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Senator Rounds introduces ‘Indian Buffalo Management Act’ to help tribes bring bison herds back

Members of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds, and New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich, introduced the Indian Buffalo Management Act, legislation to create a permanent buffalo program. The goal is to encourage tribes to manage bison herds with the help of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Members of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds, and New...
Members of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds, and New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich, introduced the Indian Buffalo Management Act, legislation to create a permanent buffalo program. The goal is to encourage tribes to manage bison herds with the help of the U.S. Department of the Interior.(Miranda O'Bryan)
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 4:27 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Before overhunting and human population growth dwindled their numbers to next to nothing, buffalo roamed the land that would one day become South Dakota.

Now, new legislation is making it possible for Native American tribes to bring them back.

Members of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds, and New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich, introduced the Indian Buffalo Management Act, legislation to create a permanent buffalo program.

The goal is to encourage tribes to manage bison herds with the help of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The bill would make roughly $14,000,000 available for tribes and tribal organizations to create and sustain an American buffalo herd.

In Native American history and culture, the bison was an integral part of life and in a press release the president of the InterTribal Buffalo Council, Ervin Carlson, says this bill will help heal Native people, revive Native culture, and expand tribal sovereignty.

“The American buffalo is a treasured animal and resource for Native American communities across the United States,” said Rounds. “The Indian Buffalo Management Act gives tribes the capacity to manage their buffalo populations, utilize the many benefits from buffalo and provide input into federal buffalo management policy. I am committed to helping tribes in South Dakota restore their historical and cultural ties to buffalo herds and make certain that this is a meaningful step for Native American communities.”

The bill was also introduced earlier this year in the House of Representatives by Alaska Congressman Don Young.

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