GREAT FALLS – Some members of the Blackfeet Tribe are looking at the potential for their own national park.
Agricultural Resource Management is pushing for a feasibility study on the creation of a Blackfeet conservation area.
Project leaders said the study will come in two phases.
The first would look at establishing a tribal national park connecting Chief Mountain to Badger-Two Medicine and putting land into permanent conservation.
Leaders are also looking at a national prairie land designation that would preserve some of their rangeland and grasses for beef or bison production.
Project manager Loren Bird Rattler said that right now, the tribe lacks a real funding mechanism to put toward conservation programs.
“We can look at the fee structure and the creation of a conservation area or in this case, a national park that would allow us to collect fees from people coming into Blackfeet National Park,” he said.
“It would also underwrite natural resource management and agricultural resource management by creating a viable revenue stream that the tribe could then utilize to manage its resources.”
Bird Rattle added they hope a feasibility study will take about 12-to-18 months to complete.