEER) also filed a lawsuit objecting to the Annual Funding Agreement. The two lawsuits were consolidated.

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly's opinion can be found here.

The order for the BGA suit can be found here.

The order for the PEER suit can be found here