HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Yellowstone National Park officials are launching a new bison quarantine program aimed at establishing new, disease-free herds on public and tribal lands.
Yellowstone spokeswoman Morgan Warthin says the program will help conservation and reduce the number of bison shipped to slaughter because of overpopulation in the park.
National Park Service officials green-lighted the program Tuesday that will test captured bison for the disease brucellosis, which causes animals to abort their young.
The testing will be conducted in Yellowstone and on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in northeastern Montana.
When the bison are determined to be disease-free, they will be released on “suitable public and tribal lands,'' according to the decision.
Warthin says there are 87 bison being held in Yellowstone facilities that would be tested in the program's first phase.
YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — The nation's highest court has decided to consider whether Yakama tribal members are exempt from state gas taxes on the reservation.
The Yakima Herald-Republic reported Thursday the case stems a state Department of Licensing lawsuit in 2013 against a gas station and convenience store called the Cougar Den.
The state alleged the store owned by tribal member Kip Ramsey in White Swan brought out-of-state fuel onto the reservation without paying the state's fuel tax.
Yakima County Superior Court and the state Supreme Court ruled the Yakama Treaty of 1855 exempted tribal-owned gas stations on the reservation from the tax.
The licensing department appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
As members of a sovereign nation, Yakama tribal members are exempt from state gas, tobacco and sales tax on the reservation. But state authorities complain that too often non-tribal members go to the reservation to buy goods and escape state taxes.