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Heinert to Leave Senate After 2022, Work on Saving Buffalo and Native Culture

Unlike retiring Senator Timothy Johns (R-31/Lead), Senate Minority Leader Troy Heinert (D-26/Mission) hasn’t been arrested for drunk driving. But like his Lead colleague, Heinert plans to step away from the Legislature after the 2022 Session and work in the private sector:

Heinert accepted a position as Executive Director of the Intertribal Buffalo Council.

“I’m termed out of the Senate anyway, I wasn’t going to run for the House. So it was: run for Governor, US Senator, or the US House. This position came before me, I really believe in its mission and its cause. We have 76 member Tribes clear across the country. We help restore buffalo back to tribal lands. We’re shipping Yellowstone buffalo that have been in quarantine for three years. It’s no small feat to get a live buffalo out of Yellowstone,” said Heinert [link added, Beth Warden, “South Dakota Minority Leader Heinert Passes on Run for Governor, Joining Private Sector After Term,” KSFY, 2021.12.16].

The Intertribal Buffalo Council started 30 years ago with a meeting of nineteen tribes in the Black Hills, with the culturally profound aim of restoring the sacred beast of the plains that we white colonizers slaughtered to crush the indigenous tribes:

Bison (Bison bison), or as commonly referred to by Tribal people “buffalo”, has always held great meaning for the American Indian people. Buffalo represent their spirit and remind them of how their lives were once lived, free and in harmony with nature. In the 1800’s, the white-man recognized the reliance Indian tribes had on the buffalo. Thus began the systematic destruction of buffalo as a means to subjugate western Tribal nations. The slaughter of over 60 million buffalo left only a few thousand buffalo remaining in the world.

Without buffalo, the independent life of Tribal people could no longer be maintained. The Indian spirit, along with that of the buffalo, suffered an enormous loss. At that time, tribes began to sign treaties with the US government in an attempt to protect the land and the buffalo for their future generations. The destruction of the buffalo herds, and the associated devastation to the tribes, disrupted the self-sufficient lifestyle of Tribal people more than all other federal policies to date.

To reestablish healthy buffalo populations on tribal lands is to reestablish hope for Indian people. Members of the InterTribal Buffalo Council (ITBC) understood that reintroduction of the buffalo to tribal lands will help heal the spirit of both the Indian people and the buffalo [Intertribal Buffalo Council, “Our History,” organizational website, retrieved 2021.12.17].

Heinert was on NPR last weekend talking about the importance of preserving Yellowstone buffalo:

SCOTT SIMON, HOST: More than 5,000 bison roam Yellowstone National Park. That’s too many, according to the National Park Service. Nine hundred of these bison will be culled – hunted or caught and slaughtered. A small number will be relocated this winter as part of an agreement reached by wildlife officials and tribal entities. Troy Heinert is executive director of the InterTribal Buffalo Council, also a member of the Rosebud Sioux Nation, and joins us now from Nevada. Thanks so much for being with us.

TROY HEINERT: Well, thank you for having me on.

SIMON: This is because of the threat of a disease, I gather.

HEINERT: Well, it’s a threat of the disease, but it’s also about restoring, you know, wild buffalo to tribal nations. That’s what ITBC’s main focus on because we know our tribes have the capability to manage and grow those herds and, you know, get the pristine genetics that Yellowstone buffalo have.

SIMON: Well, tell us about that and what your hope is.

HEINERT: Well, Yellowstone buffalo are the cornerstone of the species. They’re the last free-roaming wild buffalo that go back to the same buffalo that our ancestors followed and made their life from. So tribes are very interested in keeping that species alive and that genetic alive and bringing it into their own tribal herds, and as well as the spiritual and cultural connections that we have to those buffalo.

SIMON: Well, tell us about that.

HEINERT: The Lakota people and then ITBC, which has 76 member tribes, all have a unique connection with buffalo. Buffalo was our main food source. It was shelter. It was tools, weapons. But it was also more about learning. Our young men watched buffalo and saw how the males protected the cows and the calves. And it gave us a sense of resilience. You know, we view the buffalo as a relative, and we try to treat them as such. And many tribes have their own ceremonies and songs as it pertains to buffalo [Scott Simon, “There Are Too Many Bison in Yellowstone. Some Will Be Relocated to Tribal Nations,” NPR via CAP Radio, 2021.12.11].

Heinert is doing important work to remediate the white man’s destruction of this continent’s native biome and culture. Now if we can just find some hearty Democrats to take up Heinert’s work in combatting the Whitopian GOP‘s war against democracy.


  1. larry kurtz 2021-12-17 06:49

    Well, darn. Has the SDDP done any internal polling to identify any other viable gubernatorial candidate?

  2. Jim peterson 2021-12-17 08:35

    Troy was an excellent voice for his people and all South Dakota. He will be missed. We can only hope he will someday return to Pierre, we need more level headed leaders like Troy.

  3. Mark Anderson 2021-12-17 16:18

    It’s great, he’s going to do something productive, why would he want to be a politician?

  4. Arlo Blundt 2021-12-17 16:31

    Good Luck and go get ’em Troy….We’ve been involved with the Trumpeter Swan restoration across America which started 30 years ago with Yellowstone Swans. The Restoration of North America’s largest bird continues in all the states that will cooperate and participate (believe it or not Texas and some other southern states have been very slow to cooperate.) Buffalo are going to be a challenging species to reestablish but the tribes have some of the vital resource needed. For one thing, they have the desire to see the project through.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-12-17 17:49

    Internal polling? That takes money… and what interior of the SDDP is so big that it requires a poll? You can get the same answers for far less money by picking up the phone, calling the top 20 party leaders, and brainstorming.

  6. larry kurtz 2021-12-17 17:52

    Got it, no bench at all then?

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-12-17 17:54

    Arlo, I wonder… maybe Heinert is going to go get a bunch of ’em—a bunch of buffalo to reclaim not just heritage and culture but actual land. Consider: Interior Secretary Haaland met with Lakota tribal leaders in Rapid City today to talk Indian sovereignty and rights to the Black Hills. Maybe Heinert and ITBC will keep bringing strong, fecund Yellowstone buffalo to the state and release them into Pe’ Sla and other Indian-controlled land in and around the Hills. Pretty soon, those buffalo will get big and multiply. They’ll start overruning fences, claiming land, and driving out settlers. Someday those buffalo will burst forth from the Hills and march out to retake the high plains from Hermosa to Interior to Rosebud and Oacoma, and on up to Camp Crook, Lodgepole, McIntosh, and Mobridge.

    Recolonization by buffalo—imagine the possibility.

  8. larry kurtz 2021-12-17 17:56

    Nesiba is too cerebral, Healy is too young, Bordeaux doesn’t have the reach, Hildy is too gay, Wismer is too jaded, Seiler is too old. Who’d I skip?

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-12-17 17:56

    10-4, Larry.

    Is it possible SD Dems get too fixated on one star whose turn they think is next and fail to develop that bench of multiple competing competing candidates? Does SDDP think too linearly?

  10. Arlo Blundt 2021-12-17 19:13

    Cory…well…you start with the vast existing reservations and then, through agreement with the feds move onto the Buffalo Gap and Fort Pierre National Grasslands, add Wind Cave and the federal Black Hills National Forest and add the remnant Slim Buttes and Short Pines forest land in the northwest. That’s a lot of buffalo fence….a daunting proposition for probably a lifetime of work. The Trumpeter Swans and Sandhill Cranes will enjoy the potholes and shallow lakes created by buffalo wallows. I’d like to see the addition of the only consistent buffalo predator, the Grey Wolf, but wolves have few friends. They are an awesome animal.

  11. Arlo Blundt 2021-12-17 20:12 with Ted Turner, Nature Conservancy, and other defenders of wildlife could create corridors to connect the separate parcels of this buffalo range. Find a way to get the Nebraska tribes involved and you could incorporate much of the sand hills.

  12. Guy 2021-12-17 23:01

    It’s been a LONG while since I last mentioned her name this past summer. Does someone still have Stephanie’s campaign phone number?!? Come on, Steph! You’ve been President of Augustana for a little over 4 years. WE NEED YOU IN PIERRE!!!

  13. DaveFN 2021-12-18 00:23

    What’s not to love—the nostalgia of bison herds thundering across the prairie grasslands, tearing through the many fences since erected that would encumber them. But really, “Our young men watched buffalo and saw how the males protected the cows and the calves” is to be stuck in fantasy time–there are many more if not nuanced ways that civilized behavior is transmitted to the next generation than this kind of navel-staring.

    As far as wild-type bison from a genetic perspective, breeding more wild-type herds with those which carry cattle genetics rather smacks of a kind of genetic dilution and thus a return to a racial and genetic purity harkening back to a fantasized and lost herd of the past.

    Stories are nice but the future of a people is made of more than the way things “used to” be. While I can appreciate people are trying to cultivate their traditions long lost by reifying past oral traditions, the future requires more than the recreation and recovering of what we’ve lost.

  14. jerry 2021-12-18 11:26

    Fences are so easy to remove, even I can do it. No kidding, had to remove about a mile of 4 strand along with the posts that had held them since my grandfather put them up not so long ago. Granddad was a good man, but like the rest of the ranchers of his time, he was short of money. So the fence was not a good one when he put it up, but it did what was needed until it was just about impossible to fix anymore. When you put that golden rod to it and the wire breaks, that whistle will make you pucker. Rented one of these rascals and did it pronto. Even had time for a couple of soft drinks in that hot sun.

    As far as genetic purity goes, nothing is perfect, This 116,000 acres of public land would be an ideal place for Buffalo. Who wouldn’t agree to that? What about the Buffalo Gap National grasslands as well? 600,000 more acres of public land with the Buffalo name in it, how convenient is that?

    Think of all the tourist dollars to pay to see these majestic animals in their homeland. There is a sign outside of Mitchell, South Dakota that says “Suddenly, it’s like new”. Well suddenly, it’s like old, in this case.

  15. Sion G. Hanson 2021-12-18 12:36

    My tiny 480 acres corners the Grand River National Grasslands. I am 90% completed with fencing it for buffalo. My goal is to start a cultural sanctuary for these wonderful animals and the indigenous population. One person can make a difference.

  16. jerry 2021-12-18 13:43

    BTW, Not only is Troy Heinert saving Buffalo and Native culture, his work is also saving America’s lost prairie grasslands.

    Saving all of this is a lot more important than hanging around Pierre and having to deal with Lee Schoenbeck, that’s for sure

  17. grudznick 2021-12-18 16:01

    Mr. Heinert cannot run for higher office or his skeletons would tumble from the closets across the Rosebud and screech Mitákuye Oyásin and glare at all the Dutch ancestors with flapping jaws.

  18. Arlo Blundt 2021-12-18 17:16

    Grudz…get your head screwed on…skeletons and closets no longer matter in politics since the Republicans crowned Donald Trump as Great Leader and Mark Meadows and Louie Gohmert sent a mob to trash the Capitol and hang Mike Pence. Nothing compares.

  19. O 2021-12-18 17:27

    Arlo, unfortunately you are right . . . but only for Republicans. Grudznick is correct when it comes to Democrats. Al Franken ring any bells?

  20. Bob Newland 2021-12-18 17:57

    Grudznutz just cannot seem to prevent his miserably stupid comments from flapping out.

  21. mike from iowa 2021-12-18 18:04

    Many “one persons” made a difference with buffalo. Just needed the right wind, a .50 caliber Sharps rifle, enough skinners and enough buffalo willing to ignore the slaughter around them.

    Fortunately, enough conservation minded people conserved bison from total extinction, back when it was up private citizens to step in.

  22. DaveFN 2021-12-18 18:27


    How large a bison herd do you envisage will be running at Buffalo Gap? And to what end?

    DOI currently manages ~11,000 bison on 4.6 million acres of public land. That’s 19 herds in 12 states. The Yellowstone National Park herd is the largest at about 4800 bison. By comparison Custer State Park has about 1400 bison. (Banff National Park in Canada boasts all of 35).

    The in-progress, world’s largest Native-owned and managed bison herd at Wolakota Buffalo Range will support at most 1,500 bison on ~30,000 acres of prairie.

    A minimum bison herd size is about 2000 if the herd is to maintain itself genetically. If smaller, periodic translocations are required to maintain sufficient genetic diversity, genetic sustainability being a function of genetic diversity, and not of genetic purity.

    The nostalgia for the return of such a thundering herd on the prairies is a fantasy, however pleasant. Bison herds in North America once numbered some 30 million animals., let us recall.

    While I recognize bison were at one time integral if not central to Native cultures, and while I wish Heinert well, cultures move on. The culture and historical context of my persecuted Puritan, Quaker, and Huguenot ancestors of some 400 to 500 years ago is long gone and there is certainly no reason to resurrect it. As far as Heinert’s statement that families have something to learn from the bison in terms of family values, that is little reason to establish a bison herd, what were You tube bison educational videos made available. Even if available, I question the magnitude of the value they would have in terms of the enormous family problems faced on our reservations today (my experience on a grand jury for 18 months brought to light the problems and crime on reservations in SD).

    A vibrant culture requires a rich language and vice versa. In the case of the Lakota an estimated 1% are fluent speakers of Lakota today. Francis Whitebird makes the case that, despite efforts to revitalize the Lakota language, Lakota is essentially a dead language. Merely passing along words isn’t the same as the transmission of their original rich context and meaning.

    Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger have noted similar in the 1983 book “The Invention of Tradition” which draws on multiple examples of lost traditions being resurrected, however successfully but artificially in the popular imagination for the aura they take on.

    “The whole concept of a distinct Highland culture and tradition is a retrospective invention. Before the later years of the seventeenth century, the Highlanders of Scotland did not form a distinct people. They were simply the overflow of Ireland. On that broken and inhospitable coast, in that archipelago of islands large and small, the sea unites rather than divides and from the late fifth century, when the Scots of Ulster landed in Argyll, until the mid-eighteenth century, when it was ‘opened up’ after the Jacobite revolts, the West of Scotland, cut off by mountains from the East, was always linked rather to Ireland than to the Saxon Lowlands. Racially and culturally, it was a colony of Ireland,” as one example (chapter 2, The Invention of Tradition: The Highland Tradition of Scotland,

    Similarly, establishing bison herds no matter how many or how large, isn’t going to return the past or recreate the environment nor restore a broken culture, although it may be a magnanimous and symbolic gesture by and to some—as well as being lucrative for cow/calf producers.

    My objection is not to keeping some forms of our traditions alive, but rather to an overvaluation of them when and if such prevents moving us or any peoples into the future, something we all must do whatever the past of our traditions, however highly we may value and wish to remember them. Bison herd number and size play very little part in the matter under discussion, as far as I’m able to tell.

  23. Arlo Blundt 2021-12-18 18:33

    O–Frankin was giving women a friendly goose…a sexist “hello” in bad taste at best. The Constitution was not imperiled.

  24. larry kurtz 2021-12-18 18:33

    If Mrs. Noem has proven anything it’s that you don’t have to live in Pierre to be governor so maybe a Democrat with stature could run and win without having to live in the worst town in South Dakota. Does President Herseth Sandlin have to resign her post to serve? Matt Michels, Tom Nelson and Chuck Turbiville didn’t.

  25. jerry 2021-12-18 19:45

    First off, Troy Heinert is a pretty smart feller who can figure his own direction as a leader that was chosen for his ability. But, what the hell, here goes my suggestions. At Fort Pierre National Grasslands 116,000 acres of grasslands, I would use the equation of Custer State Park (give that 71,000 acres back to the Native owners), housing 1,400 Buffalo. So, it seems then that you could safely regulate no more than 2,500 Buffalo there year round. That would then be home to the ones that are to be culled at Yellowstone as a place for those Buffalo to go to work on revitalizing the prairie grassland.
    The Buffalo Gap National Grasslands are 600,000 acres of grassland. On these grounds, you could safely put no more than 3,000 head of Buffalo year round as a start to regenerate the grounds.

    Culturally, the Buffalo could be harvested by the tribes for food along with traditional tanning of the hides for economic resourcing.

    The lands upon where these Buffalo would then roam, would be ecologically developed as carbon storage.

    Regarding the Native language and the heritage that goes with that, it resonated this weekend in Rapid City at the Lakota Invitational. BTW, Scotland is rewilding as well. The Highland tradition is now a wolf’s lair.

  26. grudznick 2021-12-18 21:00

    Rewild the West!!!

  27. DaveFN 2021-12-18 21:48


    Have you contacted Buffalo Gap National Grasslands or other agencies/officials on your idea, and if so what feedback did you receive?

    I say go with your desire whatever I might have to say (bison may make a dent in carbon storage although it’s likely smaller than other policy mandates would accomplish, people can eat bison but don’t necessarily need do so, people can wear bison skins if so inclined yet I’ve seen few if any doing so….).

    As far as your Scotland link, we might recall that 99% of all species that ever lived on earth are now extinct and most of them prior to anything anthropogenic. Loss is a part of the world in which we find ourselves and attempt to situate our lives.

  28. larry kurtz 2021-12-19 07:21

    Should rewilding efforts seek to approximate sustainable wild lands to Pleistocene Era conditions or let the Anthropocene lay waste to them desertifying precious resources changing the landscape forever leaving the survivors to cleave out habitable zones forsaking native species?

    East River South Dakota has been destroyed but West River can still be saved.

    The relatively small distance between the Canadian River in New Mexico and the Missouri at Fort Peck in Montana reminds me again how the earliest humans in North America were undaunted by glaciers, the dire wolf, and Smilodon on everything north of the Sangre de Cristos terminating at Santa Fe then blazed the Pecos Trail from west to east into the southern Great Plains and Mississippi Valley to find an inland paradise teeming with prey. Lakota is spoken by a majority of South Dakota’s tribal nations. After migrating into present-day North Carolina and forced westward by manifest destiny then acquiring horses from Spanish exploiters the Lakota reclaimed the Black Hills.

    But today, Northern Colorado has just added a bison herd so have the Eastern Shoshone. The Oglala, Pawnee and Comanche National Grasslands are not far away. The Thunder Basin National Grassland in Wyoming is managed by offices in Colorado. The Fort Pierre National Grassland in South Dakota is managed from Nebraska. The Grand River National Grassland in South Dakota is managed from Bismarck, North Dakota.

    It merely takes the political will to build corridors for bison, other ungulates and their associated predators over public, tribal and leased private land into the Oglala National Grassland in Nebraska, Wyoming’s Thunder Basin National Grassland to North and South Dakota then through the Northern Cheyenne, Crow and Fort Peck nations in Montana.

    After bison reach sustainable levels agreed upon by the stakeholders fit private and other public herds like the one at Wind Cave National Park with microchips to join the public herd and be harvested according to the market or population pressures. Hybrid herds should be assessed on a case by case basis and some individuals could join the main herd.

    The South Dakota Democratic Party should advocate for paying the tribes and settling the Black Hills Claim, dissolving the Black Hills National Forest, moving management of the land from the US Department of Agriculture into the Department of Interior in cooperation with Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Forestry and Wildfire Management. Mato Paha (Bear Butte), the associated national grasslands and the Sioux Ranger District of the Custer/Gallatin National Forest should be included in the move.

    Rewild it and rename it Paha Sapa or He Sapa National Monument eventually becoming part of the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge connecting the CM Russell Wildlife Refuge in Montana along the Missouri River to Oacoma, South Dakota combined with corridors from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon in the north and south to the Pecos River through Nebraska, eastern Colorado, western Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.

    That Republican welfare ranchers are angry about rewilding means it’s the right thing to do.

  29. jerry 2021-12-19 07:47

    Well said Mr. Kurtz, if I may add, Mr. Troy Heinert could be that key that starts to open those corridors for the sake of the planet, There has to be a change in how these public lands need to be administered. The good old boy network is not working, bring back the Buffalo to heal the land.

  30. grudznick 2021-12-19 08:05

    The morning, at the Conservatives with Common Sense breakfast, the Opening Rant will be a satirical take on “Rewilding the West”, with an underlying theme of how the “bison can heal the land” and the practical implications to be taken into account.

  31. larry kurtz 2021-12-19 08:07

    If cattle grazing is the key to preventing wildfires why is Republican ranch country still suffering near daily high or even extreme grassland fire danger indices so often even during winter?

    In 2010 then-Democratic Senator Tim Johnson tried to make a portion of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland adjacent to Badlands National Park part of the Tony Dean Wilderness Area and in 2011 Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) revived the idea.

    Revisionist history turned the Wounded Knee Massacre into a battle but Senator Mike Rounds (NAZI-SD) said he won’t vote for the Senate companion to the Remove the Stain Act that would annul Congressional Medals of Honor for twenty war criminals responsible for the slaughter of children, women and men in 1890 at Wounded Knee in occupied South Dakota. Led by South Dakota State Senator Troy Heinert (D-26) a resolution in the legislature in support of revoking passed overwhelmingly but President Joe Biden is likely to rescind those commendations by executive order.

    Today, restoring and rewilding American ecosystems are parts of the Green New Deal and with cooperation from Senator Troy Heinert more bison are coming home to the Nations and encouraged by President Joe Biden the Cheyenne River Buffalo Authority Corporation purchased West Side Meats in Mobridge.

  32. jerry 2021-12-19 09:08

    Under the hopeful utilization of public lands, the Buffalo will once again be the centerpiece of Native spiritual and cultural well being. To think about Buffalo roaming on a million or more new acres in South Dakota once again, warms the heart. Senator Troy Heinert can serve Native people along with the rest of the people here probably better in this position than in the fevered swamp called Pierre.

  33. 96Tears 2021-12-19 10:24

    Akin to rant accelerants like “Ruby Ridge!” and “Benghazi!” to get haters, dumb rednecks, Birchers and GOP bush league politicos jacked up, I am surprised (and a little saddened) that we haven’t seen that old standby “Buffalo Commons!” tossed into this string. Back in the day, if you wanted to see the brainiacs like Gordon Pederson, Royal J. “Bud” Wood, Gust Kundert, Don Ham, Kenny McNenny or Lyndell Peterson turn red and raise a blood vessel in the neck, just drop “Buffalo Commons!” into the testimony and heads would pop up like a prairie dog town.

    In case you’ve forgotten or never heard of the great Buffalo Commons liberal/commie conspiracy theory, here you go!

  34. mike from iowa 2021-12-19 12:05

    Aren’t domestic cattle susceptible to bovine tuberculosis from bison and aren’t Yellowstone bison known tubercular carrying miscreants in a rancher’s world?

  35. larry kurtz 2021-12-19 12:42

    Confined or pasture grazed bison that are also fed hay do move disease back and forth with domestic livestock. Brucellosis moves between elk and cattle, too, same with bighorn sheep and domestic sheep.

    The Yellowstone cull is quite high this year but you know what they say: bake a man a pie and he’ll learn to divide by seven. But teach a man piety and he’ll crucify the apples then say they died for his sins.

  36. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-12-19 13:57

    Larry, Hildy is no gayer than Heinert is Indian. If Dems could look at Heinert as a viable SD candidate, they could give Hildy equal consideration.

  37. Sion G. Hanson 2021-12-19 16:23

    The Buffalo Commons idea may seem outlandish to modern day midwesterners, but it pales in comparison to the idea of a forsaken landscape from present day agricultural practices. Change is coming. Positive change based in science or negative change forced upon the land by continued misuse and destruction. I am a believer in Capitalism, but not unbridled Capitalism. One of the few duties required of the Federal Government is to protect us. There are domestic dangers that offer bleak outcomes. Corporate America will do anything protect their monetary in terests for short term gain.

  38. grudznick 2021-12-19 17:02

    There will be more billboards in the spring between Ellsworth and Rapid saying “Rewild the West”. I hope our good friend Bill gets to design the logo.

  39. larry kurtz 2021-12-19 18:13

    But is Hildy gayer than grudznick? I think not.

    Recall the John Birch Society billboards along I90 that urged voters to get US out of the United Nations, abortion is murder and how close travelers are to Wall Drug but remember correlation doesn’t equal causation.

  40. grudznick 2021-12-19 19:23

    While my close personal friend Lar and Mr. H spar about who “Mr. Hildy is gayer than…” in such a socially unacceptable manner, grudznick, who does not judge people on that measure, will return to exhorting all involved to Rewild the West!

  41. larry kurtz 2021-12-19 19:39

    President Thomas Jefferson used an executive order to defy the US Constitution, begin the Native American Genocide and purchase the Louisiana Territory from a country that didn’t even own it.

    In 1991 after the Soviet Union fell Republicans began their war on the environment substituting a new Green Scare for the old Red Scare. This blog was established in 2010 as a vehicle for rewilding the American West.

    Putting the country on the path of protecting at least 30 percent of its land and 30 percent of its ocean areas by 2030 (30×30) is imperative to preserving public lands.

    WildEarth Guardians are based in Santa Fe; the Rewilding Institute is based in Albuquerque. Both organizations are driving the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act or NREPA. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies based in Helena, Montana has been kicking the legislation around for decades. Tracy Stone-Manning lectured on NREPA in 2002 at the University of Montana.

  42. larry kurtz 2021-12-19 19:51

    But speaking of goats, at least fifteen native fish species and their aquatic habitat once found in the southern portion of the Rio Grande are now gone because the river dries up every year. Invasive species like Russian olives, Siberian elms and tamarisk, or saltcedar are crowding out the native cottonwoods and willows but just north of Albuquerque the Sandia Pueblo has turned to domestic goats to control invasives. The Santa Ana, Isleta and Cochiti Pueblos are considering similar actions along their portions of the Rio Grande.

  43. 96Tears 2021-12-20 09:42

    Actually, grdznck has a brilliant idea. Billboards and all kinds of media with the slogan ReWild the West! could be the shot in the arm state tourism has needed.

    Think of The Snow Queen in her drugstore cowpoke outfit, riding a bison and carrying the stars-and-stripes, gazing boldly into the red sunset. Or how about Sturgis turistas on Harley choppers, dressed to the nines in leather with scantily clad babes clinging behind them, riding among a herd of charging bison? Or pheasant hunters jamming into Frank Day’s Bar in Dallas around the stripper pole, dollar bills in their hands crowded among coyotes, raccoons, badgers and other vermin on Noem’s tail bounty list (also with dollar bills)? Or armies of hang gliders soaring in front of Mount Rushmore with the bald eagles, buzzards, Canada geese and, of course, pheasants (like on the SD 25-cent piece)?

    I’m diggin’ it grud! I get the vision. It fits our dystopian ideal as we approach the Second Coming of Our Monarch Donald Trump. ReWild the West! We’re building Westworld right here in South Dakota!

  44. John Dale 2021-12-20 15:41

    Maybe he could save the SD Democratic Party. :p

    Couldn’t resist.

  45. larry kurtz 2021-12-20 15:59

    In South Dakota an unaffiliated candidate needs 3,393 signatures (1% of the total vote for governor in 2018 – 339,214) to get on the general election ballot. Taffy Howard could have made a real difference by siphoning votes from Johnson giving the Democrat a chance in 2022.

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